Weight gain and loss may seem straightforward, but there are a complex set of interactions between genetics, behaviour, and environment that contribute to these processes.
Understanding the principles behind weight gain and loss is essential for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.
In the case of weight gain, more calories are taken in from food and drink than the body can get rid of. On the other hand, weight loss is the result of burning more calories than are consumed. While this may seem simple, there are many factors- like genetics and hormones that can make weight loss and gain difficult to manage. I’ll discuss this in detail later!
One way to promote weight loss and optimal health is through plant-based diets that emphasise healthy fats, avoid simple sugars and limit sodium. The Mediterranean diet is a great example of this type of eating pattern. This diet is based on fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains and encourages moderate amounts of yoghurt, cheese, poultry and fish. Olive oil is the main cooking oil with red meat and foods with added sugars are consumed in small quantities. The Mediterranean style diet has been shown to lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, depression and some forms of cancer.
Exercise, along with a healthy diet, is the most effective way to lose weight and maintain weight loss rather than depending on calorie restriction alone.
Did you know regular physical activity can also prevent or even reverse the effects of certain diseases, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, reduce the risk of certain cancers,improve mental health, and boost self-confidence??
Try and move your body for at least 15-30 minutes a day to encourage weight loss - even walking up and down the stairs works! Moderate intensity exercise, such as walking daily can encourage weight loss.
In summary, weight gain and loss are complex processes influenced by your own genetics, behaviour and environment. However, once you understand the principles explained above, it’s pretty simple to maintain a healthy weight and reach whatever goals you have.
Stay disciplined and you’ll see results!