Thanksgiving is behind us, and you’re probably already feeling the consequences of holiday eating. It’s not uncommon to gain weight during the holiday season, since temptation is all around with sweet treats, heavy meals, and constant parties. You might already be looking ahead to a weight loss resolution for the New Year, or you may be making an active effort to curb holiday weight gain before it becomes a problem. Either way, you should know the right steps toward healthy weight loss.
Losing weight quickly is not necessarily the healthiest step, especially since you’ll probably need to use an extreme diet to see such rapid weight loss. Your goal should be gradual, sustained loss of body fat as you gain muscle mass to increase your strength and boost your metabolism. The way you approach weight loss matters for your health. Dropping a significant amount of weight can be more dangerous than living at a stable weight that’s slightly above the healthy range for your height, gender, and body type—and it’s even more hazardous to your health if you gain the weight back right away after your diet ends. To better plan for healthy weight loss this winter and beyond, read ahead for a look at the different types of body fat and the best ways to burn harmful abdominal fat.
Understanding the Types of Body Fat
Not all body fat is bad for your health. Areas of fat that may bother you the most cosmetically, such as the hips, thighs, and buttocks, may not be the most harmful in terms of long-term health effects. Visceral, intra-pericardial, and intra-hepatic fats are a more immediate threat to the body, since these are associated with diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver disease, and many more health complications. These fat deposits appear in the abdomen, heart, and liver, respectively, and they are not targeted by every weight loss method.
Weight Loss vs. Fat Loss
When you’re thinking about your weight and a potential weight loss plan, your focus may be on the number you see on the scale. However, there is much more to consider that your weight alone won’t tell you. In a long-term diet study published by the American Heart Association, MRI technology was used to map deposits of body fat in individuals following diet plans with various lifestyle modifications. The conclusion of the study was that continued, sustained, and gradual weight loss has the greatest benefit to your health because this approach targets the most dangerous fat deposits, which means that you don’t need to reach your dress or pant size goals to make a lasting impact on your wellness.
Ways to See Real Results
A varied and balanced approach is the key to healthy weight loss. That should include a diet rich in fresh vegetables, whole grains, and good fats with minimal processed food, regular moderate exercise, and sound nightly sleep.
When you want to lose weight, it never hurts to consult a doctor to be sure that you’re on the right track. An appointment with a MeMD provider can help you stay on top of your health without missing a beat in your busy schedule.