By: Chhaya Néné (University of Miami)

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When you look in the mirror are you happy with what you see? I’m talking about your weight. Do you think you could lose a couple of pounds? Or are you looking to tone up? There are several HEALTHY ways to do this.

However there are two very serious unhealthy ways to lose weight and those are to become anorexic or bulimic.

Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder where a person refuses to maintain a healthy body weight because they have a distorted self image. It has the highest mortality rate of any psychological disorder.

Bulimia Nervosa is another eating disorder where a person will binge eat followed by behaviors to get rid of what they just ate meaning, they could vomit, fast, use laxatives, enemas, diuretics, or over exercise.

If you believe you have either of these disorders or know someone who might have them, you can get help. Talk to your friends, family, or someone you trust.

Healthy weight loss includes three things you should do!

1. Alter your mindset

You CAN lose weight or tone up, BUT it’ll take effort and commitment on your part. This is a lifestyle change, meaning it’s you will have to conscientiously evaluate the choices you are making when it comes to diet and exercise.  You must also be realistic when you set goals for yourself. Skinny models in magazines, beautifully made-up women, or extremely jacked men on television are CREATED to sell something to you; the image they portray is not realistic for most women and men. When you set your goal, ask yourself, what is right for my body?

2. Eat healthy

People always want to know what this means, eat healthy. Does that mean only fruits and veggies?  Does it mean you cut out all the sodas in your life? No, not necessarily. Eating healthy means reducing foods that will poison your body like chips, cookies, or fried food…Did you know that in a Doritos Nacho Cheese Chip Bag there are 250 calories? That’s 1/8 of your daily caloric in-take! If you want to eat healthy, it means that you should physically look at the calories of what you are consuming. If you consume more calories than you burn off, you WILL gain weight.

Instead of cutting out all food immediately, try reducing the number of calories by choosing grilled foods, baked foods, and adding more fruits and veggies to your diet. Portion control is essential, so remember that the next time you grab for a bag of Cheetos, or Doritos.

3. Exercise more

If you exercise very little or don’t at all, that has to change! Exercise is something you MUST include in your life. This isn’t just to lose weight or to tone up, this is for your health. Start with 30 minutes DAILY of cardio.  What does that mean? It means you need to get your heart pumping… so whether it’s a light jog, or speed-walking, or a game of soccer you need to be breaking a sweat.

For those who have gotten into the rhythm of a daily cardio routine, perhaps it is time to increase your 30 minutes into 1 hour. Don’t freak out, this doesn’t mean you have to run an hour every day, nor does it mean you need to do it on an elliptical, it means that at least 3 times a week you should be doing a cardio routine for an hour. This could be a dance class, or playing football…whatever you find enjoyable!

Remember, your health is most important… losing weight or toning up doesn’t have to be a drag, you can make it fun and you can do it! If not alone then bring a friend and get started!

Tags : AnorexiaBulimiaCardioDietExerciseFoodSelf-Image