Beyond lowering blood pressure, losing some pounds improves your overall heart health, according to research. “The results from our study demonstrate that even a moderate 5 percent weight loss in people with obesity has considerable health benefits by simultaneously improving metabolic function in multiple organ systems and decreasing other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including plasma triglyceride concentration,” Dr. Klein says. Obesity is also associated with high “bad” LDL cholesterol and low”good” HDL cholesterol, Dr. Webster says. “Each of these are risk factors for cardiovascular disease, a group of conditions that includes coronary artery disease, heart attacks, and strokes,” she says. Here are 50 more things doctors wish you knew about losing weight.
You can make alterations to this ratio depending on what foods you like, how your body responds, and your daily activity level. If you'd rather, you can change this ratio to make 30 percent of your calories from fat, 30 percent from carbs, and 40 percent from protein. Or, you can do a 20/30/50 split. The idea here is that macronutrient distribution does not follow a "one size fits all" template.
In a 2015 study in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, scientists instructed subjects to choose either a fruit salad or a chocolate cake, then eat and evaluate their snack. Those who ate the chocolate cake in the room with the mirror found it less appealing than those who didn’t have a looking glass nearby, but those who opted for the fruit salad reported no difference in taste. In other words, the presence of a mirror makes unhealthy foods less appealing. So hang one in your kitchen to discourage the consumption of cake and the like, and then use it to watch your waistline shrink each day!
Protein is also important for preserving muscle mass as you lose weight. If you cut back dramatically on calories and drop weight too fast, your muscles can suffer. Your body starts pulling from lean tissue like muscles and organs to fuel itself, and your metabolism slows to conserve energy. That’s why super restrictive diets that have you dropping weight fast aren’t healthy over the long run.
Instead of depriving yourself of all your favorite indulgences or meticulously counting calories to drop a size, simply consume at least 30 grams of fiber daily. This simple, no-fuss method fuels weight loss and improves health just as effectively as more complex diet approaches, University of Massachusetts Medical School researchers discovered. “Very few people reach the goals that are recommended,” said lead study author Yunsheng Ma, MD, PhD, adding that “Telling people to reduce this or reduce that is just too hard to do.” However, asking people to focus on eating more of a certain nutrient—rather than eliminating things from their diet–can help people reach their weight loss goals, he explains. Interested in giving the diet strategy a try? Check out these 11 Best High-Fiber Foods for Weight Loss and start slimming down!