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Weight Loss Tips
The holiday season came and went, as did Valentine’s Day and Spring Equinox, too. With warmer weather upon us, even hot weather in some parts of the US, many of us are looking to slim down and optimize our health. It’s easy to stray from our usual eating habits and it can be difficult to get back on track with healthier diet and lifestyle choices.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, seven out of ten adults in the US are either overweight or obese. Recognizing when people are more likely to gain weight is important. Studies suggest that people tend to gain significantly more weight during the holidays, and the winter in general. What’s most concerning is that weight gain is rarely lost and this can take a toll on our health and our waistlines.
Over the years, we tend to gradually put on weight anyway and it can be daunting to know how to begin taking off the weight. So, we’ve compiled five tips to encourage you to get back to your optimal weight:
Try Something New: No matter the season, think salads with seasonal greens and add seasonal veggies or fruits. You can improve digestion with an antioxidant rich, chai tea with a touch of honey (for more on digestion, continue reading).
Spice it Up: Depending upon the flavors, spices be used medicinally to encourage optimal digestion and increase metabolism, aiding in weight loss and maintenance. Cinnamon has the unique ability to reduce blood sugar, triglycerides, and cholesterol. Ginger supports digestion by enhancing digestive enzyme activity, helping us breakdown and properly digest foods. Clove and nutmeg are both high in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties as well. Finding ways to incorporate these spices into our daily food and drink is a nice way to optimize our digestion and metabolism anytime of year. Through spices and diet, it may become much easier to lose weight and keep it off. Give our coconut chai tea recipe a try!
Let Go of the Guilt: With the abundance of seasonal food, drinks, and sweet treats, we are left often with feelings of guilt for overindulging. Many of us believe that this guilt may motivate us to avoid such overindulgences and better stick to our weight loss goals. That guilt, however, is actually counterproductive to weight loss. Researchers actually have found the opposite is true. Guilt does not motivate healthy eating habits. For instance, individuals who associated eating a piece of chocolate cake with feelings of guilt, instead of celebration, were less likely to lose weight over a 3-month period and were less successful at maintaining their weight over an 18-month period. This emphasizes the importance of allowing yourself to indulge occasionally. I often have my patients aim for the 80/20 rule. Carefully watch what you’re eating 80% of the time, and allow yourself to stray from your usual eating habits 20% of the time guilt free.
Combat Stress: It’s inevitable; stress is a part of modern life. When we’re under stress , we secrete more of the hormone cortisol. High levels of cortisol in the bloodstream for prolonged periods of time can lead to an increase in appetite and storage of fat in the belly. Our bodies are excellent at dealing with short term stress, but chronic every day stressors are what really run us down, often resulting in fatigue and unwanted weight gain. A few ways to combat this inevitable daily stress is to load up on B vitamins (PMS Comfort Herbal contains 1,250 % RDA of vitamin B6), get plenty of sleep, stay well hydrated, and increase your physical activity.
Practice Gratitude: Interestingly, the simple act of gratitude can make it easier to achieve and maintain our weight loss goals. It can be difficult to make healthy choices if we’re feeling bad about ourselves. Feeling grateful can shift our perspective to the bigger picture and ultimately decreases unnecessary stress. Something like short-term cognitive therapy—encouraging positive thinking—can actually boost weight loss and keep it off for good. Consider starting a gratitude journal. It can be a fun way to record the year.
Instead of approaching weight loss by simply limiting calories and removing foods from the diet, instead focus on establishing new, healthier habits; open up the spice cabinet, try new seasonal produce items, and take some time out of your busy schedule to practice a bit of gratitude.