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In the U.S., 33 percent of adults and 17 percent of children are obese. Being overweight can lead to heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol and blood pressure and cancer. Weight loss can be difficult, but in the end, it comes down to burning more calories than you take in; you must burn 3,500 calories to lose one pound. Weight loss is best achieved through a combination of a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Eat a balanced diet. Eating a diet rich in lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats, such as olive oil and avocados, will help you maintain proper weight. Eating healthy foods helps provide your body with the nutrients it needs to function properly; it will also help keep you full and energized. Drink plenty of water. Avoid foods that consist of empty calories, such as those made with white sugar or flour, as well as fast foods and alcohol. It is important not to eat more calories than your body needs; you can determine an appropriate calorie intake by consulting a nutritionist or doctor. You can also estimate the number by using an online calorie calculator.
Exercise regularly. Participate in moderate aerobic activity most days of the week for about 30 minutes. Find an activity you enjoy, such as running or biking, which will help you stick with it. Incorporate strength training into your routine. Activities such as housework, walking the dog and taking the stairs instead of the elevator count toward overall calorie burn. Lifting weights will increase your muscle mass and boost boost your metabolism. Your body will require more energy to function, resulting in an increase in calorie burn all day and night, even if you are not working out.
Manage your emotions. Stress, boredom and emotional problems can lead to overeating or eating unhealthy foods, such as sweets and fast food. Find healthy ways to deal with your emotions, such as writing in a journal, yoga or talking to a friend. Avoid mindless eating while watching television. Spend time with friends and family members who are encouraging and supportive of your goals. If you miss a workout or splurge on a treat, forgive yourself and focus on getting back on track.
Be patient. Weight loss, if done properly, takes time. If you are consistent with your diet and exercise programs, weight loss will happen and you will be more likely to keep the weight off long term. Do not focus on the scale; the body is made up mostly of water, so daily fluctuations in weight are normal. Aim to lose about 1 to 2 lbs. a week. If you lose more than that, is a sign that you are losing water weight or muscle rather than fat.