Weight loss can be a difficult process, but it doesn't have to be. With some simple lifestyle adjustments and healthy habits, it is possible to lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way. Easy weight loss strategies include eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, tracking your calorie intake, and getting enough sleep. Additionally, drinking plenty of water and eating more whole foods can help you reach your weight loss goals. Making small changes over time can have a big impact on your overall health. Sticking to an exercise routine, limiting processed foods, and planning meals in advance are all great tips for long-term success. With a little bit of consistency and commitment, it's possible to achieve your weight loss goals without sacrificing your health or happiness.
B. Reasons why people want to lose weight
People often want to lose weight for a variety of reasons. Health benefits, such as a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, are a major motivator, as are aesthetic concerns. People may want to lose weight to improve their body image and to fit into clothing better. Additionally, some people believe that their lives will improve if they are able to reach a healthier body weight. Exercise, healthy eating, and even medical treatments can help people achieve their weight loss goals. Ultimately, it’s important for people to be realistic about their weight loss goals and to focus on their health and well-being.
II. Understanding Your Body
A. Importance of knowing your body type
Knowing your body type is important for understanding your individual needs when it comes to nutrition and exercise. Different body types require different approaches to food and exercise in order to achieve optimal health and wellness. By understanding your body type, you can determine what level of activity and which types of foods are best for you. Having an understanding of your body type can also help you set realistic goals and expectations for yourself in terms of body composition and physical performance. Additionally, understanding your body type can help you identify potential health issues that you may be susceptible to, so that you can take the necessary steps to minimize any risks. Ultimately, knowing your body type is a great way to make informed decisions about your health and wellness, and help you live a healthier life.
B. Identifying metabolic rate
Metabolic rate is an essential factor in maintaining overall health and wellness. Identifying one's metabolic rate is important for understanding how the body utilizes energy and for creating an individualized diet and exercise plan. Metabolic rate can be identified in a number of ways, including through the measurement of oxygen consumption, the calculation of resting metabolic rate, and the measurement of body temperature. Knowing one’s metabolic rate can also help to explain why some individuals struggle to lose weight, and can be used to create personalized strategies to reach health goals.
III. Setting Realistic Goals
A. Making achievable goals
Making achievable goals for weight loss can be an important part of a successful weight loss plan. Establishing realistic goals with attainable timelines and objectives can help you stay on track and stay motivated. When creating goals, it’s important to consider how much weight you want to lose, how quickly you want to lose it, what changes you can make to your lifestyle to support the goal, and how you can track your progress. A good starting point is to set a goal to lose one to two pounds a week, as this is a realistic and healthy amount of weight loss. To help stay on track, you should also make sure to set up regular weigh-ins, plan healthy meals and snacks, stay active, and get enough sleep. By setting achievable goals, tracking your progress, and taking actionable steps towards your goals, you can make healthy and sustainable progress towards your weight loss goals.
B. Breaking down the goals into manageable chunks
Breaking down the weight loss goals into manageable chunks is an essential part of any successful weight loss journey. By doing so, you can break large, intimidating goals into smaller, more achievable targets. This gives you a sense of accomplishment as you progress and makes the overall goal less overwhelming. Additionally, when you break down your weight loss goals into smaller chunks, you can focus on the individual aspects of your overall plan. This allows you to make adjustments to your diet, lifestyle, and exercise routine if needed and helps you stay on track. Finally, breaking down your weight loss goals into manageable chunks also keeps you motivated. Each time you reach a goal, you can enjoy the feeling of success and use it to push you to the next one. By breaking down your goals into more manageable chunks, you can make the entire weight loss process more enjoyable and rewarding.
IV. Eating for Weight Loss
A. Eating healthy and balanced meals
Eating healthy and balanced meals is essential for achieving a healthy lifestyle. A balanced diet consists of a variety of foods including fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Eating a variety of foods helps ensure that we get all the essential vitamins and minerals we need to stay healthy. In addition, regular physical activity is also important. Eating healthy meals can help us maintain a healthy weight, feel energized, and reduce our risk for many health conditions. It can also be an enjoyable experience, as it involves trying out new recipes and cooking methods. To make sure you’re eating a balanced diet, make sure to include foods from all the major food groups in your meals and snacks. Eating healthy can be simple, tasty, and fun!
