When it comes to weight loss, there are so many differing opinions on “how to” such as; eat less, exercise more or eat less fat or even consume nothing but cabbage soup for a week! The list is endless.
Most people are aware that some or most of these approaches do not work or perhaps they work for some in the short term but often result in further weight gain over the long term.
Having worked with many clients over the past few years, most with a weight loss goal, there are some seemingly basic things that are often overlooked or forgotten when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off. I thought I’d share my top five tips for long-term weight loss.
Eat three regular meals per day with one snack. Often with my clients I find that they are not eating regularly enough, sometimes skipping breakfast or lunch only to over consume in the afternoon or evening times. Eating three meals a day will not only balance blood sugar but also help to maintain metabolic health ensuring the body is not set in a fat storing state.
Hydrate effectively. Drinking adequate water provides essential hydration at a cellular level, which helps remove unwanted toxins from the body. Toxins contribute to a sluggish liver function, which can slow down weight loss. In addition to this, often hunger and cravings are often a signal of dehydration. Drinking water can help to reduce overall consumption of food.
Focus on real food. Often this one seems like a “no brainer” but in my experience, many people are consuming over 50% of their total calories from packaged or processed foods. The body will perform better when it receives nutrients from unprocessed whole foods like vegetables, fruit, grass fed animal protein, wild caught seafood and nuts and seeds. Sometimes just removing packaged and processed foods is enough to create significant weight loss.
Move regularly. When people think of weight loss they almost immediately think of exercise and whilst I agree that exercise is important, I believe that movement is more important to long-term weight loss. We are designed to be active and mobile all day long, not just for 30 minutes each day on an exercise machine. Ensuring regular movement up and out of any seated position as well as walking as regularly during the day is arguably more beneficial than a set 30-minute session of dedicated exercise.
Sleep more. Getting less than 8 hours of sleep has been proven to increase the production of a hormone called Ghrelin, which makes us feel hungrier and decrease the production of a hormone called Leptin, which helps us to feel satiated after we eat. What a great reason to get more rest!
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Losing weight does not need to be complex and it needn’t be super challenging and restrictive. Making some simple and manageable changes to your diet and lifestyle can improve not only how you look but also, how you feel.