How to live longer: Five steps to keep the weight off to reduce your risk of disease


Anyone considered overweight is at a heightened risk of high cholesterol, warned the American Heart Association. Losing even a little bit of weight could put your health in good order.

The two factors to consider when it comes to weight management is diet and exercise.

Simply put, if you eat more calories in a day than you work off, then you’re going to put on weight.

The first step, outlined by the American Heart Association is to “know where you are today”.

Goals

Learn your Body Mass Index here, and set yourself up for success with short-term goals.

An example of a short-term goal you can replicate is: “I am making lifestyle changes to lose and keep off 2lbs.”

Achieving short-term goals can keep you on track to accomplish longer-term goals – keeping tasks in manageable chunks is recommended.

A food diary

Use a food diary or a smartphone tracking app to discover how much you’re eating, and how often – it might surprise you.

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Being more mindful of your eating habits will highlight your weaknesses and can help carve more specific weight loss goals.

Portion sizes

Whenever you serve yourself (or get served) too much food, it’s very easy to overeat.

“Smaller portions can help prevent eating too much,” asserted the charity, so it may be a good idea to buy smaller plates and bowls.

In order to be a mindful eater, it’s recommended not to eat “while watching TV or when you’re on the computer”.

It’s far too easy to mindlessly keep eating while being distracted by technology.

Smart substitutions

“You can make many of your favourite recipes healthier by using lower-fat or no-fat ingredients,” stated the American Heart Association.

This includes opting for fat-free or low-fat milk, yoghurt and cheese.

Swap ice cream desserts for frozen fruit popsicles, and focus on fruits and vegetables as healthy snack options.

Get moving

It’s critical to be physically active if your aim is to lose or keep the weight off.

In order for the exercise to count, it needs to increase your heart rate – and at least 150 minutes of moderate activity is recommended each week.

To break this down, 30 minutes of heart-thumping activity per day would do more than enough.

To break this down even further, you can do 10-minute bursts of activity three times during the day, every day.

Examples of moderate activities recommended by the NHS include: brisk walking, riding a bicycle and dancing.

Other activities you may want to consider are: hiking and rollerblading.

For people really going for it, vigorous activity includes: jogging, running or skipping rope.

Moreover, martial arts and home HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts would be excellent choices.

How do you stay motivated to keep off the excess weight? Comment below.

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