Originally published Wednesday, August 7, 2019 at 07:30p.m.

Did you know 69% of adult Americans are overweight or obese?

Achieving a healthy weight reduces health risks, increases our energy levels and improves how we feel about ourselves. Most people are aware of the benefits of weight loss, but most people aren’t watching their portion sizes, reading food labels or exercising enough. These habits need to be incorporated into our daily lifestyles to achieve and maintain weight loss.

Here are two things that can help.

Legumes: Recent research shows legumes are a good source of fiber and provide a healthy form of starch that appears to have benefits like fiber. Beans, peas and lentils have been found to contain a good amount of “resistant starch.” Research shows that resistant starch and fiber help clean our systems. A recent study shows resistant starch in legumes travels to the large intestine. The starch in legumes doesn’t get digested in the small intestines like normal starch. In the colon resistant starch is fermented resulting in a short-chain fatty acid that has been found to help fight cancer. Although not officially determined, literature shows that resistant starch provides fewer calories than normal starches.

Resistant starch is also found in cereal grains, corn, rice and flours. Legumes have a much higher content of this starch and fiber and can be beneficial to our diet. Legumes are a low-fat source of protein, and a rich source of fiber that helps you feel full, control blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol levels. It also helps prevent certain cancers.

Dancing: An advantage to aerobic exercise is that it burns fat for fuel as opposed to anaerobic exercise that only uses carbohydrates for fuel. Therefore, including some form of aerobic exercise in your daily routine helps improve weight loss. What could be more fun than dancing to burn fat? To benefit most from dancing, we need to exercise for about 20 to 60 minutes with our heart rate at 50% to 80% of our target heart rate.

An aerobics dance class can help achieve this. Polka, swing and Latin dancing also raise our heart rate. In addtion to burning fat, dancing has been found to reduce the risk of heart attacks, reduce the risk of dying, improve flexibility, and improve our self-esteem.

As an all-or-nothing society, people look for magic pills or starve themselves to compensate for overindulging. Many also feel that if they can’t exercise routinely, then why bother exercising at all. Obesity has a negative impact on our physical and mental health. Practicing the healthy behaviors encouraged by Diet Center will help you reach and maintain your goal weight to result in a healthier, happier you!

If you are struggling with weight loss call Diet Center at 928-753-5066 or stop by 1848 Hope Ave.