- Achieving a healthy weight doesn’t mean you should deprive yourself of calories.
- A healthy, balanced diet, combined with regular exercise, can go a long way.
- Establishing healthy habits early on can help you take control of your health and fitness sooner.
The 20-something years are usually celebrated as the years you could eat anything without severe consequences — you could just easily lose the excess pounds and achieve a healthy weight in a few days.
Instant weight loss is not a given even in a young age, however. Sustainable weight loss, in particular, takes much more than simply following a highly restrictive diet.
Some experts weigh in on which habits to ditch and which ones to adopt for a healthy lifestyle that can guarantee a healthy weight in your 20s and beyond:
1. Avoid liquid calories.
Social gatherings usually involve indulging in alcoholic drinks when you’re in your 20s.
Alcohol is loaded with empty calories, however — calories that can be difficult to burn. The same goes for sugary drinks like soda, juices and energy drinks.
Limit your intake or try to eliminate it entirely.
2. Eliminate the use of the word “diet” as calorie restriction.
A healthy, sustainable diet shouldn’t be highly restrictive or include any form of deprivation or hunger — this will only result to failure and frustration.
Dieting that involves calorie restriction and skipping meals has been shown to actually make young adults fatter. It turns out that the more you “diet,” the slower your metabolism.
3. Choose quality over quantity.
Instead of getting hung over your calorie intake, you should switch your focus to quality over quantity.
Simply prioritizing whole foods can improve your diet and over-all health — which ultimately leads to weight loss.
4. Ditch the scale.
Aside from obsessing over calories, you should also avoid stressing over the number on the scale.
The weight you see is a combination of everything inside your body — muscle, fat, and water. And while there may be an “ideal weight” for your height and age, it does not always accurately reflect how healthy you are.
It would be better (and cheaper) to use a tape measure. According to several studies, waist size is a better predictor of health and risk for obesity than BMI.
5. Make physical activity a part of your schedule.
Combining a healthy diet with exercise can go a long way.
Make sure to include regular physical activity in your schedule as early as your 20s to turn it into a lifetime habit.
6. Establish healthy habits early on.
You may easily burn down the unnecessary calories you eat during your 20s, but your eating pattern in your youth still has a huge impact on your risk for disease later in life.
You may not feel any health issues yet, but don’t wait until you do before you adopt a healthy lifestyle.
Fill your diet with vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Maintain regular physical activity and limit sitting time. Limit consumption of high-calorie drinks.
Establishing these habits as early as your 20s will not only improve your health but also ensure a healthy weight in later life.