Obesity refers to an accumulation of body fat to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health, leading to reduced life expectancy and/or increased health problems. Obesity increases the likelihood of various diseases such as heart disease, diabetes mellitus type 2, respiratory problems, sleep apnea and osteoarthritis, among others. It has been associated with numerous chronic diseases, including hypertension, coronary artery disease, stroke, cancers (endometrial, breast and colon), polycystic ovary syndrome and gallstones.
1) Have patience
This might not be an easy or quick process, but it’s worth it! A lot of people assume that because you’re at a higher weight, eating healthier foods is all you need to do. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. You’ll need more than just eating healthy, exercising and being mindful of your eating habits in order to break this cycle. Be patient with yourself and trust that one day at a time will lead you closer to your goal weight.
2) Don’t be too hard on yourself
Don’t be too hard on yourself – we all get a little out of shape at times. Try these steps to bounce back:
- Move more: If you’re working on a computer, get up and walk around every hour. Park your car farther away from work or the store. Use stairs instead of an elevator. Walk around while you’re talking on the phone.
3) Create a list of rewards
Rewards are great when they are simple and practical. Here are some of the rewards that have worked for me:
-If I eat fruit, I allow myself a bag of chips. -If I go an entire day without eating any fast food, I reward myself with a trip to my favorite burger place. -When my weight loss slows down and goes back up a few pounds, I give myself $100 worth of free clothes from my favorite clothing store.
4) Celebrate your progress, no matter how small
It can be difficult not to get discouraged when we look at our successes or lack thereof. Often times, the easiest thing to do is step away and focus on something else, but this comes at a cost. We start feeling helpless because we’re no longer addressing the issue head-on. One way that I combat this hopelessness is by taking a moment every day to celebrate my successes- no matter how small they are.
5) Avoid social pressure
If you struggle with your weight, it can be hard not to compare yourself to those around you. At the end of the day, it’s really what you think about yourself that matters most. It’s all about perspective. What do you think when people try to make negative comments? For example, let’s say someone who is thin points out that somebody else is overweight and should lose weight, or maybe a thin person chides another for ordering a hamburger at lunchtime.
6) Look up to role models in the same position as you are in now
Caitlyn Jenner is one example of someone who has struggled with obesity and gone on to be a successful businesswoman. Empowering role models can help you understand that it’s okay if you’re struggling right now, but you can still overcome these challenges. If you don’t know any empathetic people in your life, the next best thing is looking at those who are successful in your chosen field and seeing what they did differently than yourself. It can show you how much determination and hard work go into success.
7) Figure out what you love doing
Love eating, but can’t lose weight? There are a few things you can do! For one, try joining a running club or gym. One study found that people who exercised for 60 minutes on 4 days of the week lost twice as much weight and were more likely to keep it off than those who didn’t work out at all. Another way to help is by setting short-term goals like getting one good night’s sleep or cooking a healthy meal.
8) Keep everything around you positive
Negative talk only makes matters worse, so try your best to be positive and happy. The more you bring about a negative mindset, the more negativity you’ll attract into your life. If this is hard for you, keep reminders around of how much progress you’ve made. Plus, don’t beat yourself up when things don’t go as planned or work out exactly how you wanted them to–give yourself a break from time-to-time. After all, these journeys can be long and difficult!
9) Workout doesn’t always mean gym workouts (do activities instead!)
Working out is a great way to tone muscles and shed some pounds. However, not everyone enjoys the gym. There are plenty of other ways to keep your body moving without it. Park further away from work and walk instead of driving; take stairs rather than an elevator; do jumping jacks or squats while watching TV. And if you’re in need of additional motivation to get up off the couch, simply picture how you’ll feel when you lose those extra 20 pounds!
10) Take it one day at a time
Fighting obesity can be a long and tough battle, but it’s a battle worth fighting. Everyday that you make the right choice is one day closer to victory. Even if your weight doesn’t change much today, be proud of yourself for giving in the right direction. One day at a time!