Controlling your weight is a necessary part of living for many of us. Others seem to go through life eating whatever they like without putting on, or losing, any extra weight. They are the lucky ones, but for the rest of us, weight control becomes necessary, sooner or later. In most cases the concern is being overweight. Around 60% of people in western countries are classed as obese – and the rate is growing too. That is certainly a cause for concern, especially as the rate of obese children, who will most likely grow into obese adults, currently stands at over 30%.

Effective weight control goes beyond simple dieting, where the aim is to attain an acceptable body weight without thought of how to maintain that weight level. Successful control prevents obesity in the first place, maintaining a natural lean mass. A healthy weight can be achieved through a healthy lifestyle that avoids a high-fat diet and embraces regular physical activity. This kind of lifestyle is also conducive to good mental health, creating an overall holistic effect on the mind and body, leaving both in balance without unnecessary pressures or stresses.

Controlling your weight through balancing calories …

The number of calories you take into your body each day should equal the number of calories you burn off each day, if you wish to maintain a level weight. If you start off being overweight and obese, you will need to lose weight until your body is at a natural healthy weight for your height and age. If you start off being underweight, you will need to gain weight to reach the ideal body mass for your height and age.

Diet and exercise are the two main factors that govern weight control, but it goes much deeper than that. The popular diets are not necessarily the best foods to eat, and while there are many ways of being physically active, not all of them will be right for you. You should strive for a healthy lifestyle, one that involves eating foods of fitness nutrition with food portions that are not excessive. In fact, leaving the table slightly hungry may be your best bet for controlling weight.

Instead of pondering over how many calories this food or that food has, get into the habit of eating foods that you know are low in saturated fats and high in nutrition. This includes fresh vegetables and fresh fruit, as well as nuts and grains. Try to avoid red meats, and if you must eat meat, try to limit your intake to chicken. A nice fat juicy steak can certainly be tempting, but it won’t help very much in your weight management efforts. Successful weight loss maintenance is largely about common sense. By and large, we all know the type of food that prevents obesity. Unfortunately, it is not always the type of food we want to eat.

Controlling your weight through regular exercise …

While a lot of emphasis is usually placed on the diet we eat, all too often we don’t place enough emphasis on exercise. Being physically active doesn’t have to mean the gym with weights, treadmills and the like. It can be something as simple and enjoyable as a regular walking schedule, for example. This is an excellent aerobic exercise, and ideal for anyone who has a dog for a pet. While you exercise your dog, you can also exercise yourself. It should be a daily exercise that gets you out and about, engaging in pleasant physical activity at least twice a day.

Walking is arguably the easiest and most efficient exercise you can do. It is a low-impact exercise that is available to nearly everyone. An effective walking workout doesn’t require practice or rules, you just need to do what comes naturally. If you walk briskly for at least 45 minutes every day, you will start to see some definite benefits in just a few weeks. These will include:

• A noticeable lowering in levels of low-density lipoprotein, sometimes also known as “bad cholesterol”
• A noticeable increase in levels of high-density lipoprotein, sometimes also known as “good cholesterol”
• A noticeable improvement in your mood and general outlook
• A greatly increased ability to control your weight
• A noticeable lowering of your blood pressure
• A reduced risk of type 2 diabetes
• A noticeable increase in your fitness level

A walking workout is a more gentle way to get fit than jogging. It puts considerably less strain on bone joints, and it isn’t nearly as hard to do. There’s no sweating involved, and you won’t have to feel self-conscious either as everyone walks. Weight management through exercise couldn’t be easier, when combined with a sensible diet. It is a healthy lifestyle that reduces all the obvious health risks, to leave you in a position that makes weight control, not only easy, but almost inevitable.

Of course, if you prefer to go down to the gym and lift weights, or run on a treadmill, or use any of the other high-tech exercise equipment available, then by all means do so. There are many weight loss techniques, so choose one that suits you best. What is important is that you do some kind of regular exercise to keep fit and keep burning calories. The alternative is usually a build up of calories in your body, which means weight gain – the exact opposite of what you want.

The best nutritional foods to eat …

Vegetables provide a lot of nutrition, but very little fat. The best kind are the dark green leafy ones, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, chard and spinach. However, don’t overlook tomatoes, carrots, onions, cabbage and garlic, to name just a few. Fresh fruit is also very good for you as most fruits also contains lots of nutrition and very little fat. The avocado is the most nutritious fruit of all, but strawberries, melons, bananas, oranges, pears, plums and apples are all going to help you control your weight effectively.

One final piece of advice that is often overlooked when it comes to effective weight control, is getting an adequate amount of sleep every night. In order for the body to function at its most optimal level, we need the right amount of sleep. And when your body is allowed to function optimally, you will stand a much better chance of controlling your weight properly. There is no magic fix to effective weight control, just a series of sensible actions that add up to a holistic beneficial effect, and it isn’t hard work either.