Obesity has become an epidemic in the last five years. According to the World Health Organization, at least 30% of adults in the world, 18 years and above, are obese or overweight. In the USA alone, 300,000 people die every year due to obesity or obesity-related health complications. How do you avoid getting overweight and live a healthy life? In this article, I’ve come up with 20 tips on how to prevent obesity, live a better life, and age with grace.
Best Strategies For Preventing Obesity
1. Change Your Thinking And Behavior
You can fight obesity and poor eating habit by taking charge of your thinking and becoming aware of your situation. Your mind is the most powerful thing in your being. If you know how to use it rightly, you’ll be able to deal with your issues of obesity.
With your mind, you can control your obsessions with food. Also, you can make better eating decisions, eat healthily, and cultivate excellent dining behavior. Your behavior toward food is the root cause of your obesity. If you can put it under control, you’ll never be obese or overweight.
2. Set Goals
Keeping your body healthy by not overeating can be challenging for anyone. Subjecting yourself to an exercise routine is also challenging, so you need to make a change by setting goals for yourself.
Setting goals can be in any form as long as it helps you to maintain a good shape and a healthy lifestyle. It can be about your menu or a lifestyle choice. Once you have been able to achieve that goal, try and reward yourself for the effort. Pick a more stringent goal the next time and improve as you go.
3. Have A Menu And Control It
One of the most useful tips on preventing obesity is having a menu for your eating habit. Your list will be well planned with a combination of all the most important and healthy food that you can find.
Having an idea of what you’re going to eat will reduce the incidence of eating just about anything you lay your hands on. A menu will make it easier to control calorie intake, reduce unhealthy feeding, and promote good health.
4. Exercise And Stay Active
Exercise is suitable for a healthy lifestyle and happiness. Regular exercise can prevent obesity by burning excess fat and calories you’ve stored in your body. Exercise also energizes your body and promotes blood flow that keeps you active all day long.
People who engage in exercise regularly are also less likely to suffer from dilapidating cardiovascular conditions that can promote obesity and make you add weight. You don’t have to go to a gym to exercise. Just 30 minutes walking or jogging each day is enough for you.
5. Get Rid Of Sugar From Your Diet
Refined sugar is the guiltiest culprit in the obesity epidemic. Most obese people say they consume plenty of refined sugars in the form of soda, corn syrup, soft drinks, and other food items that are found on supermarket shelves.
The sugar industry, which is worth billions, has been making efforts to downplay this story and shift the blame on an inactive lifestyle, but the science is there to prove them wrong. You can learn how to prevent obesity by watching the amount of sugar you consume and reducing it to the minimum.
6. Get Rid Of Refined Wheat Flour For Now
Like refined sugar, white flour, or refined flour for making bread, pastry, and other foods is also playing a significant role in aggravating the obesity epidemic.
Flour is good as it is. However, it could quickly get spoilt and cause huge losses when stored. The flour is then sent to the factory and processed, where the nutrients are stripped off.
White flour makes people obese because it doesn’t contain the nutrients your body needs, so it is converted and stored as fat. White flour is also the leading cause of visceral fat, which is the most stubborn fat in the body stored in the abdomen.
7. Eat Healthy Fat To Prevent Obesity
To fight against the effect of excess sugar and refined wheat flour, you need to consume more healthy fats. These are foods high in unsaturated fat that are good for your heart and blood flow.
Healthy fats also offer a good source of clean energy in the form of ketones, which many organs in your body love to use, especially your brain.
Some of the best sources for healthy fats are; avocado, extra virgin olive oil, nuts, fatty fish, chia seed, and whole eggs. Incorporating these items in your food will not only be useful in preventing obesity but a great way to improve your meal and enjoy a better taste.
8. Eat Fruits And Vegetables For Fiber
Adding more fruits and vegetables to your food will help you lose weight and avoid obesity in so many ways. Fruits and vegetables contain complex sugars, which are not dangerous for the body.
They also provide plenty of minerals, vitamins, and other micronutrients that will make you feel better and healthier.
When you regularly consume fruits and vegetables, it will make you eat less junk food because you’re quickly filled. Fruits contain plenty of fiber that can fight obesity and other unfavorable health issues.
9. Eat Nuts For Fiber And Magnesium
Nuts are good for obesity the same way fruits and vegetables are. They contain a minimal amount of sugars or carbs. Also, nuts are loaded with unsaturated fat that burns calories and improves your heart health.
Nuts are high in protein that helps in the fight against the build of fat in your body. There is also the magnesium content in certain nuts like cashew.
Magnesium is responsible for regulating fat metabolism in your body. You’re going to gain a lot while eating nuts or adding them to your meal.
10. Eat At A Family Dinner Table
Another good tip on how to prevent obesity is eating at a family dinner table. When you eat at the table, you tend to mind what you consume because other people are there to watch you.
Most family meal tables are filled with food that has been carefully measured for its calorie content, especially if children are there. Eating along is unfortunate for your fight against obesity.
