What You Can Do Right Now to Start Tackling Obesity
Tackling obesity is about more than simply losing weight. Sure, that’s the most obvious goal, but in order to truly get healthy you must focus on an all-around wellness plan. It may sound cliche, but in order to lose 50 or 100 pounds, you have to lose a single pound first. It seems daunting right now, and you may not know where to start. Here are some things you can do right now to begin your journey to overall better health and a happier life.
Change your Mindset About Diet
You can’t diet your way to better health. You must dramatically change what you eat all the time and what you will continue to eat for the rest of your life. This is what is meant by changing your diet, not simply going on one.
What to eat is pretty straightforward. There’s no magic food. It just comes down to simple, clean, whole, unprocessed foods. Stick mostly to vegetables, fruits (not juices), fish and chicken, whole grains, and beans and nuts. This is your core. Stay away from drinking any of your calories (stick to water/unsweet tea). Lay off refined carbs, sugar, and alcohol.
As far as the question of how much to eat, it all depends on your weight, metabolism, and your daily physical expenditure. Instead of counting calories (at least at first), take some advice from Harvard Health and focus on developing healthy eating habits first.
Bring the gym to your home (without breaking the bank)
Can a person build their own home gym without spending thousands of dollars and taking up an excessive amount of space? If you’re smart about it, then absolutely. First things first: you don’t need any sort of machine. You don’t need a treadmill, elliptical, rowing machine, or a large cable-based weight bench. Your basic, streamlined home gym setup should include low-cost, low-profile workout aids like kettlebells, resistance bands (you can buy an inexpensive set for $8.99), and a Swiss ball. You can get your cardio workouts from walking, eventually jogging, and/or in-home cardio exercises. If you want to splurge a little on your home gym, you can hire a handyman to add a pull-up bar, new floor, and ceiling fan. After paying for materials, this should cost you $139 to $472 in Gainesville.
Focus on mental health
While we think of obesity as a physical disease, its root causes tend to happen in the brain. We overeat when we are stressed out. We overeat when we are depressed. We overeat when tragedy strikes, or when we are anxious. Focusing on mental health is vital to overcoming obesity. Because, once you diet and exercise your way to better physical fitness, you must maintain. And maintaining takes mental fortitude.
The foundation of solid mental health is getting enough quality sleep. Our bodies and minds are like machines, and trying to operate without sleep is like trying to run a machine without oil. Sticking to set sleep/wake schedules, cutting caffeine, and resisting the urge to take random naps can all help. Check here for more tips.
Beyond that, there are ways to train your brain to fight the negative emotions that can lead to overeating. Take a vacation. Get some fresh air. Practice meditation. Think about trying something like yoga. When you do things for your brain, your brain will work harder to help you (and your body) out.
You can’t casually fight obesity. You can’t fight it off and on. You have to make a decision to dramatically alter your entire life. It may feel overwhelming right now, but if you take the first steps like starting a balanced diet, bringing some inexpensive exercise equipment into your home, and focusing on your underlying mental health, then you will be on your way. It may take a while, but you’ll make it.
Author: Jennifer McGregor