Weight is something many of us struggle with, particularly as we enter middle age. Losing weight goes far beyond appearances, though, and dives deep into the realms of overall health and wellbeing.
Excess weight increases the risks of serious health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, respiratory problems and even certain cancers. By maintaining a healthy weight, we reduce the likelihood of encountering these health burdens, and reclaim our ability to enjoy life to the fullest.
How weight loss works
Weight loss is a fascinating process wherein the body taps into its energy reserves to shed excess pounds. When embarking on this journey, the body cleverly starts by utilising readily available sources like carbohydrates, followed by protein and eventually stored fat.
Why many people try but fail to lose weight
People often struggle to manage a healthy weight due to a combination of factors like genetics, lifestyle habits, underlying medical conditions, distractions while eating, and unrealistic expectations of rapid weight loss. Fortunately, small changes and adopting a sustainable lifestyle approach can lead to successful weight management.
The specific health benefits of losing weight
Weight loss of 5% or more improves insulin sensitivity and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. It can also lead to improvements in metabolic function in various tissues such as fat, liver and muscle. Further weight loss of 10% or more lowers the risk of obesity-related conditions such as hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
How to lose weight in a sustainable manner
Maintain a balanced diet: Instead of embarking on extreme calorie-restrictive diets that are unsustainable in the long run, opt for a balanced approach, with nutrient-rich foods that nourish your body. Incorporate a variety of foods like lean proteins, eggs, legumes, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fibre. These will leave you feeling full and satisfied even with smaller portions.
Drink lots of water: Numerous studies have shown a positive correlation between increased water intake and weight loss. Water helps to curb the appetite, reducing hunger and unnecessary snacking.
Exercise regularly: Aim for a combination of aerobic exercises, such as brisk walking or cycling, and strength training exercises to build muscle mass and increase metabolism. Find activities you enjoy to stay motivated and make exercise a regular habit.
Prioritise quality sleep: Insufficient sleep leads to hormonal changes that can make you hungrier during the day. Establish a consistent sleep schedule and aim for 7-9 hours each night. Create a sleep-friendly environment, practise relaxation techniques, and limit exposure to electronic devices before bedtime.
Manage stress effectively: Chronic stress can contribute to weight gain, so finding healthy ways to deal with stress is vital. As with a lack of sleep, stress elevates cortisol levels in the body, which can affect self-control when it comes to food choices. Implement stress management techniques such as deep breathing and meditation, and engage in hobbies and activities that bring you joy.
Losing weight requires holistic changes to many aspects of your life – not only your diet, but also your lifestyle and daily habits – that may appear daunting at first. But with a few simple, incremental changes, you will reap the benefits of improved overall health. Remember, the journey to a healthy weight is an act of self-love and empowerment.
Weigh Loss Retreats at Chiva-Som
Chiva-Som offers a highly personalised Sustainable Weight Management retreat that sets you on the path to lifelong transformation. Nutritional coaching will show you how to incorporate healthy foods into your diet while maintaining an enjoyment of eating, and personal training burns calories while also increasing metabolism. Genomic Testing can enhance the experience, identifying which types of exercise and diet work best for your body according to your genetic make-up.