Regardless of your goals, you can’t have successful weight loss without good health and you need to stay healthy in order to have successful weight loss. The problem is that so many people think that skinny means healthy or that overweight automatically means unhealthy, and these preconceptions affect how we go about getting healthy and losing weight.
[Eating breakfast every day is a good way to maintain good health and lose weight.]
What you should find promising is that the things you need to lose weight are pretty much the same things you need to do to maintain good health. Keep reading to find out why health and weight loss are inextricably linked.
Obesity & Poor Health
It should come as no surprise that a high body mass index (BMI) can lead to poor health in a variety of ways, which is why physicians always recommend that losing even a small amount of weight can improve health and reduce risks of many chronic illness related to obesity.
The link between good health and weight loss has shown that the more weight obese individuals lose, the more they reduce their chances for diseases like:
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- High cholesterol
- Heart disease
Chronic diseases such as these have been linked by numerous studies to obesity and a high BMI. This information should provide the right motivation to stick to a healthy weight loss plan, when all else fails, because these illnesses can cost a lot of money and increase your risk of death.
Diet plays an important role in both health and weight loss because what you eat is directly related to how healthy you are and your ability to lose weight.
A diet that is filled with deep fried foods, sugar, simple carbohydrates and other empty calories can lead to weight gain, but it can also have a negative impact on your health. Food and drink products like soda, potato chips and cupcakes for example have no nutritional value so you aren’t getting the things you need to keep your body functional optimally for weight loss.
A diet that includes lean proteins, whole grains, fresh fruits & vegetables and low fat dairy products can help you lose weight and make sure you’re giving your body essential vitamins and minerals that it needs to protect your immune system and reduce your risk of serious illnesses.
Maintain good health for weight loss by increasing the amounts of these foods in your diet, while reducing the amount of high sugar, high calorie and high fat foods that give you very little (if any) nutritional value. To decrease the amount of junk food you consume, do the following for good health and weight loss:
- Cook more of your meals.
- Skip fast food meals.
- Clean your cupboards of junk food & go out to have a sweet treat.
- Eat breakfast every morning.
- Find low calorie alternatives.
Regular exercise has been linked to a variety of health benefits that include reduced risk of chronic illnesses, reduced risk of obesity and improved moods.
When you exercise regularly you will be better able to sleep at night, burn calories for weight loss, and reduce joint and muscle pain associated with inactivity or obesity. If you truly despise traditional exercise and you’d rather do anything other than spending an hour on a treadmill for sixty minutes 3 to 5 days each week, then you don’t have to. What you have to do is inject more overall physical activity into your daily life. Taking more frequent walks, using the stairs when possible, driving less, playing sports and taking up hobbies outside the home are all great ways to become more physically active to improve your health and weight loss efforts.
Something as mundane as gardening or cleaning your home can burn calories and get your heart pumping for good health and weight loss.
Another factor that can impact your weight loss and overall health is your lifestyle choices. Of course diet (and exercise) is part of this equation but there is a lot more to lifestyle than diet and exercise.
For example if you smoke or drink excessively, these factors can impact how healthy you are and how successful your weight loss efforts are. Smoking can make it difficult to breathe, which can make exercise difficult, but it also leads to a whole host of serious illness like cancer and emphysema.
[The way you live may be why your weight loss is so difficult.]
While moderate drinking has been shown to improve health in both men and women, excessive drinking—defined as more than 1.5 drinks a day for women and more than 2 drinks a day for men—has been known to increase our risks for many chronic illnesses. Drinking excessively can also impair your ability to lose weight because your food calories get stored as fat, while your body burns the calories from alcohol.
If you’re unsure how many drinks you have each day, follow this guide;
- 1 drink = 12 oz. beer
- 1 drink = 1.5 oz. liquor (vodka, gin, tequila etc…)
- 1 drink = 5 oz. wine
Another lifestyle choice that greatly impacts your overall health and weight loss efforts is your sleep patterns. If you consistently sleep less than 7 hours each night and you don’t often have a restful sleep, then your health and your ability to lose weight is negatively impacted. Again, the way in which you respond to not getting enough sleep (caffeinated drinks, poor food choices, skipping workouts) is what is making it difficult for you to stay healthy and reach your weight loss goals.
Monitoring Your Health & Weight Loss
If you’re not quite sure if you’re truly healthy, don’t be ashamed; many of us think we’re healthy if we don’t have the sniffles or aren’t confined to our beds for a week. The best thing for you to monitor your health, particularly if you suspect your weight loss is affected by your health, is to see your physician.
However you can also simply adopt a healthier diet and lifestyle and see if you don’t start feeling better. For many of us, the sources of our exhaustion, lack of focus or bad moods is often what we put (or don’t put) into our bodies.
When it comes to health and weight loss, the old saying has never been more spot-on: you are what you eat!
Read our review of Eat Stop Eat to find out how intermittent fasting can help you wean yourself off fatty junk food.