Regular physical activity is good for you. Exercise reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some cancers. It makes your bones and muscles stronger and improves your mental health and mood. Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. But healthy weight loss starts with a healthy diet.
If you want to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you eat and drink. It’s easier to cut calories from your meals than to burn off the same number of calories through exercise. Many people think that eating healthier means making big changes all at once. Research shows that small changes in what you eat can lead to slow and steady weight loss over time. Safe weight loss involves healthy food choices and eating smaller portions.
You can still eat your favorite foods as part of a healthy weight loss plan. There are ways you can limit the calories in food. For example, you can bake foods rather than frying them. And replace less healthy options with a mix of fruits, veggies, whole grains, protein foods, and low-fat dairy. Keeping a food diary can help you see both good and bad eating patterns.
Regular physical activity can help you reach your short- and long-term weight loss goals. But exercise burns fewer calories than many people think. Thirty minutes of swimming laps could burn off 350 calories. You might not be able to do 30 minutes of intense exercise every day. You could reduce the same number of calories by cutting out two 16-ounce sodas each day.
Studies show that exercising for 10 minutes three times a day gives the same benefits as 30 minutes of non-stop cardio exercise. Running, swimming laps, and jumping rope are just a few ways to build cardio exercise into your schedule. Try to find cardio exercises that you enjoy, alone or with family or friends.
If you’re exercising regularly for weight loss or to be healthier in general, you might notice you have a bigger appetite. This makes it easy to trick yourself into eating more than you need after exercising. Overeating after exercising can undo the hard work you’re doing to lose weight. Pay attention to portions when you eat after working out. Have a healthy snack before exercising to keep your appetite under control.
Adding muscle is a good way to increase the calories you burn when you're not exercising. If you want to lose weight and reduce body fat, strength training can help. Strength training two or three days a week can help you build strong muscles, which can help you burn more calories. You can lift weights, do push-ups or sit-ups, or do household or yard work that makes you lift or dig.