According to the American Heart Association, losing as little as five to ten pounds in overweight people may help lower blood pressure. Research clearly supports this link. With extra weight, your body has to work harder to pump blood, which can damage blood vessels and harden the arteries. “Being obese also increases the body’s demand for oxygen and increases blood volume,” says Ali Webster, PhD, RD, associate director of nutrition communications for the International Food Information Council Foundation. Try these 42 fast, easy tips to lose weight.
A great way of getting around this problem is to try and make at least one social activity between you and your friends revolve around fitness. So whether that's building up a tennis league within your group, going for a long country walk instead of being sat down the pub or joining a weekly fitness class together, you will be able to see your mates as well as keep your weight loss on track.
Are you considering a visit to a weight loss resort? Many smart dieters begin their journey away from home to get a clean break from the habits and lifestyle practices that led to weight gain in the first place. It's a smart approach if you can afford the luxury, but a visit to a health spa is not cheap, so it's smart to do your homework before you decide where to go.
A healthy rate of weight loss is typically anywhere from ½ to 2 pounds per week, she says. But try not to get too caught up in these weekly numbers. Instead, focus on consistency when it comes to eating well and working out. “The best thing to do is to slowly change your habits and build sustainable, healthy eating patterns over time,” says Rumsey.
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If you eat a carbohydrate-rich meal (lots of pasta, rice, bread, or French fries, for example), your body releases insulin to help with the influx of all this glucose into your blood. As well as regulating blood sugar levels, insulin does two things: It prevents your fat cells from releasing fat for the body to burn as fuel (because its priority is to burn off the glucose) and it creates more fat cells for storing everything that your body can’t burn off. The result is that you gain weight and your body now requires more fuel to burn, so you eat more. Since insulin only burns carbohydrates, you crave carbs and so begins a vicious cycle of consuming carbs and gaining weight. To lose weight, the reasoning goes, you need to break this cycle by reducing carbs.
You may think hand sanitizer will zap germs and prevent you from getting sick, but it could also be making you fat. The germ-killing substance contains triclosan, which researchers have found to be an “obesogen,” meaning it could cause weight gain by disrupting your body’s hormones. A study published in the journal PLOS One found that people who had detectable levels of triclosan in their bodies were associated with a 0.9-point increase in their BMIs. Word to the wise for germaphobes looking to lose weight: Rely on good ol’ soap and water instead.
Still, some people might benefit from more structure when it comes to meal planning. “Sometimes a structured diet is easier for people to manage in their busy lives, because they don’t have to think about what foods they should eat,” says Tamara Melton, M.S., R.D.N., L.D., nutrition communications and wellness consultant, and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson. “They can also help to get someone used to a proper portion size of meals.” So newbies to healthy eating might consider starting on a structured weight-loss meal plan and then adapting it as they get more comfortable with new eating habits. But again, if you have or are in recovery from an eating disorder, this might not be the best choice for you—focusing so much on numbers can take a lot of people to a dark place that is definitely not healthy.