weight management can be an ongoing issue for both men and women of all ages. over 66% of the American population is overweight or obese. 1 in 6 children ages 2-19 are considered obese. As our scales go up, so has the prevalence of health conditions and diseases, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, joint pain & chronic inflammation, heart attack, stroke, cardiovascular disease and even linked to dementia. it is vitally important that weight management Is taken seriously to live a long and healthy life.
THe media portrays weightless as "calories out calories in" approach. We are taught to go on extreme diets, join a gym in effort to "eat less and move more." While this equation is true to a certain extent, losing weight and keeping it off is much more than that.
here are my top tips to achieve long lasting, sustainable weight loss in a safe, healthy and yes, an enjoyable way!
1. Avoid diet 'fads' and trends
there are so many diets around that claim to be the ultimate cure to lose weight and maintain a healthy size. however, most of these plans are very extreme and drastic, in which they call for cutting out major food groups, majorly cutting calories, eating packaged "diet" meals etc. These are unlikely to work in the long term because they are not sustainable changes nor do they provide any nutrition education. Many times you will lose muscle and gain fat, causing the ever dreaded rebound effect of gaining all the weight back plus more.
2. Eat the right things
Losing weight is not only about the quantity of your food, but the quality as well. Not all calories are created equal. What you eat is not just for energy/fuel, but also for the nutrients that your body needs for proper health. 100 calories from broccoli verses 100 calories from a Andy bar will definitely affect how you lose weight, but more importantly, your hormone function, fat burning and overall body functioning. Choosing whole food, plant-focused diet with the proper amounts of protein, healthy fats and carbs will provide the nutrition the body need to burn fat and lose weight. I recommend trying to replace fast food, processed foods and high sugar items with other options that will provide long lasting health.
3. Start a food log
Keeping track of your intake is an excellent way to aid in weight loss. using a food log is a great accountability tool and an effective way to measure progress. It allows you (your coach, doctor, etc) to see not only what you are eating, but when, where, etc. it can help uncover any patterns (what is working verses what's not), nutritional deficiencies, and where to tweak or make adjustments as needed.
There are many ways to keep a food log that you can access for free! My Fitness Pal is the one I recommend the most, but Loseit & carb Manager are 2 other free options. OF course, there is always pen and paper if thats more your speed :)
The more specific your journal is, the better. Logging what you ate, but also the portion size, time, calories, macronutrients etc are all beneficial.
4. prioritize stress reduction
this is a very important but not discussed enough topic when it comes to weigh loss. many people are experiencing high chronic levels of stress. stress comes in many forms, such as mental and emotional triggers, work, school, relationships, environmental toxins, physical injuries, poor diet and more.
stress releases cortisol, a hormone in the body that allows us to "work/overcome" that stressor. But long term stress raises cortisol to an unhealthy level. high cortisol turns off fat burning and creates other major health problems as well.
remove any stress that you can and reduce hat you cannot. prioritize sleep and rest; 7-8 hours is necessary to remove waste, toxins and create the enzymes and hormones necessary for fat burning. find outlets to relieve stress, such as exercise, journaling, sports or recreational activities, breath work, mediation, going on a walk,. etc.
5. get moving
physical activity & exercise is important for both weigh loss and overall health. we should be moving our bodies on a daily basis. movement not only increases your metabolism, but also improves bone health, heart health, balances insulin levels and blood pressure. exercise has been shown to positively affect cholesterol (raise HDL, while also lowering ldl) improve brain function, boost energy, and even combat anxiety and depression
the recommended amount of exercise is 150 minutes of moderately intense exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. a well balanced exercise program includes aerobic/cardio, strength training, flexibility and balance exercises. start slow and steady, and exercise based in your current health state and goals.
what about physical activity? we should all be moving on a daily basis. stand more than you sit, walk whenever you can, take the stairs versus elevator..all of these add up. take your pet for a walk, play with your kids. Chores like vacuuming, cleaning or doing yard work are also ways that "count" when it comes to physical activity! Use an activity tracker like a FitBit to monitor daily steps. set a goal to improve this weekly.. 10k steps a day is a great goal.
6. get a coach to track your progress
everyone needs a coach; a coach is someone to keep you accountable, cheer you on with your wins, and guide you on the changes you need to make for change. they provide you with support, education and encouragement. having a support system and a positive environment is key to success. you don't have to or shouldn't go through it alone.
There will be days when you don't feel like eating sensibly nor doing any form of exercise, but it just takes "doing" instead of "trying." I would love to be your coach, and to encourage, coach and cheer for your success.
feel free to contact me to set up a discovery call!