Maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce your risk of serious health conditions. To stay at a healthy weight, you need to balance the calories you consume with the calories you use.
Try these nine wellness tips to maintain a healthy weight. Starting with one change at a time and slowly adding another can help you stick to your goals.
1. Eat a Balanced Diet
Getting the right nutrients each day is important for keeping your body healthy and feeling energized. A balanced diet includes foods from all five food groups and avoids empty calories like sugar, salt and unhealthy fats.
Eating a well-balanced diet means eating a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean proteins and healthy fats (such as chia seeds, flax seed, avocado or olive oil) every day in the recommended amounts. It also includes limited intake of highly processed, or ultra-processed foods that are removed from their original form and added with extra ingredients like sugar, salt or saturated fats.
A healthy diet should also limit how many calories you eat daily and help prevent weight gain, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
3. Stop Eating When You’re Full
If you are still hungry even after finishing your meal, it is time to eat less. Eating beyond the point of satiety can lead to overeating and weight gain.
Consider that your hunger may not be due to food, but could also be caused by stress, emotions or boredom. These are not good reasons to eat and can often lead to unhealthy choices.
Practice tuning into your hunger cues by rating your hunger on a scale of one to ten before each meal. A score of one means you are so hungry that it makes you feel dizzy and sick, while a score of ten suggests your stomach is stuffed to the brim. Eat when you reach a score of four or five. This will help you learn how to stop eating when you are comfortably full.
4. Stay Hydrated
Water is essential for regulating hunger, supporting healthy hormones and improving sleep quality. It also promotes metabolism by supporting cellular energy production and the breakdown of fats and sugars.
Most adults are advised to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. However, it is important to keep in mind that all beverages count toward your daily fluid intake, including fruit juice and low-calorie, unsweetened beverages like tea and coffee.
Avoid consuming too many beverages with added sugar or calories, such as soda, sugar-sweetened fruit juices and smoothies, which can add hundreds of extra calories to your diet. Try infused waters with fresh mint, sliced cucumbers and lemon wedges to make your water more enjoyable. You can also use a beverage with electrolytes to replenish the loss of minerals and vitamins during exercise.
5. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Getting enough sleep is important for your health, from boosting your immune system to improving memory and learning. But did you know that it can also help you maintain a healthy weight? Sleep helps regulate the body’s metabolism and weight-regulating hormones. In fact, people who don’t get enough sleep tend to eat more calories than they need because their bodies aren’t processing food properly. To help yourself get a better night’s sleep, avoid eating or drinking anything that has a lot of calories in the hour before bed, and try to go to sleep at a consistent time each night.