(StatePoint) Losing weight to look good may be a great motivator. An even better motivator is to get healthier, as excess fat tissue breeds inflammation, which can contribute to many debilitating and deadly diseases. And according to many doctors, even just a modest amount of extra weight can be damaging to your health.
When it comes to diets, if you’ve “tried them all” and failed, some experts say that could be part of the problem.
“Most diet books and programs promise a quick fix for weight loss -- for example, avoiding all carbs, eating only raw foods or amping up protein. These fad diets show little respect for the fact that a well-balanced, nutritious diet is critical for our bodies to function properly,” warns Dr. Jennifer Sacheck, an associate professor of Nutrition at Tufts University and co-author of the book, “Thinner this Year: A Diet and Exercise Program for Living Strong, Fit, and Sexy.”
In “Thinner this Year,” Sacheck, along with motivational speaker and co-author Chris Crowley, offer a laymen’s explanation of the science of diet and exercise, believing that if people truly understand what’s going on inside their bodies, then they’re more likely to make long-term lifestyle changes.
“You don’t need a fancy gadget and there is no single magic exercise,” says Crowley. “Health and wellness means a serious lifetime commitment to good nutrition and plenty of exercise.”
With that in mind, the writing duo is offering some tips for losing weight the healthy way and keeping it off for life:
• Make up your mind. Set your goal and go for it. This will mean embracing changes in your habits and routines.
• Exercise for the rest of your life. Stay motivated by keeping things interesting and changing your workout routine periodically. Try new exercise classes or sign up for a big race.
“Exercise works like crazy and it changes lives. Big time,” says Crowley.
• Eat less and be mindful. Don’t “super-size yourself.” At the same time, don’t skip meals. Doing so can lower your metabolism and make you more susceptible to binge eating later.
• Don’t eat “dead food,” -- food that is loaded with calories and offers little nutritional value. Skip or limit refined flour, refined sugar, high fat meat and solid fat. Eat healthy fats in moderation and avoid saturated and trans fat. Likewise, don’t drink your calories. Instead, load up on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean meats.
• Learn more. Truly understand the changes that are taking place inside your body as a result of your hard work, so you can be motivated to keep going.
For more tips on healthy ways to lose weight and keep it off, www.ThinnerThisYear.com.
Sustainable weight loss is no easy feat, but with motivation, dedication and hard work, you can feel better and live longer.