Posted on 11-09-2016
Weight Loss Strategies
Barbara Goshorn BSRN MSACN
So often when I see patients, they tell me their goal is to lose weight, but a more important goal is learning to be healthy. Over the years, I’ve compiled a list of weight loss strategies.
- Remember, you need to change how you think of food and eating. Don’t think temporary “diet”, but instead eat to nourish your body. Eating in this manner is a lifestyle.
- Plan your meals. Nothing wrecks healthy eating more than not having a plan. Consider your day or even your week, and decide what you’re going to eat. Stock your refrigerator and pantry with healthy basics.
- Take a day and prepare meals for the week. Cook up a turkey. Make a crock pot of soup or chili. Keep your pocketbook, office, or car stocked with healthy snacks such as apples, nuts, or carrots.
- Eat breakfast daily. Protein in the morning is really important. Try eggs, yogurt (without the added sugar), nuts, or even leftovers from the night before dinner (my favorite is soup).
- Sit down when you eat. Studies show people eat five times more when they stand or eat on the go. Sitting leads to mindfulness eating and increased relaxation. Relaxing while eating allows the stomach to release the appropriate amount of stomach acid (think heart burn with rushed meals on the go).
- Hydrate. Try to drink half your weight in water each day.
- Watch your sweet tooth and consumption of sugar. The average American consumes in excess of 100 pounds of sugar a year. Remember when sugar (or breads, pasta, cereals, and bagels) is eaten, insulin is released by the pancreas. In addition to telling the body to store sugar in muscle cells, insulin triggers fat storage (in the belly area)! Read labels and look for sugar hidden in surprising places: yogurt, soup, salad dressing, cereal, bread, bouillon. There are over 60 names for sugar but many end in “ose” The new criteria from The American Heart Association says that women should have no more than 6 teaspoons a day and men no more than 8 teaspoons a day. A fruited yogurt has 24 grams of sugar, which is an entire day’s worth of sugar!
- Eat a salad for one meal a day each and every day. It is an easy way to get vegetables into your diet. Leafy greens and veggies are low in calories, high in fiber and water, and they fill you up.
- Weigh yourself once a week. It is a wonderful way to keep you accountable. A recent study found dieters who frequently stepped on the scale lost more weight than those who weighed themselves less than every week.
- Don’t rely on willpower alone to avoid tempting treats. If you know you can’t resist potato chips, don’t have them in the house. Putting them out of sight won’t help. Your brain will remember where they are, and when you are tired or stressed, you will head right for where they are hidden!
- Find a workout buddy and exercise even when you don’t feel like it. Studies show that people who teamed up were far less likely to skip exercise than those who went at it alone. A buddy provides accountability as well as being a motivator for not giving up.
- Watch your alcohol consumption. Unfortunately, when it comes to weight loss, alcohol doesn’t do you any favors. The average pour is often one and a half times larger than people think it is (the same goes for all serving sizes). This translates to one glass of wine easily being over 300 calories.
- Don’t drink your calories. Why, because the sugar gets absorbed so quickly. This translates to a more profound effect on blood sugar and insulin levels (insulin = fat storage). In addition, your brain doesn’t register fullness the way it does with actual food. Sugar is in sports drinks, teas, green juices, lattes, cappuccinos, etc.
- Remember to relax about food. You don’t need to live punitively in order to keep your weight off. You’ve worked hard to lose, but don’t punish yourself if you indulge occasionally. Just keep your portions in check. If you really want a dessert, have It, but as a special treat, not daily.
Call Your Rochester Weight Loss Specialist!
- Keep your follow up appointments with Barb, your Rochester weight loss specialist. Research has validated, being accountable to someone is a big motivator.