11. Eat Slowly And Only When Hungry
Try to eat slowly so you can improve your battle against the scourge of obesity. Eating moderately has many benefits, including the proper breaking down of food ingredients so your body can absorb all the most essential nutrients you need to grow.
Also, form the habit of eating only when you’re hungry. Eating all the time will keep your digestive system busy and weak so that you’re unable to burn fat the way you should.
12. Adequate Sleep And Rest Is Key
Research shows a clear link between not getting enough sleep and obesity. Lack of sleep leads to many poor diet habits, including eating late at night and eating in front of the TV, both of which can make you add weight very fast.
To take charge of your health and reduce the instance of obesity, you have to get enough sleep at night. You can do this by; exercising in the morning, avoiding caffeine, avoiding afternoon naps, and making your bedroom comfortable.
13. Always Have A Shopping List
Your poor eating habit starts with your grocery shopping list. An exception to this is people who eat out. A useful tip on preventing obesity is to plan your shopping and have a list before going to the market. You’ll know everything on the list, and it will restrict you from buying what you don’t need.
Not having a shopping list can be devastating, especially when you’re watching your size. It will make you lose focus, and before you know it, you’re already buying junk food.
14. Get More Protein And Less Carb
Replacing carbs with protein in your diet is suitable for preventing obesity. Protein is needed for cell formation, metabolism, and other activities that promote growth and good health.
Egg protein, whey, beans, and soy can help in fighting obesity and keeping you fit. Eating protein promotes muscle growth, which helps to increase physical activities and prevents obesity.
15. Get Enough Calcium
You also need to load up on calcium to prevent obesity. Calcium plays a vital role in the human body, including building bones and muscles and keeping them healthy for an active lifestyle. Calcium also promotes thermogenesis, which is responsible for activating the metabolism in your body.
People who consume more calcium are likely to lose belly fat more. Belly fat causes inflammation and losing it will do a lot of good for your fight against obesity.
16. Get Enough Vitamin D From Sunlight
You need vitamin D for calcium absorption so you can use the calcium to burn fat. Vitamin D also plays a crucial role in helping your body manage metabolic processes that ensure proper health and happiness.
Vitamin D also performs a notable role in bone health and muscle strength. When you have healthy bones, you’re more active and mobile, helping you burn fat and improve your physical appearance.
Vitamin D also reduces cortisol, which is a hormone that controls stress in your body. Less stress means you’re going to have nights of better sleep and an improved mood that prevents obesity.
17. Sign Up For Weight Training
Cardio exercise is perfect for weight loss. Thirty minutes of walk every morning is just enough as long as you don’t overload afterward. However, you can gain even more weight loss and become less obese by signing up for weight training.
Weight training helps you lose weight by targeting specific muscle groups in your body to burn fat. It also promotes good heart health, increases blood flow, and helps you get more energy for daily activities.
Weight training will help you improve muscle, put you in shape for enhanced self-esteem, and promote positive moods and vibes, which you need to place your mind at ease.
18. Reduce Stress And Anxiety
Stress can lead to poor food choices that can cause weight gain and obesity. Most people get stressed up in their lives. The main reason is that they have to deal with work, family, and the burdens put upon them by society.
You can learn how to prevent obesity by reducing stress and anxiety, thereby putting yourself in the right mindset to take care of your health.
There are many ways to reduce stress and anxiety in your life. Listening to music works for a lot of people, and it can work for you as well. You should also engage more in exercising.
Also, finding and eliminating stressors in your life, and building friendships and trust with people. Adequate sleep can also help improve your stress level and make you less anxious and agitated.
19. Seek Help From Health Professionals
While all of this advice on how to prevent obesity is good, you will need to see a professional if you feel things are getting worse. Obesity is a severe condition that should never be taken for granted because it kills and can be very devastating for many people.
Seeking professional medical advice is advisable because you will be examined, and the real reason you’re getting obese will be detected.
Also, the doctor may ask you to come for regular checks to measure your progress. Having someone checking on you will force you to live a better and healthier life so you can get well.
20. Find Happiness
Many people report that they tend to eat junk food more when they’re sad. You can call it sadness, depression, or whatever, as long as you’re not happy with yourself, so much can go wrong.
You can prevent obesity by finding happiness and keeping yourself cheerful at all times. Breathing deeply, eating well, smiling at all times, giving compliments, and being grateful; are ways you can find happiness and become better in your life.
Happiness doesn’t only prevent overeating and poor table habit; it also boosts your mood, promote good mental health, and make you sleep better so you can live a healthy lifestyle.
Statistics on Obesity: World Health Organisation (WHO)
- Worldwide obesity has almost tripled since 1975.
- In 2016 alone, over 1.9 billion adults, were overweight. Of these over 650 million were obese.
- 39% of adults were overweight in 2016, and 13% were obese.
- Most of the world’s population live in countries where overweight and obesity kill more people than underweight.
- 38 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in 2019.
- Over 340 million children and adolescents aged 5-19 were overweight or obese in 2016.
- Obesity is preventable.
Photos by Trang Doan and Nathan Cowley from Pexels