V. Exercising for Weight Loss
A. The importance of physical activity
Physical activity is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, offering multiple benefits for our physical and mental wellbeing. Regular physical activity helps to maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, increase energy levels, and improve mood and sleep quality. Physical activity also helps to reduce stress and anxiety, improve cognitive function and self-esteem, and can even help to reduce the risk of certain types of cancers. These benefits are available to all ages and abilities, making physical activity an important part of every day life. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, spread throughout the week, and that children and adolescents get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily. For those with limited mobility, low-impact activities can provide similar benefits. Whatever the activity, the key is to make physical activity a part of your daily routine.
B. Different types of exercises
When it comes to weight loss, there are many different types of exercises to choose from. From cardiovascular activities like running, biking, and swimming to strength training exercises such as squats, deadlifts, and lunges, there are plenty of options available to help you reach your fitness goals. Cardiovascular activities can help you burn more calories, while strength training exercises can help build muscle and burn fat. Additionally, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts have been shown to be effective for weight loss, as they involve alternating between high-intensity and low-intensity exercises to maximize fat burning. Furthermore, incorporating a variety of exercises into your routine can help keep it fresh and exciting and can help prevent you from getting bored. Finally, activities like yoga and Pilates can help improve your core strength and flexibility, which can be beneficial for weight loss. All in all, there are many types of exercises to choose from when it comes to weight loss, so finding one that works for you is key.
VI. Staying Motivated
A. Finding a support system
Finding a support system for weight loss can be a great way to stay motivated and on track with your weight loss goals. Having a support system can help to provide you with the encouragement and accountability that you need to stay on track. A support system can take many forms, including family and friends, as well as fitness coaches, dietitians, and other professionals. You can also find support online through forums, blogs, and other websites. A good support system should provide you with the motivation, guidance, and resources to help you reach your goals. Additionally, a good support system should be able to provide you with the tools you need to make healthy lifestyle changes, such as healthy recipes and exercise tips. Lastly, a good support system should offer you emotional support, understanding, and encouragement to help you stay on track. With the right support system, you can achieve your weight loss goals.
B. Seeking professional help
Seeking professional help for weight loss is an important step for anyone who is serious about achieving their weight loss goals. Not only does professional help provide the guidance and accountability to help stay on track, but it also offers the expertise of a dietitian or nutritionist to create a personalized plan tailored to each individual's unique needs. Professional help can also provide education and understanding on how to make healthy food choices and lifestyle changes that will help to reach and maintain a healthy weight. Professional help can also provide support and motivation throughout the journey, helping to ensure that weight loss is both safe and successful.
A. Summary of key points
Weight loss is a goal that many people strive for, but knowing where to start can be overwhelming. The key to successful weight loss is finding the right combination of diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes. Eating a healthy, balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats is essential for weight loss. Incorporating regular exercise into your routine can help you burn more calories, build muscle, and increase overall health. Additionally, making lifestyle changes such as getting adequate sleep, managing stress levels, and drinking plenty of water can help you reach your weight loss goals. With dedication and persistence, you can achieve your desired weight.
B. Using the tips to stay on track
Losing weight can be a difficult journey, but there are tips and strategies that can help you stay on track and reach your goals. These tips include adjusting your diet to include healthier foods and drinks, increasing your activity level, tracking your progress, and setting realistic goals. Eating healthier foods can help you feel fuller and more satisfied, while reducing your calorie intake. Increasing activity levels can help you burn more calories and become more active. Tracking your progress can help you stay motivated and keep you accountable. Finally, setting realistic goals can help you stay focused and motivated to reach your desired weight. With the right attitude and commitment, these tips can help you stay on track for losing weight and achieving your goals.
Our body weight is determined by the amount of energy we take in as food and the amount of energy we lose by using it in our daily activities. Healthy body weight can be achieved and maintained by physical activity, healthy eating, stress reduction, and optimal sleep. Many other factors may also be helpful to maintain healthy body weight. Healthy eating includes a variety of healthy diets. Junk and unbalanced food can be unhealthy and affect your body weight.
