January is over, which means for most of us those well-intentioned resolutions are out the window and we are back to our ever-prevailing habits. But at the same time, healthy exercise habits and weight loss are still top-of-mind and highly desired goals. And not just for us – universities and employers are also starting to demand to know the weight and fitness routines of their students and employees. While this may not be the best way to entice people to lose weight, the reality is that more than one-third of the adult US population is considered obese, which costs our healthcare system billions and billions of dollars each year.
That said, nobody wants to be overweight and more than likely it’s not for lack of trying to shed those pounds. But a multi-million dollar weight-loss industry has so many of us fooled into thinking quick fixes, manufactured ready-to-eat meals, and a magic pill are the answer. When in reality, the solution is so much simpler and healthier – albeit possibly more challenging to actually execute.
It’s all explained in the infographic below from Lifehack, which advocates for a lifestyle change integrating diet, exercise, social supports, and healthy sleep patterns. Research shows that frequent monitoring, nutrition-packed food choices, and continued exercise helped people keep the weight off for 5+ years. For those who simply rely on a diet, 95% regain the weight in less than 5 years. The infographic goes into great detail about ways to support a lifestyle change, better ways to track healthy habits (e.g. get rid of that scale), and ratings for specific weight loss programs, as well as how to spot a weight loss scam.
If you are one of the millions of American lamenting the weight you put on over the holidays, or committing – one more time! – to a healthier new year, it's worth reading this in detail and then doing your own research, or even talking to your doctor. Lifestyle changes are infinitely harder than a quick fix – but they are much more meaningful, last longer, and create healthy habits that will serve you better in the long-run.
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