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If you were to ask people randomly whether weight loss was one of their goals, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who’s completely happy with their health and fitness.
The key to lasting weight loss lies in reducing your appetite the right way. Instead of calorie restriction and starvation as go-to techniques for dropping weight, hormones that are out of balance and causing faulty triggers in brain chemistry must be fixed in order to create optimal conditions for science-backed willpower.
Another critical component to lasting weight loss is fixing your metabolism. If you have been a serial dieter for most of your adult life, you have done some damage to your metabolic rate. Your system doesn’t know whether it’s coming or going; you must learn how to stoke your fat-burning furnace so that you can continue to consistently burn calories all day long, regardless of your activity level.
1. You rely on your own willpower rather than on science to control your appetite. Most diets encourage us to eat less, and this triggers a hunger/starvation response in our brains. We feel hunger, and our bodies respond by slowing metabolic rate to conserve energy and save some calories for later. This is a dieting recipe for disaster.
Instead: We must learn to eat differently to work cooperatively with our body’s systems to reduce the slowed metabolic response. Eating when we feel a hunger trigger, and choosing fresh, whole foods is one way to tell your body that you are on the same team. Eat a protein-rich breakfast and do your best to balance your meals to promote healthy blood sugar and insulin levels. Fat, protein, and fiber all work together to slow insulin and blood sugar spikes; balance is key to lasting weight loss.
2. You focus solely on calorie counting. A cup of fresh fruit and a candy bar have essentially the same number of calories; where do YOU want to get your calorie count and nutrition from to fuel your day? Eating well, and refusing to focus solely on calories, will keep you primed with good fuel and feeding your body what it needs to continue revving up your metabolism.
Instead: Focus on low glycemic foods like grass-fed proteins, vegetables, and nuts as the staples of your diet. Eat grains, fruit, and beans sparingly, as they spike blood sugar levels and trigger the insulin/hunger response. Sugar should only be taken in small doses occasionally. If you have to ask if something is ok for you to consume, it most likely shouldn’t be eaten.
3. You eat a low-fat diet. A common misconception of many dieters is that they must cut out fat in order to lose fat. Nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, the consumption of healthy fats helps to flush visceral fat from the cells of the body, resulting in near-effortless weight loss.
Instead: Fat satiates your appetite – it makes you feel fuller, longer. Consumption of clean animal fats such as egg yolks and omega-rich fish, as well as veggie fats such as avocado, nuts, seeds, and coconut oil will help to burn calories all day long. Studies have shown that the moderate consumption of clean fats burns 300 extra calories a day without exercise! Eat that guacamole!
While it might be tempting to try a taco cleanse, or to listen to the friend who has lost 30 pounds in two weeks on the broccoli soup diet, choosing a weight loss plan that is backed by science will work best for the long haul. Here are some of the best programs for achieving lasting weight loss and improving total health and fitness.
What is more trustworthy than a diet devised by some of the most well-respected doctors and dietitians in the world? With the Mayo Clinic diet’s killer nutrition plan, advice on working out, and resources for overcoming weight loss plateaus, you’ll see consistent results on a weekly basis if you stick with it. The Mayo Clinic diet offers online support and a manual that can be followed.
Don’t roll your eyes just yet – Weight Watchers has been around for years for a reason; it works. U.S. News and World Report named Weight Watchers the “best weight loss program available” as recently as 2017; with their array of nutritional resources, options, advice, and support, sticking with it and developing new friendships along the way is a common benefit for many. A points system where no food is truly off-limits makes it easy for those of us who don’t like to deprive ourselves of guilty pleasures. Keep those points in check!
Jenny Craig designs customized meal plans for you, your budget, and your lifestyle. A personal consultant meets with you in person or online at least once a week to motivate you and to keep you accountable, and the meals are absolutely delicious! With over 100 items to choose from, it makes planning and eating your meals a fun part of the process. Counting calories and keeping track of nutritional information becomes a snap when the heavy lifting is done for you.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has proclaimed that “vegan and vegetarian diets are superior nutrition for the body and for the environment”. A shift like this is not easy for most of us to make; consider replacing a daily meat meal with something that is plant-based, and then gradually work your way toward meatless days, meatless weeks, and the like. The more you experiment with different food combinations and vegetarian recipes, the more comfortable you will feel with this big change you are making.
This program has become so accessible to everyone that you can find pre-packaged meals and snacks at your local Walmart and Target stores. Meals are properly proportioned, you can switch meals and snacks within a week’s supply to fit your cravings and needs, and all you need to do is supplement with some quick and healthy snacks to round out your nutrition program. Meals can be easily prepared at home, at work, or even on the go, making consuming your daily calories a breeze. Now round out your total wellness plan with a kicking workout routine, and you’re bound to see results!
This diet enables the individual to burn ketones (from fat) rather than glucose (from carbs). By doing this, studies indicate that individuals may see an increased speed in metabolism, an increase in muscle mass, a decrease in blood pressure/heart attack risk, a reduction of blood sugar and insulin levels, and also a lessening of overall
hunger. Many beset by epilepsy, morbid obesity and Type 2 diabetes use the keto diet as a method for success. There are a number of keto-friendly foods one can look to consume whilst on this diet. Seafood, in general, is chock-full of a number of vitamins. Consumption of fish, in general, is also associated with a decreased risk of disease, a lowering of insulin levels, and improved mental health. Studies indicate that children on a ketogenic diet experience a greater than 50 percent reduction when it comes to enduring seizures.
Regardless of where you are starting from, working with one of these programs will help you to achieve the health and wellness goals that you have. Be patient, implement small and consistent changes to your daily routine, and be proud of all successes, both large and small. In time, you’ll be looking and feeling better than you have in years!