New Year, new you! The number one New Year’s resolution is to lose weight. Here are some easy tips to get you on the right track.
Why it’s important to be at a healthy weight
Living in a healthy body mass index has positive short- and long-term health effects. Shortly after you start exercising, you’ll feel great and be able to do various activities without getting tired. After a while, you’ll reduce your risk of having health issues like type II diabetes, heart issues and so much more. Plus, exercising for at least 60 minutes a day can benefit your mental health, too!
5 tips to lose weight
- Don’t get bored! Doing the same routine day after day can leave you bored or burnt out. Try adding strength training to your workout! It helps build more muscle, which in turn helps you burn more calories.
- Reduce your screen time! You’re more likely to gain weight if you spend all your time sitting idle with technology. If you absolutely have to binge-watch that new TV show, think about streaming it from your phone on the treadmill!
- Watch your portion sizes! The easiest way to cut calories fast is to stop or reduce sugary drink consumption like sodas, juices and energy drinks. These are all empty calories that could be saved or used elsewhere. Choose smaller portions, split a meal with a friend or start measuring out your food. TIP: A great way to control your portions is by preparing the food yourself.
- Eat your fruits and veggies! Fruits and veggies are a great way to get full on small portions. You should avoid canned or jarred fruits and veggies, because they often contain added sugars and salts. Go for fresh or frozen fruits and veggies instead!
- Don’t skip breakfast! Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast helps kick start your metabolism, which helps your body burn calories.
Want more tips on maintaining a healthy weight?
We all know the elements of healthy eating: get enough proteins, plenty of fresh vegetables, not too much sugars and fat. But we don’t always follow those rules. Where’s the line between healthy eating, unhealthy eating and straight-up eating disorders?
A healthy diet can help you maintain a proper body weight. Experts say that a healthy diet should:
- Emphasize fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products
- Include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts
- Be low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt and added sugars
- Stay within your daily calorie needs
We’re all allowed a pass now and again to indulge in our favorite snacks, cakes or treats. But constant overeating, or undereating, is a problem.
Anorexia: Teens with anorexia are often extremely strict about which foods they eat, how much they eat, or they may even avoid eating altogether. Even when they’re abnormally thin, teens with anorexia often still consider themselves fat. Signs of anorexia may include obsessively counting calories or grams of fat; denied feelings of hunger; rapid or excessive weight loss; feeling cold, tired or weak; or other symptoms.
Bulimia: Bulimia nervosa is often characterized by a ‘binge and purge’ cycle, where the teen eats normally or overeats, then later purges by vomiting, using laxatives, fasting or engaging in excessive exercise. Signs of bulimia may include eating large amounts of food with no apparent change in weight; excessive exercise or fasting; frequent trips to the bathroom after meals; inappropriate use of laxatives; weakness or fatigue; or other symptoms.
Binge-Eating: Teens who indulge in binge-eating behaviors go through bouts of uncontrollable excessive eating, later followed by feelings of shame or guilt. Teens who binge eat are typically overweight, and signs of binge-eating include eating rapidly, eating in secret or when stressed, experimentation with different diets, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease or other symptoms.
Who Should I Talk To?
If you’re concerned about your eating habits, we recommend you reach out to a Teen Health educator. You can text us confidentially at (478) 796-5359 and we’ll get back to you ASAP. Or call either of the Teen Health Center locations. We can help you identify an eating disorder or simply provide tips for continued healthy eating. Reach out today, we’re here ready to help!
Regular exercise and good eating habits are major keys to reaching or staying at a healthy weight. We often think that exercise and good eating habits require a lot of effort and planning; but that’s not true! The best way to work them into your life is by making small changes that gradually become part of your routine.
60 Minutes of Movement
You should get 60 minutes or more of physical activity a day. Note the word “activity”: it doesn’t have to mean doing complicated exercises or hitting the gym every day. The key is to get your body moving for at least an hour a day.
Eat Well … Don’t Diet!
One reason diets don’t work is because they make you think of foods as “good” or “bad,” when the truth is everything is OK in moderation. Diets also encourage people to “give up” certain foods, which can make you feel deprived. In fact, diets often deplete our bodies of important nutrients!
The best way to stay at a healthy weight (or lose weight if you need to) is to make healthy food choices daily. You should eat a variety of foods. There’s nothing wrong with the occasional treat. And remember: Abs are made in the kitchen!
Healthy Eating and Exercise Tips
Ready to get moving? Use these tips to stay healthy and active. It’s OK to fail, just remember to pick yourself up and keep going!
- Start today.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Walk or bike when you’re traveling to nearby places.
- When you do drive, park farther away from the building.
- Limit your screen time to no more than 2 hours a day
- Try playing interactive games that get you moving.
- Figure out what type of exercise interests you.
- Alternate the kinds of activities you do so they always feel fresh.
- Drink more water.
- Eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables a day.
- Make healthier fast-food choices or avoid fast-food places whenever you can.
- Keep healthy foods on hand.
- Eat only when you’re hungry.
- Eat a healthy breakfast every day.
- Use fitness apps to help you stay on track.
Need more information? Check out these resources on staying active and healthy: