If you are like one of the many people trying to get to a healthy weight, you probably know how something so seemingly simple—just eat right and exercise more—is actually incredibly challenging in reality. We have a lot working against us ranging from genetics to deeply ingrained bad habits. But, where there is a will there is a way and the following tips are all designed to boost your weight loss efforts.
Get Enough Sleep
The negative impact of inadequate sleep goes far beyond impaired cognitive function. Research has found it can lead to weight gain and difficulty losing weight on numerous fronts. Not getting enough sleep may impact how your body uses insulin, proper functioning of fat cells, levels of hormones that influence appetite and satiety and increased cravings for sugar and refined carbohydrates.
Keep Insulin Levels Stable
Insulin plays an important role in converting calories to energy and high levels have been linked with obesity; not surprising since elevated levels can cause the body to store more fat. Do not go too long between meals, consider eating several small meals a day, eat carbohydrates along with proteins and fat to temper their breakdown, and of course the obvious, watch your intake of sugar and refined foods.
Check Vitamin D Levels
Vitamin D appears to play an important role in weight on many fronts, ranging from proper signaling to burn fat to how the body uses calcium, a mineral that plays a vital role in the production of a chemical that determines how the body uses calories. Before you start supplementing, however, it is important to check your levels so you know exactly how much of the supplement to take; too much could be dangerous and not enough is simply a waste.
Practice Mindful Eating
Learning to tune into the signals our body is sending out regarding hunger and satiety is a key part of successful weight loss; simply following our body’s cues as to when to eat and when we have had enough can be highly effective; this is very simple, we just need to become more aware. A study found that diabetics who learned to eat mindfully lost just as much weight as those who were educated in specific nutritional principles for compiling their diet.
Work on Curbing Emotional Eating
Emotional eating can be a major saboteur when it comes to losing weight; learning to rein it in will take you a long way in your weight loss goals. Meditation is a great tool since it can help you gain more awareness of your thoughts and increase your capacity to sit with uncomfortable feelings rather than push them down with food immediately.
Keep Stress under Control
Stress can block weight loss efforts in two ways. First, it produces actual chemical changes in the body that can lead to unhealthy food cravings and a tendency for the body to store fat among other problems. Secondly, chronically feeling stressed puts you in a bad place mentally and in this place, you do not care as much about your health, you feel less hopeful about your efforts to change and you continue engaging in self-defeating behavior.
Thinking long-term will help you lose weight because it will help you be more forgiving of your slip-ups and help you develop a healthier , more realistic relationship with food where you can continue to enjoy treats, just on a less frequent basis.
Get Clear on Your ‘’Why’’
Everything we want, we want for a reason; getting clear on why you want to lose weight will serve as powerful motivator that will help you do whatever it is you need to do and change whatever it is you need to change. Go deep and get at the reasons behind the reasons. If you want to be healthier, why? If you want to be a better parent, why?
Take Baby Steps
If it was possible for you to totally change your habits in a day, you probably would not be struggling with your weight in the first place. When you embark on your journey, it is important to make small changes that over time will add up to big results. Switch from whole milk products to low fat; commit to eating fruit for dessert at least three times during the week; swap the donut for some healthy proteins and whole carbs for breakfast.
Staying motivated is key to weight loss and setting relatively easy achievable mini-goals is a great way to keep you on track and feeling good. Maybe the first step would be to fit into the pants that you have not been able to wear for the last few months rather than going straight for your high school weight. You eventually want to run five miles a day but maybe first start off with reaching walking a mile daily.
Kelli Cooper, writing for www.nrpt.co.uk/become/training/index.htm, is a freelance writer who enjoys sharing tips on health and wellness.