The great battle between Americans and health is one we are quickly losing. More than 1/3 of all adults in the US are overweight or obese. Even those with a current healthy weight may be at risk due to unhealthy habits.
Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most important things a person can do to prevent disease and premature death. There are numerous factors that contribute to a healthy lifestyle, which will encourage a healthy weight. These include diet, exercise, self-care, and addressing underlying mental or emotional conditions that make it difficult to manage health.
Harvard University’s Healthy Eating Plate prioritizes vegetables and healthy proteins when it comes to eating an anti-obesity diet. It also includes plenty of water, whole grains and fruits of all colors. Research has shown that including these foods and limiting high-fat and processed foods can lead to a smaller waistline and healthier body. Most experts also recommend limiting high-carbohydrate foods, which cause blood sugar spikes and are rapidly digested, meaning they don’t provide long-term, sustainable energy the way “good carbs” from broccoli, asparagus, carrots and other vegetables do.
Transitioning to the aforementioned diet may seem daunting to some, especially to those living busy lifestyles who don’t feel they can make the time to prepare new, healthier dishes. Thankfully services like Catered Fit make healthy living a lot easier by delivering nutritious, portioned, prepared meals to their member’s doors 5 days a week. Produce and proteins are fresh and locally sourced, ingredients are natural, and meal plans are customization to fit diets like gluten free, low-carb, vegan, vegetarian, and more.
Exercise is also important for a healthy lifestyle, and thankfully, physical activity does not have to be complicated or unenjoyable. The Mayo Clinic explains that something as simple as walking regularly can help a person achieve and maintain a healthy weight; assist in preventing diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease; and improve overall mood. Even people who don’t enjoy walking can find ways to put their body in motion. This could be through hiking, swimming, or playing team sports.
Wellness-focused actions, such as getting enough sleep, relaxing and avoiding stressful situations can also help an individual take control of their health, and specifically, their weight. The Sleep Health Journal notes that there is a conclusive association between sleep problems and obesity in teenagers. This issue carries well into adulthood, where sleep disturbances can impact a person’s mood, and therefore, their desire to prioritize health.
Stress causes an increase in the body’s level of cortisol, a steroid hormone that can affect weight. People who are trying to lose weight should pay attention to outside factors that trigger stress and anxiety. Those suffering from chronic stress may also benefit from using CBD oil when they’re feeling overwhelmed. It’s a compound that won’t make you high or overstimulate you, but it can ease feelings of anxiety and may even help you sleep better and longer at night, which will help you feel less stressed the following day. Of course, it’s best to speak with your doctor before giving it a go.
Stress and anxiety are not the only mental health conditions that can contribute to unhealthy weight. The CDC explains that around 80 percent of individuals with serious mental health conditions are considered overweight or obese. This leads to the conclusion that mental health illnesses such as depression and bipolar disorder may lead to excessive weight gain. For this reason, it is necessary to address mental health issues prior to and during the implementation of a healthy routine.
Diet and exercise can only do so much. In order for an individual to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle – and weight – they must address both physical and emotional needs. By prioritizing health, it is possible to beat the obesity epidemic in this generation and arm the next with the knowledge and skills on how to prevent disease and premature death.
Guest author, Dana Brown, is the creator of HealthConditions.info, which aims to provide Internet users with helpful content and resources that will lead them to making healthier decisions. Dana has 15 years of care giving experience, and after seeing some patterns of poor health she became determined to help inform people about healthy living.