How to Prevent Obesity: Tips for Healthy Living at All Ages
One of the most common health conditions in the United States and around the globe is obesity. The World Health Organization defines the medical term “obesity” as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may present a risk to one’s health. With excess weight, there comes an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, sleep disorders, and other negative impacts on your health.
To help circumvent potential health problems caused by obesity and aid any who may need it, today we’re taking a look at how to prevent obesity. These tips for healthy living at all ages may help with how to prevent obesity at any stage in life or assist you on a healthy living journey.
Learning How to Prevent Obesity
Having a larger amount of excess weight could negatively impact your overall well being. Health problems caused by obesity account for billions of dollars in healthcare costs each year and, more importantly, may have a profound effect on your quality of life. According to the CDC, adult obesity prevalence in the United States is now hovering around an average of 42.4% of all persons over the age of 18.
Carrying excess weight isn’t irreversible, though! If you are considered medically obese (which is defined as a BMI of 30 and over) consult your doctor to come up with a plan to potentially avoid potential negative health problems caused by obesity.
In the meantime, a few things you can try when learning how to prevent obesity include these main tips for healthy living at all ages:
- Adopt a healthier diet with good fats, fruits, vegetables, and fewer processed foods
- Exercise for weight loss and better overall health
- Find ways to manage stress levels
- Practice better sleeping habits for more restful sleep
Tips for Healthy Diet and Weight Loss for Fighting Obesity
Probably the most common place to begin when learning how to prevent obesity is starting a healthy diet plan. Simple changes to your diet may help get your nutrition back in balance, helping you lose excess weight while fighting obesity or maintain a healthy weight to prevent it.
A few simple tips and habits for how to prevent obesity with a healthy diet include:
- Eating the right amount of times each day
- Reducing sugar and avoiding processed foods
- Drink more water and avoid soft drinks
How Many Times Are You Supposed to Eat a Day?
Knowing how many times to eat as part of how to prevent obesity can be a little tricky because there are conflicting statements coming from various studies. Some experts maintain that having five or six small meals (the largest full meal early in the day with small, healthy snacks making up two other meals per day) per day is the best way of fighting obesity as it may help satiate perceived hunger. That said, other studies have shown that there is no measurable increase in fat oxidation and metabolism by eating more small meals each day and that it may, in fact, cause individuals to struggle more with the desire to eat.
What are you supposed to do, then? Learning how to prevent obesity or start a healthy diet for weight loss to get back to a healthier zone is also about figuring out what works best for you. You can consult a doctor or nutritionist for professional advice on what may work best for your body.
Choosing the Right Foods to Eat
Continuing the healthy diet part of how to prevent obesity, we’re looking at the importance of choosing the right foods to eat for weight loss or weight maintenance. Avoiding processed foods, sugars, have been shown to potentially avoid weight gain more than those who ate processed foods like white bread or packaged deli meats.
Benefits of Drinking Water for How to Prevent Obesity
Choosing the right foods to eat also relies on avoiding the wrong things to drink. When it comes to avoiding health problems caused by obesity, the best choice is always to drink water. Experts say that a water consumption guideline for most people is to drink ounces of water equal to half the number of pounds you weigh each day. In addition to fighting obesity, drinking enough water is critical for aiding how the body heals itself, as well.
Fighting Obesity With Exercise
Another easy lifestyle adjustment for learning how to prevent obesity is fighting obesity with exercise and physical activity. Most experts have agreed that an optimal minimum amount of physical activity for the average adult is 150 minutes each week. This is further broken down into at least 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week.
If you’re just starting out and looking for methods on how to prevent obesity or safely shed some excess weight to get back into a healthier zone, exercise may feel a little daunting. Where to begin? First, before you do any kind of intense physical activity, be sure to stretch. Active stretches increase mobility and flexibility of your muscles, which may help prevent injury or help you recover from a sports injury more quickly in the event one occurs.
Going for a brisk walk has been associated in some studies with increased likelihood of a lower weight and lower BMI. For more low-impact exercises, you might consider tai chi or yoga until you’re ready for more rigorous activity.
There are a number of exercises you can do as part of your daily fitness routine from the comfort of your living room! You don’t need a fancy gym setup to get a good workout. There are full body workout exercises you can even do from a recliner or zero gravity chair if you have one.
Whether you’re looking to get to a healthier weight level or making a plan for how to prevent obesity, be sure you’ve got a post workout recovery routine in place after physical activity. After putting your body through any exercises, you need to take care of your muscles and keep them loose during a cool down. This can help prevent muscle tightness or experiences like Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), which could be a setback on your journey.
Preventing Weight Gain Due to Stress
You may not have thought about it, but stress can play a pivotal factor in weight gain. Part of learning how to prevent obesity is finding ways to manage stress levels using relaxation tips.
When your stress levels elevate, cortisol levels have increased within your body. Studies have shown a potential link between cortisol responsiveness and weight gain. This means that finding effective ways to manage stress levels quickly and efficiently may be ideal for preventing unwanted weight gain or fighting obesity.
In addition to cortisol responsiveness, when we’re stressed, we’re more likely to make poor dietary choices which can result in increased calories, sugars, refined carbohydrates, and other foods we should be minimizing.
Our favorite method for how to prevent obesity with stress management is by learning how to meditate at home. You can take a few minutes a day to sit quietly and center your mind and body. This focus may help lower stress levels, alleviate pain, elevate your mood, and even help your body heal more quickly.
You can meditate from anywhere. Meditating in a zero gravity chair or recliner lets you sit back, relax, and calm your mind and body. Prefer to lie in bed to relax and refocus? Meditating in bed is perfectly fine, too! There’s truly no wrong way to meditate and many types of meditation to choose from. You’re sure to find one that works well for you.
Connecting Lack of Sleep and Weight Gain
The importance of a good night’s sleep can’t be overstated. Improving sleep quality can help treat sleep apnea or other sleep complications, help prevent migraines naturally, and provides a host of other benefits. Your body even enhances how you heal while you sleep!
While you might have thought learning how to prevent obesity would be all about eating right and staying active, getting enough sleep plays a role, too. The CDC recommends the average adult get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night for optimal health. Studies have also shown a direct connection between the amount (and quality) of sleep you get with the function of your neuroendocrine and appetite regulation systems.
If you’re finding yourself dragging in the middle of the day here and there, the health benefits of napping may contribute to improving sleep quality, as well. Be sure not to sleep for more than 20 to 30 minutes during an adult nap, however, as any more can throw off your natural circadian rhythm and lead to further sleep issues at night.
Bonus Tip: Start a relaxing night time routine each evening to boost your overall sleep quality and wake up ready to take on the day ahead!
We hope this guide on how to prevent obesity has provided useful tips for healthy living at all ages. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is all about finding balance. Weight management, stress levels, being active, and getting enough sleep all come together to help keep you healthy. Seeking a doctor or nutritionist is the first place to start when learning how to prevent obesity and they will be able to ensure your plan is safe for you. Once you’ve got their approval, try to balance these four factors and see how much of a difference it makes in your life!
Want to learn more on the health benefits of zero gravity chairs and how they may enhance many different lifestyles? Check out these resources for more information: