Now with the holidays over and we’re back to school/work, watching the diet and promoting weight loss is something on many peoples minds.. To encourage fulfilling your New Year’s resolutions, we’ve decided to share some simple tips that can aid in achieving your goals! Starting with a shift in perspective about ‘Diets’ – Instead of starting a ‘DIET’, making a life style change is a better way to not only lose weight but keep it off!! It takes the pressure off of success/failures in an attempt, and ensures that a wholesome approach is made to understanding that your body will benefit from a good long-term choice as opposed to a drastic cut from a large number of foods, juicing diets and short-term fads.. Achieving weight loss is the number one health goal for many people in the New Year, but there is also a quick rebound into old habits/patterns that bring the weight back..
So here is a overview for what to expect when making healthier choices conducive to long-term weight loss:
1. Losing about 1-2lbs per week is a sustainable number. Losing more than 1-2lb pounds per week for those who are looking for rapid weight loss puts you at risk of yo-yoing back and forth with weight gain and weight loss. This impacts the body by not giving the organ systems enough time to LEARN and recognize healthy portion sizes so that you are aware of the body’s cues of when to stop eating, and to curb cravings..
Remember the body is NOT a machine, but a complex adaptive system that learns and grows with choices you have made in the past, choices you make in the now all impacting what your health outcome will be in the future… Also lets not forget about rapid weight loss leading to stretch marks, gall stone formations and not giving your skin and vessels the time to adapt to changes occurring in the body..Doing moderate amounts of cardio and weight training will burn fat, and help build muscle mass!
2. Digestion matters – Having at least 2 solid bowel movements per day helps remove toxins and waste material accumulated as by-products of digestion.
Yes you heard right, not 1 every other day, or 1 per day, but at least 2 solid movements per day! Elimination occurs via urination, sweating and as my pediatric patients say - pooping! This means going to the washroom for every large meal roughly an hour after eating or first thing in the morning. The peristaltic waves are activated during parasympathetic mode – this is when you are rested and eating, where the digestive enzymes and bile help to digest the foods eaten, and the colon responds with a pumping action that helps to eliminate food from meals prior.. A key to this healthy bowel habit is to have enough fibre in the diet (Vegetables!!) and to not rush when eating foods. Losing weight AND eliminating wastes accumulated regularly without difficult, gas or indigestion is a key part of sustainable weight loss!!
3. Eat at least 3 meals per day and DO NOT SKIP BREAKFAST!!
Eating smaller portions frequently helps with protein sources helps to maintain blood sugar levels so that you don't experience cravings for carbs and then energy crashes mid-afternoon. Its not about eating just veggies, but also making sure there are nuts, leans meats, fish or dips like hummus to keep the body feeling fuller longer. Also breakfast starts the day off right after a long period of fasting from dinner and sleeping.. Try it out, have a bowl of oatmeal/granola with almond milk/greek yogurt, berries, nuts, cinnamon and your choices of other fruits and see if keeps you fuller for longer than if you ate a bagel and coffee for breakfast.. which brings me to my next point..
4. Stay hydrated – Drink plenty of water, and GREEN TEA for boosting metabolism!!
Keeping hydrated means having healthy skin, healthy sweating without electrolyte imbalances for those working out, and healthy bowel movements.. Water is the medium which a lot of biochemical reactions occur and where the body learns to respond to dynamic changes! Having at least 3 glasses is a good amount to start with, but even just increasing the number of glasses by just 1 on top of what you are already doing might be a better approach than to fit into a daily requirement.. If you are thirsty, then you waited too long to hydrate, so being mindful of the body’s needs is a good way to show a little TLC to yourself ;) Drinking coffee or lattes/mochas are quick fixes that come with a crash in energy afterward, that don’t address the root for low energy.. so let’s talk about what to have instead - the infamous green tea, YES it increases thermogenesis or heat production in the body and has a compound called EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate) which helps to trim the waistline! Having at least 3 cups a day is necessary to reap the benefits during your weight loss period. And last but not least…
5. Sleep!! Getting at least 6 hours of well-rested sleep and feeling refreshed on waking is key to give the body time to adjust
The importance of getting adequate sleep cannot be overlooked. The body naturally responds to the hormone melatonin released after sunset which tells the body that its time to sleep! Prolonging sleep into late hours disrupts the natural rhythm of the body that also releases cortisol (the stress hormone).. This can create a general state low energy, premature aging and overall fluctuations in moods with irritability or low moods.
As the adage goes “Early to Bed, and Early to Rise, Makes a Man Healthy, Wealthy and Wise“.
How does this help with weight loss? Allowing for the body’s hormones to balance out and decreasing stress response the energy available for the next day changes, which changes the intake pattern of foods and drinks as well.. The other noteworthy point about sleep time, is that the body’s core temperature drops when you are lying still, this encourages the body to generate heat by burning fat, thermogenesis, so sleeping in the nude or with very light clothing not constricting to the body is another way to help yourself out with weight loss sustenance!
For more information on what specific dietary changes, supplements and exercise routines are recommended for your indivuidulal health concern/body type call (905) 237-8521 and speak to your local Naturopathic Doctor or book an appointment!
Wishing you the very best in your endeavors!!
Yours in good health,
Dr. Sharlini Udayakumar, ND DHMHS