Many people want to reduce their weight. Many people also want to reduce their carbon footprint. So why not pursue both goals at the same time? Many of the ways in which you can improve your health are also ways in which you can protect the environment. Below are a few ways in which you can lose weight and save the planet simultaneously.
Drive less, walk more
Driving a car doesn’t burn many calories. It also causes environmental damage – not only are you consuming more fossil fuels by driving a petrol or diesel, but you’re also creating carbon emissions that contribute to climate change.
By walking more, you can step up your amount of daily calories burnt – walking up to an hour more per day can burn up to 350 extra calories. You’ll also reduce your carbon footprint in the process.
Don’t have time to walk an extra hour per day? Why not take up cycling? Cycling can burn even more calories and is also environmentally-friendly. It could be a means of commuting to work or even going shopping locally. Try to save your car only for the really long journeys that you cannot realistically cycle or walk.
Consume more fresh fruit and veggies
Many of us could lose weight by simply eating more fresh fruit and vegetables and less processed foods. Fruit and vegetables don’t have to be boring – there are lots of tasty ways to consume these foods such as putting them in the form of nutritious smoothies, soups, casseroles and omelets. You can find plenty of recipes and ideas online.
Eating more fruit and veg can also have a positive environmental impact. Such foods are very sustainable and produce minimal harmful waste by-products (unlike meat, dairy and processed foods like bakeries and candy). This is particularly the case with fresh, organic, local and plastic-free fruit and vegetables. Such fruit and vegetables can be bought at local stores and farmer’s markets. You can even grow your own fruit and vegetables.
Consume less meat and dairy
A diet high in meat and dairy could be adding inches to your waistline. Such foods naturally contain a lot of fat. Processed meats and dairy are particularly fattening – because they’re not as natural, the body doesn’t quite know what to do with them and so stores more of the proteins and carbs as fat.
The meat and dairy industry also causes a lot of damage to the environment. Entire forests are often destroyed to farm livestock like cattle. Wild populations of animals like fish are meanwhile decreasing due to being hunted for their meat, which has an impact on the entire eco-system.
By adopting a vegetarian – or a more flexitarian – diet, you could lose weight and save the environment. Many foods like nuts and beans can be excellent sources of protein that are equal to meat. There are even artificial meats that are being brought onto the market as an alternative to real meat. Meanwhile, there are plenty of non-dairy milks such as soya and oat milk.