Obesity, being a chronic condition, affects more than 33% of adults and about seventeen percent of children and adolescents in the USA. Overweight and obese people have a greater risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, stroke, kidney disease, and other health problems.
Obese and overweight
Being overweight and obese are two separate things. Those who are overweight or obese weigh more than universal standards for their height. The extra weight may come from body water, bone, muscle tissue, or fat. Body mass index (BMI) is described as a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the height in square meters. While a high BMI can indicate high body fatness, it is just a screening tool. It is not diagnostic and other factors like high muscle mass may interfere with the accuracy of BMI.
Purpose of weight management
Weight management helps patients to achieve and maintain the best possible weight in the context of overall health, occupation, and living conditions. It is also useful for the prevention and treatment of diseases related to obesity. These disorders include diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.
Obesity is associated with an increased risk for health problems. Some medical conditions related to obesity include:
high blood pressure
some types of cancer
increased blood cholesterol levels
It is pertinent to note that a reduction in weight for those who are overweight can positively impact their health condition. After losing weight, many overweight people improve their mood, self-esteem, and motivation. Overall, they enjoy better health.
Steps towards weight management
Since the 1980s, health care professionals and nutritionists recognize that successful weight management programs have the following three characteristics:
Weight management is a lifetime activity with healthy patterns of eating and exercise, rather than ensuring strict dieting alternating with careless eating habits.
Each patient’s age, general health, living conditions, and other individual factors are taken into account.
The psychological, emotional, and spiritual facets of a patient’s life are crucial factors for people to navigate as they adopt a healthy lifestyle.
Be confident and bear in mind that the future will be much better than the past. When you overeat, learn to be careful in the future and move on, as each new day is the beginning of healthy eating habits.
Ensure a healthy eating pattern of whole, unprocessed foods that are rich in fiber, lower in fat, and contain fewer protein sources. The nutritional method for weight management programs includes motivation about healthful eating and changing food intake. Most weight management programs are based on foods that provide sufficient vitamins and minerals. Ideal weight-management diets teach people how to make the best food choices for gaining gradual weight loss. Some diets may have fixed venus, while others are based on exchanges in food.
Understanding nutrition is crucial to successful weight management because many people don’t understand how their body uses food. People with eating disorders may try to reduce their weight in unhealthy ways.
A recent study of adolescents revealed that 17% of men and 32% of women were using potentially harmful methods of weight control such as fasting, smoking, laxatives, or over-the-counter diet pills.
One should eat mindfully and responsibly, paying attention to portion sizes and avoiding overeating. Look at the nutrients labeled on the packages, including their serving sizes. Use smaller bowls and plates to help choose smaller portions at meals. Fix your mealtime, eat slowly with a focus on your meal. Stop eating when you don’t want it.
Regular physical exercise is an important part of weight management as it enhances the number of calories used by the body and helps the body to replace fat with thin muscle tissues. Exercise also helps lower emotional stress levels and promote a general sense of well-being.
Patients should consult a physician before starting an exercise program to make sure the activity they intend to start is safe with any health problems they may already have. For instance, those with osteoarthritis should avoid high-impact sports that are hard on the ankle and knee joints. Ideal exercises for most people include walking, cycling, swimming, and stretching.
Making healthy lifestyle adjustments is paramount for achieving and maintaining ideal body weight. You can easily keep the weight off if you exercise regularly, eat whole foods, and spend less time in front of computer and television screens.
Most people in weight management programs can’t change their eating habits because they’re motivated by friends or family, or media messages that encourage overeating as a mood-enhancing device. More effective weight management programs depend on broad-based changes in society and personal will.
There are countless lists of supplements, therapies, and meal replacement timetables all over the internet claiming to have the answers to your weight loss questions. But not all are scientifically proven methods to work for everyone, the best ways to lose body weight should have scientific backup and explanations as to how they are going to do the work.
Some of these scientifically proven methods include: exercises, intermittent fasting, and being mindful of the calories in your diet (1).This article will explore some of the best methods that will help in reducing body weight. Keep reading!
