Find the Thin in You
People come in different shapes and sizes. Our shape and size changes as we age due to circumstances within and beyond our control. Genes and metabolism battle with the amount and type of food we put in our bodies and the level of activity we allow in our lives. Self-concept wars with how others conceive us, and personal choice becomes a victim of the media representation of thin people as attractive. Becoming thinner should be a goal if losing weight improves our health and makes us happier with ourselves.
Skinny hasn't always been in, and being too thin can be as bad as being overweight. Finding the weight and body shape that's perfect for your body can be a difficult task, but getting it depends on two factors: what you eat and what exercise you get.
Your body needs a combination of nutrients to run properly. Vegetables, fruit, whole grain, and legumes contain fiber that fills you up without adding too many calories. Protein in seafood, chicken, lean red meat, beans, and low-fat dairy naturally suppresses your appetite. Drinking a glass of water before eating uses space in your stomach and keeps you from mistaking hunger for thirst. Spicy food that contains curry, jalapenos, or cayenne pepper can raise metabolism so you burn more calories. Eat slowly so your body has time to signal that it's full, and stop eating when you don't feel hungry anymore. Limit the size of your food portions. Don't skip breakfast as eating breakfast starts your metabolism so your body begins burning calories. Write down everything you eat after every meal and snack.
Exercise is activity. It includes everyday activities that you do at work and at home, such as cleaning, gardening, computer entry, standing, walking, and stretching, but you won't lose weight doing the same activities you do everyday. Activity in addition to what you normally do is what burns calories. If you walk 8,000 steps a day, increase it to 12,000 steps. March in place, do jumping jacks, climb stairs, dance, ride a bike, or participate in a sport such as basketball, tennis, golf, or racquetball. Find an activity you enjoy, and do it often. Aim for an hour a day of activity. You can do it all at once or split it into 15 minute sessions throughout the day.
Keep in mind that moderately overweight people who are active and happy with their weight live just as long as thin people. Better mental and physical health more than makes up for problems caused by higher than average weight.
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