Obesity rates are on the rise. Adults and children are becoming increasingly overweight and it’s taking a toll on their health. With the right practices, adults and children can take steps to lose weight and reverse the complications that obesity brings with it.

Exercise

As a general goal, aim to exercise at least 60 minutes a day, 5 to 7 days a week. This can involve walking, running, biking, or any other activity that gets you up and moving. Over time, exercising can become a pleasure in your daily routine rather than a chore.

Eat Right

Reducing the consumption of sugar and fat, and choosing minimally processed, whole foods and lean meats are key to good health. These foods include:

  • Whole grains (whole wheat, steel cut oats, brown rice, quinoa)
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Nuts and seeds (although nuts are high in fat, studies have found that eating nuts regularly does not promote weight gain)
  • Poultry
  • Fish

Drink Water

Soda and juice are loaded with sugar that can cause hunger and lead to overeating. Switching to water can help you feel fuller and curb weight gain. It is recommended that you drink 8 8-ounce glasses of water per day. Foods such as fruits and vegetables contain a significant amount of water and count toward the total.

Get Enough Sleep

Not getting enough sleep has been linked to an increase in weight gain. Sleep-deprived people experience a change in hormones that affect appetite, causing them to eat more. They are also awake for longer periods of time and have more opportunities to eat throughout the day. Recommended amounts of sleep include:

  • Children – 9 to 11 hours
  • Teenagers – 8 to 10 hours
  • Adults – 7 to 9 hours

Track Your Goals

Well-planned weight loss goals can keep you focused and motivated. Even if the overall goal seems large, see it as a journey and a lifestyle change rather than a final destination. A modest amount of weight lost will still likely produce health benefits.

References

  1. Levy G. Sharp increase in obesity rates, over last decade, federal data show. U.S. News & World Report. March 26, 2018. Accessed August 27, 2018.
  2. Brown MJ. How eating nuts can help you lose weight. Healthline. May 7, 2017. Accessed August 27, 2018.
  3. How much sleep do we really need? National Sleep Foundation. Accessed August 27, 2018.