Intermittent fasting: Intermittent fasting is the eating method that involves short breaks in between your meals. If you have been worried about how to lose weight with convenience, intermittent fasting is for you because it permits you to eat your meals, but in shorter times because of the breaks in between. Studies have revealed that overweight individuals who are bothered about how to lose weight that participated in a 24-week intermittent fasting journey were able to lose a reasonable amount of their body weight (1). The following are the methods available for intermittent fasting:
Alternate day fasting: here, you fast on some days, and on days you are not fasting, you eat normally on those days. The revised version of this method allows a person to consume thirty percent of the required body calories on the days they are fasting.
16:8 method: In reducing body weight, this method allows you to eat whatever you want to eat for eight hours of the day while you fast for the remaining 16 hours of the day.
5:2 Diet: This is one of the most convenient and best ways to lose body weight because it allows you to fast for two days a week, while you eat five days of the week, and on the days you are fasting, you take only 500 to 600 of your expected calories per day (1).
Exercise your body
Although exercise is not an inevitable requirement in your weight loss journey it is one of the best and most natural means to lose body weight. When you lift weights, you burn some calories, and it also helps to speed up your metabolism, which has been seen as a disadvantage in weight loss. Aside from weight lifting, simple cardio exercises like jogging, swimming, and running are also means of reducing body weight (2).
Fruits and vegetables
Nutritionists have recorded that fruits and vegetables contain more fiber with very low calories, and fat, which are important things to pay attention to on your weight loss journey. Fruits and vegetables also provide your body with vitamins and minerals (3).
Reduce refined carbs
Tried intermittent fasting, and are still bothered about how to lose weight? You must be doing something wrong on your weight loss journey. Cut down on your sugars and starches, and carbohydrates except when they contain enough fiber. With that, you feel hungry lesser, and you will take only fewer calories, while your body is also burning up the stored fats (2).
Join a support group, and stay positive
One of the best ways to lose body weight is to remain motivated and positive in your weight loss journey. Some days you will feel like giving up, to have a successful weight loss journey requires your full motivation, and positivity, and having a support group of like-minded individuals will keep you moving daily (4).
In the age where everyone is striving to fit in the category of Instagramable bodies and to look better and better, the trend of weight loss is reaching its peak. Whenever the term weight loss is mentioned, food automatically joins the conversation. The food we eat has a lasting impact on how we look and how much weight our bodies will have. In the growing digital age, there are numerous diet plans have been launched for every body type and shape. All diets are based on a calorie deficit, to restrict the calorie intake and to maximize the calorie burning in the body. This is the basic weight loss mechanism. But besides diet plans, there are certain foods that can be included in daily life to help you shed some pounds without getting in the hassle of certain diet plans. Here is the list of those foods to kickstart your weight loss journey:
Beans are going to be your best friend if you are looking forward to cut off some fat in your body. They are inexpensive and easily accessible. They are high in protein and fiber content and importantly they are slower to digest which means that you won’t be feeling hungry anytime sooner after having them.
The main culprit of weight gain and all those fatty areas in the body is snacking. You get bored, you feel a little hungry, and boom you are now with a bag of processed chips ruining all the calorie deficit you are trying to maintain for a whole week. One of the best ways to tackle this snacking habit is to swap it with healthier alternatives. Introduce nuts to your diet as snacks and you will surely notice a declining of the weight you have been putting on.
The monster of hunger can make you feel like you are going to devour everything around you. In order to conquer this hunger, you have to feed your body with something that can tame your desire of eating in large portions. Soups are the best thing to add to your routine. It can be plain or chunky but broth-based, it will help you in eating less without compromising the health of your body.
Are you a chocolate lover? Everyone is! Do you know that dark chocolate is a really good snack for shedding some weight off you? Swap those milky chocolate bars with chunks of dark chocolate between meals. This will help you control your cravings and you can also enjoy them as a delicious snack on the side.
Fruits and veggies
Ditch those processed juices like apple juice, mango juice, etc. and stick to the fruit as it is. This will help you feel fuller and that too without taking in any extra calories. You can also add veggies to your meals to cut off some calories like adding mashed cauliflower to your Mac and cheese, this will not only enhance the flavor but also help in reducing calories along with the addition of some nutritional values.
And the list of these foods goes on. There is plenty of option that can help you with your weight loss journey but consistency is the key!
