Weight loss is not addition and subtraction, it is complex calculus. There are several variables that play into it such as genetics, hormones, age, gender, medications, etc. However, below are five simple ways to tackle this continuously growing issue.
Remember, simple does not always mean easy…but with a little effort and a willingness to get uncomfortable, these tips can go a long way:
1.) Drink more water. We often mistake thirst for hunger and end up overeating. Have a glass of water before you sit down and eat a meal. Some researchers say 64 ounces of water per day, but it is most likely more individualized than that. Others say drink half your body weight (lbs) in ounces per day.
2.) Break old habits. It’s not the actual cookie or glass of wine at that particular time that will make you gain weight, it’s about feeding into the habit of reaching for it and then doing this over and over again. When you see yourself reach for something, stop. Ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” If the answer is no, walk away. Over time, this will become more habitual.
3.) Know the difference between appetite and hunger. Do you simply want food or are you showing physical symptoms of hunger such as a growling stomach, irritability, loss of energy, etc.? Your body has energy storages that can last for days on end (depending on how much fat you have), so we typically don’t need as much food and/or as often as we are giving it to ourselves. This is especially true when fat loss is our goal.
4.) Exercise. Although a majority of weight loss will be seen through controlling your diet, exercise helps significantly with weight maintenance. Also, research implies that an increase in lean muscle mass from resistance training helps to speed up your metabolic rate, which will help you expend more calories at rest.
5.) Patience. Healthy weight loss takes time. As a society, we are always looking for the “quick fix,” but, for sustainable weight loss, there is none. Replacing bad habits with better ones and building on these over time will help you reach your goals, as long as you don’t quit halfway through. Too often we get frustrated after two months and go back to our old ways. Keep at it and the results will come!
Stephanie Spoto, CSCS