Due to people’s unhealthy and sedentary lifestyles, obesity has become more prevalent than it used to be in previous decades. Because of our busy lifestyles, we frequently choose quick-to-prepare items or, worse, we order takeout. When we overeat and don’t exercise or engage in any physical activity, the body stores the excess energy as fat. An active male need, on average, 2,500 calories per day to maintain a healthy weight, whereas an active woman requires, on average, 2,000 calories per day. When there is an abnormal or excessive accumulation of fat, which could increase the chance of developing a number of ailments, that person becomes overweight or obese.
Overweight is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 25, and obesity as a BMI of greater than 30. According to the worldwide burden of illness in 2017, being overweight or obese causes over 4 million deaths annually.
Here are some easy lifestyle changes that can reduce your chance of becoming obese:
- Consume fibre-rich food: If you can, consume five servings or more of whole fruits and vegetables each day because they are low in calories. Because they are abundant in nutrients and reduce the risk of diabetes and insulin resistance, fruits and vegetables help reduce the risk of obesity, according to the WHO. Particularly these fiber-rich meals make you feel full with less calories, preventing weight gain.
- Avoid processed foods: Avoid eating highly processed foods like white bread and numerous boxed snacks because they have more calories and can make you gain weight.
- Limit sugar intake: Reduce your sugar intake. Avoid major sources of added sugar, including sweetened beverages (sodas, energy, and sports drinks), sweets like pies, cookies, and cakes, canned fruit drinks, candy, and dairy desserts like ice cream.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners: Reduce your use of artificial sweeteners because they are linked to diabetes and obesity. If you want to use a sweetener, try a small bit of honey, which is a natural alternative.
- Say no to saturated fats: Consuming foods high in saturated fat leads to obesity, therefore stay away from them. Concentrate on eating foods high in mono- and polyunsaturated fats, such as avocados, olive oil, and almonds.
- Remain Hydrated: Avoid any sugar-sweetened beverages and drink lots of water every day. Sports drinks and energy drinks should also be avoided because they are highly sweetened. The potential harm to the cardiovascular system can rise with the consumption of certain drinks.
- Eat home-cooked food: Always choose home-cooked meals. Meals prepared at home reduce a person’s risk of weight gain and type 2 diabetes.
- Choose a plant-based diet: Choose a plant-based diet because it lowers the prevalence of obesity. Every meal should be served with a full plate of entire fruits and vegetables, it is advised. Unsalted nuts like almonds, cashews, walnuts, and pistachios should be consumed in moderation for snacks (1.5 ounces or a small handful), as they are thought to be beneficial for heart health. Limit your intake of foods high in saturated fats, such as dairy and red meat.
- Exercise is a must: At least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week should be spent working out. It denotes a minimum of 30 minutes per day, five days per week.
- Brisk walks: The best exercise for keeping a healthy weight is brisk walking. You can reduce your weight, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference by walking quickly or briskly.
- De-stress yourself: Focus on healthy stress-reduction techniques like daily walks, regular yoga sessions, meditation, and listening to your favorite music. Cortisol levels rise as a result of ongoing stress, which causes weight gain. Cortisol and other stress hormones can increase “carb cravings,” which can result in weight gain. It can also cause people to make poor dietary decisions.
- Take enough sleep: Change your existing sleep schedule and get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Going to bed later can reduce your amount of sleep, gradually raise your BMI, and make you more susceptible to obesity.