Healthy weight management

What does weight management mean?

For many people, weight loss, slimming, dieting, shaping up (whatever you choose to call it) is a life-long struggle and involves a lot of disappointment, negative body image and, often, worry, feelings of hopelessness and damage to self-confidence.

Yet, being in control of your weight and managing it in a controlled, healthy and long-term way (weight management) is central to ensuring long-term health, fitness and even happiness and confidence. Contrast this with “yoyo dieting”, crash diets and seasonal dieting, which are bad for the body and much harder to both achieve and maintain.

Overweight people are at increased risk of numerous ailments, which range from heart disease and high blood pressure, to type-2 diabetes, gallstones, breathing difficulties and many more. Luckily, it is not actually as difficult or confusing as perhaps you might think to get your weight under control in a healthy way – so hang in there!

Recent trends

Weight has been one of the leading health concerns of the Western world in recent years (not least because of COVID-19). Obesity in Britain, for example, is swiftly approaching the chart-topping statistics of the United States. And it is not just adults that have been getting larger – children’s weight is a broadening concern.

How to reduce body-weight in a healthy way

Healthy weight loss is certainly not about extreme dieting or weight loss fads.

Effective weight management is about much more than just focussing on the numbers, like your weight and calories. It is about shifting the way you think about food, starting with a healthy routine which involves permanent changes in daily eating and beneficial exercise habits.

Essentially, healthy weight management is a combination of:

  • optimum nutrition (a well-balanced diet) and
  • a realistic exercise routine.

This doesn’t mean having to live on greens, without treats. Nor does it mean having to go to the gym 7 days a week.

It could possibly mean eating and/or drinking certain things in moderation, while increasing the volume of health foods. And, in terms of physical acitivity, it could mean doing as little as 15 minutes of exercise (such as walking or jogging) every other day – whatever meets your needs, taking into account your own particular health issues and circumstances.

Why so many people give up

One of the hardest things about introducing any lifestyle change is the ability to make that change last for the long term. We have all had the experience – every year, we make promises to eat more healthily, to drink less alcohol, to do more exercise etc. We start off well and, even with the best of intentions, in the majority of cases we slowly revert back to our old easy and ingrained habits.

One of the key causes of this is that the change was either put in place too fast and in a drastic way, and/or it was an unrealistic aim for the long-term.

A very common example is that, nearly all people attempt to completely do away with all treats from their diet. It’s naive to think that you are not going to have, for instance, a chocolate bar or packet of crisps ever again – and the reality is, that is not even necessary for healthy weight management. This approach usually end in binging.

Similarly, very few people are going to be able to sustain going to the gym seven days a week. Again, this is not necessary and, in fact, is not even constructive. Your body needs rest in between exercise.

So, people set themselves up to fail and lose morale when they do.

How to lose weight successfully

To introduce long-term lifestyle change (which is the key to successful weight loss), it’s important to think of a range of physical exercises that you really enjoy and can pick from to keep your routine interesting.

Furthermore, one of the many common fallacies about losing weight is that the meals / foods you can eat are very restricted. That is simply not true. While you will certainly need to cap your consumption of certain foods (especially those high in saturated fats and sugar), you are not automatically barred from enjoying the treats you like every now and then.

A nutritionist or personal trainer can help you to better understand precisely what varieties of food you should eat on a regular basis for a healthy, well-balanced diet and healthy metabolism, and which you should view as treats, to have on the odd occasion. Meal plans can be helpful in the early stages, while you get used to the new regime and break old eating habits.

The key is to understand that no two people are identical and so their is no “one size fits all” diet that will magically make you lose weight. Instead of a diet, you need a meal plan and exercise programme that are specifically tailored to you and your body.

Variety and moderation are the keys to your success!

A little extra support – health supplements…

If you find that you want a little additional help, you may want to think about including weight management supplements in your programme.

Not only can these help you to top-up on additional vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients that will support your body through the weight management process (including support for energy levels, metabolism and immunity etc), they can also assist with resolving any underlying health issues that may be hampering your weight loss efforts. Common examples include digestive problems and hormonal imbalances. 

Plant-based protein powders and tasty light meal shakes can also provide a quick, easy and healthy snack substitute, that keep you feeling full and away from unhealthy treats in-between meals.

For more information, visit our main website

Exercise health benefits

Why is exercise important?

Regular exercise is important for everybody, not just those who are looking to lose weight.

