Obesity Management: How to Stay Consistent in the Long Run
Obesity and overweight, characterized by excess body fat, are responsible for many chronic conditions that affect almost all essential organs from the heart to the brain. This additional fat in the body infiltrates and builds upon the walls of arteries and eventually disturbs the blood flow, causing serious physiological and psychological issues. Obesity may seem like one problem, but it is an accumulation of several factors such as a sedentary lifestyle, perpetual stress, poor sleep, and immoderate eating habits, making obesity management is a critical task.
Consequences of being obese and overweight
As the body continues to carry the extra weight, it grows prone to increased blood pressure, LDL (cholesterol that accumulates in the walls of blood vessels), and blood sugar. The growing fat occupies spaces between abdominal organs (visceral fat) and accumulates on the abdominal wall (subcutaneous fat) right behind the skin on the stomach, hip, glutes, etc. Soon the sedentary lifestyle starts to weaken the muscles and makes one susceptible to various heart diseases. The toll of obesity also extends to the mind. Obese and overweight individuals may have issues like depression, eating disorder, and anxiety. So it is advisable to follow a lifestyle tips for obesity management.
Also read: How to Manage Obesity
Obesity management and sustaining weight loss in the long run
Once your body adapts to a particular workout or training load, it is advisable to change things around to challenge it further. You can do this by increasing the intensity, duration, or type of workout. This may also help in avoiding a plateau.
Exercising with individuals who work out often can motivate you to do the same, and research suggests that individuals who exercise outdoors find the activity more enjoyable. As you commit to a more active lifestyle, performing exercises every day allows you to burn more calories and improve your cardiovascular health. Being part of a group that regularly indulges in activities such as walking, running, or cycling can be a good idea to maintain the habit.
Also read: How Does Exercise Benefit Your Body?
As you begin your journey of balancing macronutrients in your diet, track your progress. Shuffling portions of carbohydrate, protein, and fat in your meals for two weeks or a month and reducing calorie intake by 10%-25% will bring about visible or measurable changes in your body and energy level. Maintain a food journal and take body measurements every week. It is important to track this progress to better understand what is working well for you. Being aware of your progress will reinforce your healthy eating habits and give you the sense of satisfaction to continue.
Try to create an environment that reminds you of your new habits and acts as a cue. For instance, you may club your new goal of hydrating well with checking your emails. Your evening after-work shower could act as a cue for meditation. Putting your kids to sleep could be a cue to staying away from gadgets and dimming the lights in the house to promote the functioning of melatonin, the sleep hormone.
Anything worth aspiring to generally takes time, and management of obesity would not result in an overnight miracle. You will need to believe in the process that is applicable, doable, and sustainable in the long term to get closer to your goal. Consistency is possibly the single biggest variable in keeping you fit. If you aim for unrealistic goals, it would only add to your stress and be unsustainable. So chart out a clear obesity management plan and work on it, one day at a time.
What should you do if you have any pre-existing condition?
If you have any underlying conditions, share your goals with your physician and take the necessary help in planning your days. It will help you remain on track and anticipate challenges. If you find your routine derailed, a healthy reaction to that would be to get back to making a better plan. It would be helpful to remind yourself that this is not just about shedding extra weight, but about subscribing to a lifestyle that will make positive contributions to your mental health as well.