Five Easy Steps to Being Healthier: Simple Lessons for Simple Weight Control

Experts report that young people who are overweight at the age of 18 are one-third more likely to die a premature death due to health-related conditions. Clearly maintaining a healthy weight level is important no matter how young or old someone is.

The difficulty is that once someone develops bad eating habits, they’re difficult to break resulting in yo-yo dieting which can then lead to further health risks to someone’s immune system not to mention someone’s emotional well being.

Anyone with the personal goal to be healthier as he loses or maintains his weight, consider these five things to make the process easier.

Use Portion Control

There’s one big reason why most people overeat. They don’t limit the amount of their intake. It’s just so easy to grab a big bag of chips or cookies and to keep munching until they feel full. The problem is that a stomach generally doesn’t know it’s full until about 20 minutes into a pig out. And as quickly as the average person eats it’s easy to see how someone could eat far more than is necessary to satisfy hunger.

Anyone who wants to eat to a healthier self should put his food on a salad size plate and eat only that one serving. No second helpings. Not only will he eat less – a more healthful amount – he can actually fool himself visually because it will look as if the plate is really full. And keep in mind that experts recommend each serving should be no bigger than the palm of the individual’s hand.

When going out to a restaurant which offers generous portions, be sure to cut the meal in half. Then either share with a friend or take the other half home for the next day. Not only is this a good way to save someone from overeating, it’s a great way to save money.

Increase the Amount of Exercise

Most people have used every excuse in the book to avoid this one. Who hasn’t? However, what most people don’t realize is how much extra exercise they can actually build into their schedule.

Don’t want to roll out of bed a half an hour early? How about 15 minutes? Do some crunches, lift some weights. It’s a great way to kick start the old metabolism. How about parking the car away from the building and walking a few extra steps? Or take a walk during breaks and lunch and walk the stairs instead of riding the elevator. A little extra effort can go a long way.

Do It with Someone

The reason why companies like Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers are so successful is because misery loves company. Okay, because camaraderie and accountability is important to living right.

The roadblock that most people face when they are trying to lose weight or correct poor eating habits that have lead them to some health crisis such as high cholesterol or diabetes is that as sincere as they are in their desire to change it’s just too easy not to. But get group support or counseling or get healthy alongside a significant other, and most people are not only likely to find it more enjoyable, they will be held accountable.

Don’t Think Diet

Think long term. Don’t think of this as a quick fix, think of it as a lifestyle commitment. It’s about changing the mindset. It’s not about starving to look good, it’s about getting healthy to look and feel good.

While most experts will say that caloric intake varies from person to person depending on “lifestyle factors” (usually considered age, height, weight, basic level of daily activity, and body type), figure that a person’s daily calories should be somewhere between 1500 and 2500. Women on the lower end; men on the upper. Cut out 500 calories either through reduced intake or exercise and there goes one pound. However, it’s important not to reduce intake to less than 800 calories a day because it can send someone’s body into crisis and the metabolism will shut down; so don’t over do it.

Consider the Motivation

One of the biggest reasons people fail to change is because they are not properly motivated. If someone tries to quickly lose weight before a big event or to please someone in his life he will be momentarily motivated, but it won’t necessarily lead to a long-term commitment.

To change living habits, it is important to control eating habits. Personal motivation needs to be about the individual: he wants to improve his health, not that he wants to be “skinny.” That means that every time he wants to give up he needs to consider what he might give up instead: his good health.

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