Our bodies operate best when they are engaged in regular activity. Conversely, health issues tend to crop up with your lifestyle is largely sedentary. The body craves movement and exertion, and it actually needs these things in order to function properly, to avoid muscle wastage and weakening, and to promote strength, vitality and longevity.

As obesity rates continue to rise, and we are seeing a growing older population, a lifestyle that includes regular exercise is a necessity. Ideally, this should be introduced at an early age for maximum benefit.

The bottom line is is to avoid inactivity for long periods; even some exercise is better than none at all. In other words, exercise is the key to good health and it can help to prevent a number of preventable health problems.

How can exercise support health?

Although exercise clearly helps to improve the appearance of the body (for example through weight loss and toning), it is also has countless other benefits for health.

Resistance training is often seen as being only for men or gym fanatics. However, exercise can take many forms and doesn’t necessarily have to involve the gym. For example, there is yoga, walking, running, cycling, boxing and countless others.

The important point to bear in mind is that exercise (any exercise) has a number of health benefits, which can contribute to the longevity and quality of life.

In particular, it is beneficial for:

  • detoxification
  • healthy digestion
  • heart health
  • weight loss (including a healthy metabolism).

Exercise is also important for muscle and bone health, and has a key role to play in maintaining a robust immune system by, for example, stimulating the lymphatic system. It is widely believed that the lymphatic system is the body’s first line of defense against disease. Exercise also improves circulation, helping to bring new fuel and energy to every cell.

In considered so important by governments that, in both the USA and Europe, there are a number of national initiatives that call for physical activity and exercise to be standard elements of both disease prevention and medical treatment for all ages.

How does exercise promote weight loss?

One of the most common mistakes that people make when trying to lose weight (and likewise one of the biggest reasons for failure) is focussing all their efforts on changing their diet, without thinking about the essential role of increased levels of physical activity.

Ultimately, your weight is dependant on the balance between the number of calories consumed each day and the number of calories burned. The main way in which exercise can assist with weight loss is through the burning of additional calories. Both aerobic and weight bearing exercise can achieve this.

Dieting alone is not going to be enough to ensure you reach your ideal weight in a healthy way, especially for the long-term. In fact, a 2006 study (Weiss et al) undertaken by Saint Louis University compared the effects of exercise combined with dieting, versus diet alone in losing fat. Although both sets of participants lost weight, only those undertaking exercise maintained their strength and muscle mass and increased aerobic capacity. Those who dieted only, lost muscle mass, strength and aerobic capacity.

Research consistently shows that regular exercise, combined with a balanced diet, is the most efficient and healthy way to manage your weight. In particular, exercise can affect our metabolism – when we exercise and eat healthily, the metabolism has a tendency to speed up and burn off excess calories and fat that it would not otherwise do, during periods of inactivity.

Getting the most out of exercising

If you are new to regular exercise, it’s important to take it slow and, if necessary, consult your doctor, a personal trainer or other qualified health practitioner before implementing radical changes to your diet or starting a new exercise regime.

Similarly, there are a number of health supplements that can support healthy weight management, athletic performance and nutrient intake. Increasing your levels of exercise should be viewed as part of a wider initiative to improve your health, including improving your diet to ensure that your body is getting all the “fuel” it needs to operate optimally.

For example, slimmers often find that protein powders and meal shakes can be helpful, because not only can they provide a low calorie source of nutrients, but the high protein content is vital for maintaining and increasing muscle and bone mass, supporting energy levels, for tissue and cell repair, for keeping the immune system strong and for preventing fatigue. And if you can find a shake that is fortified with nutrients, all the better.

A number of studies have suggested that a high-protein diet combined with exercise can support the weight management process, enhance fat loss, boost metabolism, improve muscle tone and improve blood fat levels.

As protein can assist in the repair and growth of muscle, this tends to mean that more calories are burned each day. Higher-protein diets may also help people to gain better control over their appetites and calorie intake, help them to regulate their blood sugar levels and reduce cravings. When your heart beats faster and you breathe more rapidly, it helps to lower your blood sugar level (which is why exercise is even more important if you have diabetes).

Similarly, ensuring adequate vitamin and mineral intake is an important part of any weight management programme, to ensure that you are losing weight healthily. For instance, antioxidants (such as vitamin C) are important in preventing damage by free radicals, which can be released during detoxification processes.

For more information, visit our main website

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