Tackling the Truth: Weight Loss Secrets or Scams? Part IV

We are in the home stretch of Weight Loss Secrets or Scams! This 4-part series on weight loss and metabolism covered quite a bit of material ranging from dietary strategies, supplements, physical activity, and lifestyle. The last part of this article series will provide you with my own 2-cents on this topic. It is one thing to review the research and report findings, and it is another to actually put it into real life practice and see what works and what doesn’t. I have helped hundreds of clients lose weight and have some key tips for success. Here is my take on the matter of weight loss and metabolism.

Five Tips for Successful Weight Loss:

  1. Move More:
    • Yes, we all know exercise is important…but I’m not just referring to exercise, but rather having an active lifestyle. All movement counts towards your total daily energy expenditure (i.e. calorie burn) and if you make a habit of being an active person those calories really do start to add up! So, do the small things like stand up whenever you can, park your car as far away as possible, always use the stairs no matter the number of flights, switch sitting positions throughout the day (fidget), stretch at your desk, etc. 
  2. Simplify the Diet: 
    • The truth is there is no diet that works for everyone, especially when it comes to weight loss. While South Beach may have worked wonders on your neighbor and Weight Watchers helped your coworker lose 50-pounds, it doesn’t necessarily equate to your success. What does is your ADHERENCE! Any diet or eating plan you can actually stick to will probably work. The problem lies in the super-restrictive diets that inevitably lead to overindulgence and regression to old habits. Just eat how your body feels best, but cut back on your portions.
    • Side note: It is much easier to cut back on the portions of healthy food rather than the “addictive” junk foods (think sugary, salty, fatty), so consider cleaning up the diet to help prevent overeating.
    • Lastly, simplifying the diet also means cutting back on the number of options you have. Pick out 2-3 options for each meal and snack you intend to consume throughout the day. You will be much more likely to make a good choice with proper portions when your meals are preplanned. 
  3. Be Mindful:
    • Easier said than done! The concept of being mindful makes a huge impact when it comes to weight management. Most of the things we do throughout the day are done from a mindless standpoint. We are on autopilot. So, when it comes to changing habits and taking control of behaviors, being on autopilot does not allow you to drive the ship. If you really desire long-term weight loss success it is imperative that you live in a mindful state. Notice your food…what does it looks like it? what does it taste like? what nutrients does it provide you? why are you eating it? This concept of mindful-eating is not easy, but the more you notice your actions, the more likely you are to change them in the moment. 
  4. Sleep:
    • Not too much, not too little, but just the right amount! The golden range is 7 to 9 hours per night, depending on the individual. Not only do you need sleep quantity, but you most definitely need sleep QUALITY. When people are sleep deprived for one reason or the next, they experience physiological changes in the body that make it more challenging to lose weight and keep it off. Lack of sleep negatively impacts food cravings, blood sugar response, ability to heal and repair from workouts, stress and adrenal hormones, energy levels, and the list goes on. Who doesn’t like waking up refreshed from a good night of sleep? If you struggle with getting enough hours of sleep or have poor sleep quality then your mission is to get to the root cause and develop a strategy to overcome this. Your waistline will thank you!
  5. Improve Body Composition:
    • Body composition refers to fat mass (visceral fat, subcutaneous fat, brown adipose tissue) and non-fat mass (bone, muscle, organs, etc.) rather than body size which refers to just your weight and height. Improving body composition means having more of the “good” mass and less of the “bad” mass. Ideally, one should strive to increase lean muscle mass and brown adipose tissue. These types of tissue are more metabolically active and help to keep people at a healthy weight. How do you do this? To increase lean muscle mass, you must incorporate resistance training. Use your muscles or you will lose your muscles! To increase brown adipose tissue, you must expose your body to cold temperatures. Try cold showers or baths, cold swims, or just keeping the thermostat on the house to a cool temperature. 

While there are plenty more weight loss secrets out there, just try giving these a whirl! See what happens. I’d love to hear about some of your favorite tips as well so be sure to leave a comment at the bottom of this post. Also, if you need more personal assistance with weight loss please make an appointment today!