To learn more give us a call today to book your free consultation at 416-221-1583
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Weight loss is about living a healthier, happier life. Why not? Losing those extra fats can indeed improve overall wellness. For many people – both men and women – it is also to increase the chances of getting pregnant. As it turned out, being overweight or obese has a negative implication on fertility. Read on to understand why that is so to have a better understanding of the science.
Infertility in Canada
The widely accepted definition of infertility is failure to conceive after one year or longer of unprotected sex. For women, fertility declines steadily with age. Hence the general recommendation for women 35 years or older is to consult with a reproductive endocrinologist if unable to get pregnant after six months of unprotected sex. Keep in mind, though, that infertility is not exclusive to women but also men.
In Canada, if you were to gather six couples together, there is a chance that one of them may have a fertility issue. 1 in 6 or 16% of couples experience infertility, a number that has doubled since the 80s (“Fertility”).
The cause of infertility in couples by gender are as follows:
20% both man and woman
10% no reason found
There is no denying that infertility can take a toll on relationships, negatively impacting emotional and psychological well-being. The cost of treatments can also place a heavy burden on finances.
Overweight and Obesity in Canada
On weight, healthcare professionals refer to the body mass index (BMI), a calculation based on an individual’s height and body mass.
BMI = weight / height in meter squared
A person with BMI ranging from 18.5 to 24.9 is healthy and most ideal. If it falls between 25 to 29, that person is overweight. At 30 and above, that person is obese.
Overweight and obesity are a long-standing concern in Canada. Consider these figures in 2018 (“Overweight and Obese Adults, 2018”):
8% or 7.3 million Canadian adults (18 years and older) are obese
3% or 9.9 million Canadian adults are overweight
The numbers are staggering. A combined 63.1% of the population are either overweight or obese. Although there is no evidence, perhaps it could be one factor contributing to the continuous decline of the fertility rate in Canada (“Canada Fertility Rate 1950-2020”).
Canada’s fertility rate (births per woman) over the last four years:
A fertility rate of 2.1 is a must for the population to stay stable. It has been half a century since Canada met this threshold. At the present course of 1.5, the number of new births is not enough to replace the current population. It is the reason why the government introduced measures to accept 401,000 new permanent residents in 2021.
Fertility and Weight
Discussing the causes of infertility among men and women and treatment options is beyond this article’s scope. In particular, our focus is on weight (body fats) and how it affects fertility.
Infertility in Overweight or Obese Women
Overweight and obese women need more time to conceive. Furthermore, obesity increases the risk of infertility threefold compared to non-obese women (Silvestris et al.). The difficulties in getting pregnant are due to unhealthy weight, causing hormonal imbalances, inability to release an egg from ovaries, and menstrual disorders.
For women seeking assisted reproduction, excess weight negatively impacts intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), in-vitro fertilization (IVF), and ovulation induction.
Note: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which causes low fertility or infertility, is an obesity-related condition.
Infertility in Overweight or Obese Men
Every single-point increase in BMI causes a 2% testosterone decrease (Travison et al.). The waistline is, too, a factor, with every 4-inch increasing the chances of low testosterone level by 75% (Svartberg et al.).
Compared to men with normal BMI, being overweight increases the chances of low sperm count (oligozoospermia) by 11%, no sperm in the ejaculate (azoospermia) by 39%. In obese men, the chances of low sperm count increase by 42%, and no sperm in the ejaculate by 81% (Sermondade). Mainly, this is due to a prime hormonal defect leading to the inability to maintain testosterone concentrations (Katib). Consequently, it negatively impacts the production of sperm.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is another condition that may arise. For instance, having a BMI of 28 increases the chances of developing this condition by 90% (Garimella et al.).
Weight Loss and Fertility
There are hundreds of studies on the negative impact of being overweight and obese on health, including fertility. The logical assumption is that for such people to be fertile, they have to lose weight. Indeed, a study shows that much. Losing even only 5% to 10% of body weight can already restore fertility (Balen and Anderson).
Particularly for women, PCOS can be the cause of overweight or obesity. The imbalance in reproductive hormones prevents ovaries from releasing an egg. For women trying to get pregnant, that difficulty does not end there. PCOS also causes insulin resistance that stops ovulation because the ovaries produce less estrogen and more testosterone.
