Our Brisbane dietitians have weight loss tips to help you to lose weight differently this year!
With the New Year already upon us, many of us have set resolutions to finally get the weight off. We all have heard the old adage “eat less and move more” to achieve weight loss, which definitely still works! But, this approach can be tedious sometimes and maybe you have tried this with limited success. So, instead why not consider some of these alternative ways of tackling weight management in 2014?
- Try eating intuitively. The principle behind intuitive eating is that our bodies send us constant signals of how much or how little to eat. The problem is that most people ignore these signals completely and either won’t eat when they are hungry or eat way past the point of being full. The key to eating intuitively is to listen to what your body is telling you. If you are hungry, eat something. Try to make it something healthy of course, with a balance of high fiber carbohydrates and some protein. Stop eating when you are satisfied, meaning no longer hungry, you should not be full or stuffed. Just no longer hungry. The more you practice this, the easier it will become, allowing your body to fall into its natural hunger patterns and get to a healthy weight.
- Sleep! Getting adequate sleep is the most underrated weight loss tool we have. A study of over 68,000 women found that over a 16 year period, those who slept less than 5 hours a night gained 1.14kg more than those who slept more than 7 hours a night. This was true regardless of diet, exercise, or other lifestyle factors that might affect weight. Lack of sleep leaves us craving high sugar, high calorie foods to keep our energy levels up. It messes with our metabolism and hormones too, throwing off hunger and satiety signals. When you are tired, exercise is definitely out of the question. So, this year, prioritize sleep. Aim for at least 7-8 hours a night.
- Focus on stress management. Similar to lack of sleep, stress sends all of our hormones out of control. One of the most critical hormones for weight management is cortisol. Levels of cortisol are increased during times of psychological or physical stress. When cortisol is elevated, it will increase your appetite, insulin levels, and cause you to deposit fat in the abdominal area. A 2001 study of 59 healthy women found that stressed women with high cortisol levels, tended to eat more calories and sugar than those who were not under stress. Therefore, stress management is critical to reduce cortisol levels. Daily low-intensity exercise, like walking, reduces stress and cortisol. Other ways to manage your stress include taking time out for enjoyable activities, meditation/prayer, laughing with friends, or taking a long bubble bath.
These weight loss tips and techniques may work for you, especially if you are a chronic dieter and have hit a plateau. With long-term weight management, it is important to look at a person’s entire lifestyle, as everything can have an effect on weight. So, take a look at your hunger signals, hours of sleep, and stress in 2014 and make it your year to achieve a healthy weight!