A strenuous workout might seem like the best way to lose weight, but it isn’t right for everyone. We may have different levels of mobility, age, or numerous other factors — all of which can prevent us from intense aerobics. If you’re looking to lose weight and get in shape, ANDWHY. Media offers some tips on what you can do when a difficult workout just isn’t feasible.
Keep Your Diet Healthy
Diet affects weight more than just about anything else. A poor diet, especially as metabolisms slow, can lead to weight gain and obesity. Conversely, not eating enough of the right foods can cause energy levels to drop and metabolisms to plummet even further. Focus on limiting processed foods and consuming more wholesome, healthy ones.
When you have carbohydrates, make sure they are nutrient-dense, such as brown rice, and healthy starches, such as sweet potatoes. Choose lean or vegetable-based proteins, such as fish and beans. Aim for five servings of fresh fruit and vegetables a day for optimum health. Don’t shy away from calcium-rich foods, either; calcium is good for both bones and blood pressure.
Work on Your Gut
A good diet alone is not enough when it comes to our stomachs and weight. According to Scientific American, we also need to consider the microbes and healthy bacteria that live in our digestive systems. A healthy gut can help us maintain a healthy weight, while an unhealthy gut can actually contribute to obesity. These bacteroidetes, or specific microbes, help break down foods to be processed by the body, rather than letting food sit in the stomach and digest slowly.
One way to get your stomach back on track is to add pre- and probiotics, such as xylooligosaccharides, or XOS, to your diet — not only to help heal your gut, but to feel better. XOS is a prebiotic fiber found in multiple natural sources, such as bamboo, milk and rice, which can improve our gut microbiomes through regular intake. Digestion is key to keeping our bodies healthy, especially as we age.
Get the Right Sleep
Do you notice on days you haven’t slept well that your appetite has increased, or do you find yourself snacking on things you normally wouldn’t? That’s because loss of sleep, even over a short period of time, can increase weight. When we lack sleep, we tend to eat fattier, more sugary foods, as well as eat later on in the night. As with many aspects of life, sleeping can become difficult as we age. This is a natural part of the aging process, but can be combated through proper sleep hygiene. That means making your sleep schedule regimented.
Stick to a bed and rising time, even on days when you have no plans. Do things that specifically unwind you right before bed, such as mindfulness techniques, deep breathing, meditation, calming music, or prayer. Keep your bedroom cool and dark, use a white noise app on your phone, and avoid screens close to bedtime. Some people find that using a flexible headset for their meditation or white noise can make it easier to focus inward or drift off.
Process Stress Healthily
Stress can lead to a variety of physical conditions, and Medical News Today notes that one such complication is weight gain and obesity. This is especially true if you are experiencing stress during the nighttime, which not only leads to the creation of fat, but can also interfere with how well we sleep. Stress is, therefore, twice as important to manage in a healthy manner. There are a number of relaxation methods you can use to help you unwind at the end of the day. Self-affirmation is a way to refocus on positive aspects of your life while simultaneously practicing mindfulness.
Another way to get stress out of your system is to verbalize it. Talk with someone you love about the things that are bothering you, or consider seeing a counselor to work through tougher issues you may not feel comfortable discussing with someone close to you. Even keeping a journal can be a good way to think through the things holding you down.
There are plenty of reasons we gain weight, many of which are unrelated to exercise. How we hold onto stress, how well we sleep, and what we eat all contribute to the health of our lives. No matter your mobility level, you can get into a healthy weight range.
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