Weight loss | September 22, 2017 | Author: Naturopath
Winter is over, the sun is making an appearance and it's almost swimsuit weather. If you're looking to boost your weight loss efforts and get your summer body back, here are some real deal, scientifically-backed quick tips to help you slim down and shape up:
Weight loss can seem like an overwhelming task that requires an entire lifestyle overhaul. Don't make it harder than it needs to be – incorporate healthier habits one at a time so that you hardly notice the extra effort. Best of all, it doesn't matter where you start – while diet changes generally have the biggest impact on weight loss success, exercise can help to control your appetite and blood glucose levels which leads to better food choices anyway  . Begin with any small change to your activity level or food choices – just start!
What you have for breakfast can set your appetite for the rest of the day. Studies have shown that eating a high protein breakfast can lead to less snacking throughout the day, better appetite control, and overall lower calorie intake . It also has the benefit of giving your metabolism a kick start and increasing the amount of calories you burn while digesting – bonus!
Eggs are a classic go-to for a high protein breakfast, but think outside the box for more inspiration – smoked salmon, cottage cheese, scrambled tofu, protein pancakes, black bean breakfast burritos... The possibilities are endless.
Balancing the ratio of carbohydrates, fats and proteins in each meal is a great way to guarantee that you're getting great nutrition, but it can be overwhelming when you're looking for a quick way to clean up your diet.
Plus it requires a sound knowledge of nutritional composition of every ingredient in your meal, and some solid maths skills – it's not for everyone. Instead of worrying about getting the right ratio of macros, focus on fibre. With lots of fibre in each meal, you'll feel full for longer, feel more energetic, snack less, prevent blood glucose spikes and dips, and eat fewer calories across the day .
A meal built around fibre has lots of fresh vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and fresh fruit. Add in fish, tofu, tempeh or for extra protein, and don't be afraid of healthy fats like olive oil and avocado – just be mindful they add a lot of calories.
NOTE: There are a few exceptions to the fibre rule. Processed foods with “added fibre” don't count, and fibre-rich products that are high in sugar won't help your waistline.
Keeping a record of everything you eat has two major benefits:
Firstly, you will give yourself an objective view of exactly what you eat.
Secondly, holding yourself accountable is a great motivator to make healthy food choices – if you know you have to write it down, you'll be less likely to give in to junk food cravings.
Whether you use an online database, a phone app or old school pen & paper, research shows that this kind of self-monitoring is a cornerstone of successful weight loss . If writing down your food choices feels too much like homework, consider starting an Instagram account to keep photos of each meal (you can lock it to private!).
Tip: Don't confuse food journalling for calorie-counting. You don't need to put your diet through a nutritional analysis program to see where you could cut down on serving sizes or insert more healthy choices.
Unresolved emotional issues, self-esteem problems, and negative self-talk have been researched as major saboteurs of weight loss efforts. A study from 2010 showed that cognitive behavioural therapy improved weight loss outcomes for obese women by increasing their body satisfaction, reducing anxiety, and improving their self control .
While this might not sound like a “quick tip”, taking one step towards getting help can be quick and easy – schedule a weekly date with a friend for an emotional check-in, call a help line, find a self-help book that speaks to you, or contact a therapist.
Weight gain is a common side effect of many medications including antidepressants, steroids, and antipsychotic drugs. Speak to your pharmacist and G.P. to see if your medications could interfere with your efforts to slim down – there are often alternative treatments that could work just as well without sabotaging your weight loss efforts.
While you're there, ask your doctor for a general check-up. Many underlying health conditions can cause weight retention including hypothyroidism, sleep apnoea, polycystic ovary syndrome, and depression.
Trying something new is great motivation to get active and burn some calories. Is there a hike or nature walk you've been wanting to check out? Ever wanted to try kayaking, yoga, surfing or rock climbing? The next time you're bored with your workout, refer to your long list of fun activities for new inspiration.
Recent research has revealed that the microbial balance in the gut has direct influence on whole-body metabolism, appetite signals, and ultimately weight gain. Studies have shown that taking a high quality supplement of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains of probiotics can help to boost weight loss results and prevent putting the weight back on, too .
ACV has a reputation as a weight loss miracle, but there's nothing miraculous about it. Plain ol' science explains that the particular acidity of ACV slows down the emptying of the stomach, making you feel full for longer and preventing spikes of blood sugar levels. Acetic acid, found in all vinegars, has been shown to prevent the accumulation of body fat. A recent study showed that 15mL of vinegar in water each day for 12 weeks resulted in significantly lower body weight, BMI, visceral fat accumulation and waist circumference .
Studies have shown that having low vitamin D levels can impair our efforts to slim down – not great news coming out of a dark and dreary winter.
Women who boosted their levels with a supplemental dose of 2,000IU vitamin D per day showed greater loss of body fat and a better waist:hip ratio than those who did not .
NOTE: It's important to see your doctor for baseline blood tests before taking a vitamin D supplement – too much can be toxic!
When we talk about the body “burning” calories, we talk about the process of energy production. This production of energy (ATP) occurs within the mitochondria – tiny structures that are found in most cells. L-carnitine is needed to move long chain fatty acids across the membrane of the mitochondria so that fats can be “burned” into ATP.
Simply: L- carnitine shuttles fats through cells so they can be turned into energy. Taking an L-carnitine supplement can have a huge impact on weight loss by increasing the conversion of fat to energy .
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