With summer approaching, clients have asked me to support them with their weight loss or management. Many people are battling a couple of kilos which have snuck on over winter. While weight loss for many is more about the looks, my concern is about the contribution to disease. Obesity has been linked to many health risks such as heart disease, diabetes, gallbladder problems, osteoarthritis and cancer, just to name a few. Unfortunately, it is not just about what you eat and how much you move. Other factors such as stress, hormones, inflammation and sleep also influence your body’s ability to deal with calories.
Here are 5 strategies, that will help you to manage your weight:
1. Start your day with a protein meal
Protein will help you regulate the appetite, increase satiety and encourage weight loss. My kids and I love pancakes for breakfast – check out my favourite 2 recipes
packed with protein.
2. Add fibre to your diet
Fibre will help you with weight loss (especially abdominal fat) as well as to prolong your
feeling of fullness and to reduce your appetite. Fruit, vegetables, legumes,
chia seeds, psyllium, nuts and seeds are a good source of fibre. Now that the weather is warming up, think about having a salad as a healthy lunch/dinner option where you can include lots of fibre food.
3. Enjoy your food
Hormones released when you express enjoyment help you with weight management and metabolism as well as fat mobilisation. Increase this effect by sharing a meal - the oxytocin released will assist in inducing weight loss and metabolic improvement. Also your relaxed state when enjoying your food will ensure that you have the correct stomach acid amount to absorb important nutrients. When you are happy, you are also more likely to crave less unhealthy carbs.
4. Deal with your stress
Cortisol, released during stress, does not only increase your appetite, sugar craving and weight gain, but the weight gained will most likely be around your belly, as a specific enzyme needed by cortisol is located in adipose (fat) tissues mostly found around your abdomen. This is not only bad news when you are trying to fit into your jeans, but also for your health, as abdominal fat is linked to the development of cardiovascular disease as well as other disorders.
I cannot get around recommending to exercise. We all know how important movement is, not just for our weight, but stress levels and health as well. Take your dog for walks or ask a friend to join you for an exercising activity – this can be more fun and allows you to catch up with your friends as well.