Chapter 4: Best Ways to Lose Weight

I blame sweet tea for the high rates of obesity in the South. Just kidding. To be honest, there are a lot of factors that go into obesity beyond diet and exercise. You might ask, “If that is true, then why do we care so much about dieting and exercising? Why don’t we focus on the other issues?” The truth is that many of the other factors are still being explored and their roles are uncertain. Diet and exercise are things that we can control. Most of us can decide to eat an apple for a snack or go for a walk. The reasons we don’t depends on the person. Perhaps we’re too comfortable on the couch or we had a stressful day. Despite this, we must overcome our own selves to live healthier, happier lives.

Think of all of the times in the last week that you ate a high fat snack? What could you have eaten instead?

As of 2013, the American Heart Association began treating obesity as a disease. This is because obesity increases the risk of getting heart disease and stroke, the nation’s number 1 and number 5 killers. By losing weight, it is possible to decrease your chances of getting heart disease and stroke.

There are a lot of diets out there claiming that they will help you lose weight, but the truth is the diet you choose isn’t as important as following these three rules.

  1. Eat fewer calories that your body needs
  2. Exercise more
  3. Change unhealthy behaviors like smoking and drinking alcohol

If we eat the bare minimum amount of calories that our bodies need to function, then we stay at the same weight. If we eat more calories than we need, then we gain weight. And if we eat less calories than we need, then we lose weight. So to lose weight you have to eat less calories or you have to burn more calories. Sounds simple enough, right? If you choose to cut calories, start by reducing the amount of calories you you need to eat by  500, to slowly lose weight. DO NOT TRY TO LOSE MORE THAN 2 POUNDS PER WEEK. Any more weight loss than this can be unsafe and unhealthy. You may lose water, muscle, and protein. If you find yourself losing too much weight, increase your calories. And please don’t weigh yourself daily, weekly measurements are better indicators of your weight and will stress you out a lot less.

If you want to know the exact amount of calories you need to eat, check out this link. Then click on the “Body Weight Planner.” This will bring you to a calorie calculator by the National Institute of Health. It’s very easy to use. Make sure you plug realistic goals into the calculator though.

You might be wondering how you would survive if you ate less calories a day than your body needs. Your body turns the fat it stores into energy for your body. You might feel a little hungry at first, but the hunger will stop when the fat is turned into energy. Remember, even though this sounds simple. These are the best ways to lose weight.

Let’s move on to Chapter 5: Mediterranean Diet!

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