Dr. Siddharth Kudav and Krissy Bykonen

5:10 p.m. MT Jan. 15, 2018

Dr. Siddharth Kudav is the Medical Director of Benefis Weight Loss Services.

Losing weight, exercising more, and eating better are among the most common New Year’s Resolutions for Americans. All of these things directly relate to improving one’s health. These are wonderful goals for people to work towards; however, it can be difficult to achieve without taking the right steps.

For decades, people have been getting heavier. In 1990, less than 10 percent of most states’ populations were considered obese. By 2008, 68 percent of Americans over 20 years old were considered overweight and 34 percent were considered obese.

Obesity is a growing problem in the United States and is associated with medical problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, breathing problems, infertility, joint pain, incontinence, depression, and anxiety. What makes matters worse is that each of these issues can also lead to weight gain.

The good news is that there are many ways to make positive changes to improve your health. It is important to keep in mind that losing weight takes diligence and understanding that being overweight is a disease that can be treated. Here are five actionable tips to help keep your weight loss goals on track:

• Ditch the fad diets: There are many diet plans and meal services out there that promise rapid weight loss. Although you may lose weight initially, your chances of maintaining the loss are minimal once you stop the program. Visit http://www.choosemyplate.gov for healthy eating guidelines that are sustainable long-term.

• Pump up your protein: Protein offers many great benefits. Meals high in protein can help keep you fuller longer and help you avoid grazing between meals. Protein also helps support a healthy immune system and helps maintain muscle mass. Always try to get protein from lean food sources such as fish, chicken, eggs, cottage cheese, or yogurt. Buyer beware – not all protein shakes are created equal! Some protein shakes are high in sugar and others can be hard on your budget.

• Increase your fiber: Fiber is an important component of healthy eating. Fiber helps to keep you full between meals and helps maintain a healthy GI tract. Good sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

• Get moving: Physical activity is key to any healthy lifestyle. The benefits of exercise are infinite, but many people fall short. Exercise may be seen as a chore, but the key to a sustained physical activity routine is to find an activity that you truly enjoy. Try several different activities, such as dancing, cycling, or walking, to find your passion. You should aim for 150 minutes of physical activity each week.

• Find a Dietitian: Dietitians have extensive training in healthy eating and weight loss. They can offer a wide range of services including one-on-one counseling, weekly groups, and prevention programs for chronic disease.

Culled by Ike Onwubuya

Source: http://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/life/health-and-fitness/2018/01/16/achieving-your-new-years-weight-loss-goals/998321001/

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