Get Fit – the Healthy Way – This National Healthy Weight Awareness Month

Since sweets and treats go hand-in-hand with the holiday season, it’s no surprise that National Healthy Weight Awareness Month happens in January.

Right now, people are renewing their gym memberships and sweating off those extra pieces of pie. Yet, many slack off as the month wanes. It’s important to keep that momentum up. People who maintain a healthy weight lower their risks for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, and many types of cancer.

But, how do you lose weight in a healthy way? We’ve got some tips to get you started.

 

Decide to lose weight.

This seems simple, but sometimes, the first step is the hardest. You have to make a commitment to lose weight and keep it off—ideally for the rest of your life. This often means a complete and lasting lifestyle change. Some experts even suggest writing out a contract for yourself that includes your weight loss and exercise goals.

 

Talk to your doctor.

Discuss your weight and exercise goals with your healthcare provider. Let him or her guide you toward healthy, achievable objectives that won’t overtax you. Your doctor might also want to monitor the changes in your body and any conditions you may have as you get in shape.

 

Do the math.

Weight loss results from a simple equation. You have to burn more calories than you consume. So, you need to carefully track your food intake and exercise to make sure you’re getting the right balance of nutrition and physical activity. Many people use food and exercise diaries to set specific and realistic goals and then plot their progress. Others use simple apps like MyFitnessPal or Fooducate to log their calorie intakes throughout the day.

Just make sure you balance those calories with regular exercise. Depending on your current fitness level, you may want to start slow and increase the difficulty of your routine over time.

 

Diet right.

Just because you reduce your calories doesn’t mean you have adopted a healthy diet. Make sure you consume a balance of fruits, vegetables, grains, low-fat dairy products, lean protein sources, and nuts. When in doubt, consult a nutritionist or dietician.

 

Check in with yourself.

Stop every once in a while and take stock of your progress. Are you losing weight? Are you getting stronger? Do your clothes fit any differently?

If you’re hitting your goals, reward yourself with a nonfood treat. Buy yourself something nice or set aside time for a relaxing bath. You deserve it!