With a BMI of 25 or above, weight loss greatly benefits women’s fertility – and men, too. It is also commonly believed that it helps improve the success rate of fertility treatments. However, recent studies suggest the improvements may not be as significant as previously thought (Gaskins). The focus, therefore, should not merely be about losing weight but also following a healthy diet. It is a must because there is also the entire pregnancy period to consider.
“Fertility.” Government of Canada, 2013, www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/fertility/fertility.html.
“Overweight and Obese Adults, 2018.” Statistics Canada, Government of Canada, 25 June 2019, www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/82-625-x/2019001/article/00005-eng.htm.
Silvestris, Erica, et al. “Obesity as Disruptor of the Female Fertility.” Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, vol. 16, no. 1, 9 Mar. 2018, 10.1186/s12958-018-0336-z.
Travison, Thomas G., et al. “The Relative Contributions of Aging, Health, and Lifestyle Factors to Serum Testosterone Decline in Men.” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, vol. 92, no. 2, Feb. 2007, pp. 549–555, 10.1210/jc.2006-1859. Accessed 10 Dec. 2019.
Svartberg, Johan, et al. “Waist Circumference and Testosterone Levels in Community Dwelling Men. The Tromsø Study.” European Journal of Epidemiology, vol. 19, no. 7, July 2003, pp. 657–663, link.springer.com/article/10.1023%2FB%3AEJEP.0000036809.30558.8f, 10.1023/b:ejep.0000036809.30558.8f. Accessed 2 Nov. 2019.
Sermondade, Nathalie. “Obesity and Increased Risk for Oligozoospermia and Azoospermia.” Archives of Internal Medicine, vol. 172, no. 5, 12 Mar. 2012, p. 440, 10.1001/archinternmed.2011.1382. Accessed 9 Jan. 2021.
Katib, Atif. “Mechanisms Linking Obesity with Male Infertility.” Central European Journal of Urology, vol. 68, no. 1, 2015, 10.5173/ceju.2015.01.435.
Garimella, Pranav S., et al. “The Association between Body Size and Composition and Erectile Dysfunction in Older Men: Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study.” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, vol. 61, no. 1, Jan. 2013, pp. 46–54, 10.1111/jgs.12073. Accessed 15 Oct. 2020.
Garimella, Pranav S., et al. “Association between Body Size and Composition and Erectile Dysfunction in Older Men: Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study.” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, vol. 61, no. 1, Jan. 2013, pp. 46–54, 10.1111/jgs.12073. Accessed 15 Oct. 2020.
Balen, Adam H., and Richard A. Anderson. “Impact of Obesity on Female Reproductive Health: British Fertility Society, Policy and Practice Guidelines.” Human Fertility, vol. 10, no. 4, Jan. 2007, pp. 195–206, 10.1080/14647270701731290. Accessed 13 Dec. 2019.
Gaskins, Audrey J. “Recent Advances in Understanding the Relationship between Long- and Short-Term Weight Change and Fertility.” F1000Research, vol. 7, 26 Oct. 2018, p. 1702, 10.12688/f1000research.15278.1. Accessed 8 Oct. 2020.
Hormone balancing medications, supplements, diets, and programs are some of the most intriguing weight loss methods. When hormones misfire, the claim is that it leads to uncontrolled weight gain or futile attempts at weight loss. By correcting the hormonal imbalance, you can prevent obesity. More importantly for many people, it aids in getting rid of unwanted fats.
Hormones, secreted by endocrine system glands, act as the body’s chemical messengers. These chemical substances find their way into the bloodstream and get transported all over the body. Upon binding with an organ’s receptors, they send a signal instructing it to function in a specific way. It is in this manner that they play an essential role in controlling and coordinating vital bodily processes, such as:
Growth and development
Appetite and metabolism
Aside from the processes mentioned above, hormones also play a role in energy use and energy storage in the body. They also regulate the fluids, salts, and glucose (sugar) in the blood.
Hormonal Imbalance and Weight Loss or Gain
The endocrine system secretes more than 50 types of hormones to maintain homeostasis (List of human hormones). Not all of them affect the entire body, as some target only 1 or 2 specific organs. A hormonal imbalance – too little or too much of a hormone – can trigger a severe response even if the change is tiny. The inability to keep bodily functions stable leads to a plethora of conditions, including uncontrolled weight gain or sudden, unexplained weight loss.
