If you’re like most of the population, one of your New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight. Did you know that 90% of diets fail? Dieting increases stress hormones, lowers testosterone, and causes you to store fat when it’s over.1
Let’s resolve to not ‘diet’ this year, and instead, implement a few good lifestyle habits that help you reach your goals and maintain them.
Sleep more. Don’t underestimate the miracle of sleep when it comes to fat loss. Sleeping allows your body to detoxify, repair, and regenerate cells and muscles. Aside from lack of energy, people who do not get 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night have lower levels of leptin, which regulates body weight and metabolism, and higher levels of ghrelin, which stimulates hunger. A good night’s rest will help you naturally feel full and eat less. The late owls also miss out on the benefits of growth hormones, which stimulate the breakdown of fat and increase lean muscle.
It’s not all about calories – eat some good fats. Eating fat does not make you fat and counting calories doesn’t work. Yes, there are more calories per gram in fat, but fat does not trigger the release of the fat-storing hormone insulin the way carbohydrates do. The gluten, sugar, and chemicals in the low fat products are what cause you to gain weight. Fat balances the satiety hormones making you feel fuller, longer. Good fats to include are avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts, seeds, and yes, even quality fat from pasture-raised, organic animal protein can be your ticket to those skinny jeans. Just be sure to keep sugar intake low and eat moderate portions.
Remove inflammatory foods. Inflammation in the body can interfere with fat loss despite all your good efforts. You can damper inflammation by removing inflammatory foods such as simple carbohydrates, gluten, added sugar, alcohol, and dairy. I also recommend getting tested for food sensitivities as they are often the hidden factor in fat loss.
Drink water between meals. You often mistake dehydration for hunger. Staying hydrated will keep snacking at bay. You don’t have to limit yourself to water; low-calorie alternatives include herbal teas and sparkling water with lime, as well as fruits and vegetables, which are high in water content.
Protein is important. Many of us miss the mark when it comes to protein consumption when cutting calories. Simply put, protein is the building block of muscle. The body will eat away your muscle and store fat when you are low calorie and protein deficient. An easy solution is to eat some protein at every meal, especially at breakfast to accelerate fat loss.
Exercise. Being consistent is the key, so to fit it in more often, you’ll want to spend less time doing more intense work like high intensity training. Get a workout partner. Don’t stress out about getting in hours at the gym; just do something.
Tiffany is a Certified Nutrition Consultant and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner and can be reached at (760)285.1221 www.GlutenFreeWithTiffany.com
Reference: 1) http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMoa1105816