By: Dr. Scott Perryman
Obesity is where an individual is overweight, possessing an unhealthy amount of fat, often creating various health problems and concerns. In the United States alone, 42.4% of the population is classified as obese. Not only is this dangerous for the individual, but this increases healthcare costs and medical expenses as a nation.
Living with obesity is tiresome, you’re carrying around extra weight constantly, a weight you can’t put down. However, the added weight is often only the beginning of a plethora of other problems. Being overweight increases the likelihood of you experiencing one or more health conditions, such as diabetes, a stroke, heart disease, and anxiety and depression.
If you’re currently classified as obese or overweight, finding the energy to start working out can be difficult. However, it’s not impossible. This article will provide you with actionable tips to find the energy to fight obesity – a lifestyle change in the right direction – a healthy one, too.
Begin by eating the right foods
One of the leading causes of obesity is not a lack of physical activity. Instead, it’s an overindulgence in calorific foods. Eating more calories than you burn per day equates to weight-gain, whereas eating fewer calories leads to weight-loss.
Cutting out these foods high in calories may be difficult, especially if they contain sugar (this can become somewhat addictive). Nonetheless, begin eliminating fatty foods for healthier options, such as replacing snacks with fruit, eating fries once a week instead of three times, and choosing the fat-free milkshake over the full-fat one.
All-around us there are these simple food choices we can make, all accumulating into a healthier lifestyle. You can’t out-train a bad diet – diet is the heart of weight-loss and weight-gain; get this under control, and the pounds will fly off.
Plan your meals ahead of time
A key driving force behind eating “bad” food is a lack of time to prepare a healthy, well-balanced meal. Planning your meals ahead of time removes this problem, allowing you to eat healthier, and with less effort in the preparation phase.
Many people bulk cook meals on a given day of the week, refrigerating or freezing these for the following week ahead. Don’t worry, you can add variety, too, perhaps making vegan chili for a handful of days, a chicken dish, and then a hearty stew.
If you struggle to come up with recipe ideas, you can find hundreds of these online – it’s so easy to get started!
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep
Often, those who are obese complain that they don’t have the required energy to hit the gym, go for a run, or workout. To ensure you have enough energy to shed the pounds, it’s essential to follow a well-balanced diet, however, the backbone is getting enough sleep each night.
As a general rule of thumb, you should aim for between eight and ten hours of shut-eye each night. If you nap through the day, limit these to 30-minutes. The more sleep you get, the more active you can be – transforming your weight-loss journey. Oh, and you’ll be getting more sleep, it’s a win, win.
Begin exercising to increase energy and lose weight
Believe it or not, regular physical activity increases energy levels. It may not seem this way at first, but this does improve over time, so long as you’re not working out to exhaustion each session.
We’re not talking about a grueling ninety-minute weight session either. To start, it can be as simple as a fifteen-minute walk each day, slowly building this up over-time. Once you’ve lost a little bit of weight or hit a plateau, you can engage in other forms of physical activity with your newly found energy levels.
You should aim for 2.5 hours of exercise per week, however, you decide to split this. For example, you could work out five days a week 30-minutes a time, or do two 75-minute sessions and a twenty-minute walk. This is a personal preference, so don’t feel pressured to workout each and every day. (Working out every day is actually bad for you, and will slow down your weight loss journey.)
Talk about it
There’s no better step than talking about your obesity. Not only will talking to someone help support you mentally, but it will hold you further accountable to your actions. For example, if you’re verbal with your goals, you’re more likely to stick to these (try discussing with a friend).
For this reason, many people hire personal trainers, or choose to workout with a friend. By all means do this if you choose, however, you can also workout alone if you prefer!
If you don’t have anyone to talk to or don’t feel comfortable talking to a friend, you can speak to a doctor or medical professional. Not only can they provide you with support, but they can also equip you with further advice, making your weight-loss journey a breeze.
Reduce your alcohol intake
Although alcohol may help you fall asleep quicker, this reduces the quality of your sleep, more specifically what is known as “deep sleep.” Without enough deep sleep, you are unable to rest properly, meaning you’re more tired throughout the day.
Eliminate drinking alcohol before bed and you’ll benefit from deeper sleep, allowing you to feel more rested and awake throughout the day. This doesn’t mean you can’t drink either, just limit your intake or establish a cut-off point of 7-8 pm, followed by a glass of water before bed.
Finding the energy to fight obesity can be tough, but it’s not impossible. There are many lifestyle changes you can make to support your journey, including simple changes as eating less sugary, high-calorie snacks, eating more fruit, and aiming for at least one form of exercise a day, even if this is a brisk walk.
Be patient, track your results, and be accountable to yourself – it may be a long journey, however, the health benefits are imperative. Be kind to yourself, look after your body, and your body will look after you.
Schedule a consultation with the Whole Health Weight Loss Institute to start your weight loss journey today through medical intervention, exercise, nutrition, and mindfulness.