Weight loss for many of us can be struggle. So when a friend texted me last night about a documentary airing on PBS, 10 Things You Need to Know About Losing Weight, I was interested. Since I’m constantly reading about nutrition and weight management, I was curious to see the scientific reasoning regarding weight loss quandary.
10 Things You Need to Know:
1. Don’t skip meals.
Skipping meals will increase your brain’s trigger to have the body search out high calorie, sugary foods. Why? Because your brain doesn’t want to starve! While this may be a primitive limbic response, it could be the deal breaker faulting your weight loss or yo-yo-ing. As a rule, I recommend my clients eat lean protein and good fats every 3 hours. *Bonus, this helps the body regulate insulin as well.
Moral: “starving” your body, i.e. your brain, is a diet no-no.
2. Reduce your plate size.
As a society, food and beverage portions just keep increasing. A simple solution is changing your plate from a 12 inch to a 10 inch. This alone will reduce your food consumption by over 20%. This habit will also let you recognize the feeling of being full sooner. If you’re dining out, have the waiter wrap half the food up before you begin eating. Many restaurants have lighter entrees to choose from rather than the enormous portions we are so used too.
Personally, I don't frequent fast food restaurants. Nor do I drink soda. But…..I found myself out with my mother and my 2 kids and we stopped for a quick lunch. I ordered a small unsweetened iced tea and they gave me a 20oz cup!!! I was shocked. I remember when 20oz was a large! Imagine, you could take a days worth of carbs in a soda!!! Crazy…
Moral: smaller plates = smaller waists.
3. Keep a food journal
The documentary suggested counting calories is key. While I agree with this, it's only a fraction of the weight loss equation. Calories, carbs, fats and portions are all vital to meeting your goals. Writing down foods BEFORE you eat them, rather than after, is important. Not only because most people only record 60% of their daily intake it will help you to decided if eating that dessert or bag of chips is really worth it.
Moral: Count EVERYTHING for success!
4. DON'T BLAME YOUR METABOLISM
Ahhh how we love to blame others for our problems! No one forced you at gun point to super size your meal or eat that extra piece of cake. For the majority of people, metabolism is rarely to blame. Not following a plan or staying active is the reason for stalled weight loss.
Moral: STOP the blame game and take control!
5. Soups make you full longer.
This make account for all of those miracle soup diets! The research shows that if you consume the exact portions of food blended with water (think, thick soup purée) vs eating the exact same portions of food with purée soup keeps you full twice as long. Why? Drinking water with a meal means the water drains from the stomachs first which doesn't change digestion. When blended, the water stays, digestion slows and creates the feeling of fullness stomach longer.
Moral: purée soups can curb appetite
6. Lean proteins keep you fuller, longer.
In the film, they act as if the success of weight loss is stopping hunger. While controlling hunger is important, regulating insulin is key. Insulin is a natural hormone made by the body that is necessary for converting carbohydrates into fuel and fat.
The link between insulin and weight gain
When you take insulin, glucose is able to enter your cells, and glucose levels in your blood drop. This is the desired therapeutic goal. However, if the number of calories you take in and your activity level result in more calories than you need to maintain a healthy weight, your cells will get more glucose than they need. Glucose that your cells don’t use accumulates as fat.
Moral: control insulin by reducing carbohydrate intake by eating whole unprocessed foods, mainly plant based, and lean proteins in the form of fish, poultry, grass fed beef or lentils.
7. The more options available, the more you’re inclined to eat. It’s human nature!
Throughout human history, the urge for dietary variety has helped us stay healthy. People who ate different types of food each day were—and still are—more likely to obtain all their essential nutrients. But today, because of the array of unhealthy, processed, and fattening foods available, our attraction to dietary variety is no longer the asset it once was.
Katherine Tallmadge, author of Diet Simple.
Moral: Stay away from the buffet!!!
8. High dairy (calcium) May help you reduce fat absorption.
In a study conducted in Denmark it has been observed that the more calcium you include in your diet the less body fat you will have and the less you will weigh. Why? The more dairy calcium you include in your diet the less fat will be absorbed by the digestive system.
While the evidence seems promising I’m not a dairy fan for a number of reason but that’s another post.
Moral: Got Milk?
9. Exercise increases “after burn” effect.
Great news! Research shows regardless of the amount of calories you burn during a physical activity, your body continues burning calories up to 24 hours after exercise. Don’t skip those work outs!
Moral: a little exercise goes a long way and “after burn” is awesome!
10. Small Changes & Keep Active
Keep active throughout the day.
Taking the stairs, short walks or impromptu office aerobics will continue heart rates throughout the day which BURNS MORE CALORIES! Take each and every opportunity to throw a few more squats and lunges into your daily routine.
Moral: small changes can lead to BIG results !!
Watch the documentary online:
What are your weight loss challenges?
In good health,