Which hormonal imbalances lead to weight gain or weight loss?
During digestion, carbohydrates from food get converted into glucose. Simultaneously, the pancreas secretes insulin, which triggers glucose and nutrients’ uptake in cells from the bloodstream (expressed as calorie). Once absorbed, glucose becomes energy.
An excessive food intake, particularly high-calorie foods, results in the body producing more calories than needed. Then, the body converts the unused calories into fats, storing them throughout the body, especially in the belly. Failing to live a healthier lifestyle, the accumulation of fats increases weight, which increases the risk of insulin resistance (Kolb et al.).
Over time, the body’s sensitivity to insulin decreases. Consequently, the pancreas secretes higher insulin levels to continue supplying energy to the cells. Without intervention – exercise, better food choices and eating habits – the vicious cycles continue. The body keeps producing higher levels as insulin resistance keeps increasing, leading to diabetes (Olatunbosun and Griffing).
Recently, researchers found a connection between the brain’s sensitivity to insulin, weight, and fat (Kullmann et al.). For one, it determines where the body stores fats.
It also appears that lifestyle intervention for people with high brain sensitivity to insulin can lose more fat and weight. On the contrary,
those with high brain insulin resistance do not lose much weight at all. Furthermore, they regain weight sooner, thus rendering weight loss programs ineffective.
You can look at the relationship between insulin and weight loss as this. It is possible to promote weight loss by controlling – suppressing, or lowering – high insulin levels (Velasquez-Mieyer et al.).
The build-up of physical, mental, or emotional stress levels triggers the “flight-of-fight” mode in the nervous system. In turn, the brain responds by signalling the adrenal glands sitting atop the kidneys to secrete cortisol – more popularly known as the stress hormone – as well as adrenaline and noradrenaline.
Think of cortisol as the body’s defence mechanism, a response to perceived or actual threats (Understanding the stress response). It helps heighten your senses and increase energy level by pumping fuel into the bloodstream to run away from danger or fight the stressor. At the same time, it also stops the digestive system and lowers the metabolic rate.
Cortisol and adrenaline produce a burst of energy by breaking down fat. Likewise, these hormones also tap into the carbohydrates stored in the liver and muscles. Instead of losing weight, more people undergoing stress tend to eat more and end up gaining weight (Herhaus et al.). If a high cortisol level contributes to weight gain, low levels may also produce the opposite results – weight loss (Neary and Nieman).
Hypothyroidism is an illness caused by an underactive thyroid gland, affecting 2 out of 100 Canadians. A thyroid hormone deficiency primarily slows down the metabolic processes (Hypothyroidism). People suffering from thyroid problems cannot stand cold temperatures, feel tired quickly, gain weight, and more.
The lack of thyroid hormones makes it incredibly challenging to lose weight. However, some medications to normalize its levels appear to help in modest weight loss (Agnihothri et al.).
Testosterone hormone in men mainly comes from the testicles and ovaries for women (although at much lower levels). A deficiency may occur with advancing age, leading to late-onset hypogonadism, affecting several organs (Morales et al.). For men, it negatively impacts reproductive and sexual function by causing low sex drive, difficulty with erection, and low semen volume. Because of these, it is – for many – considered as one of the essential sex hormones.
A healthy level of testosterone promotes muscle growth while also suppressing fat gain. As muscles burn more calories than fat tissues, it helps minimize the storage of excess calories as fat. On the other hand, a testosterone deficiency makes it easy for men to gain more weight (Fui et al.).
For women, the “dreaded” menopause is when many of them start to gain weight. It is when one estrogen levels drop. In particular, estradiol – a form of estrogen – helps regulate metabolism, keeping body weight in check (Russell et al.). Its decline leads to the accumulation of fat in the abdomen and midsection.
In 1994, scientists made an exciting discovery. Leptin – dubbed obesity hormone, fat hormone, starvation hormone, and hunger hormone – appeared to be a breakthrough treatment for weight loss.
Leptin hormone, produced by fat cells, plays a role in weight management by signalling the brain that there is already enough fat stored. This action curbs appetite to help prevent overeating.
If its level drops, the brain interprets it as starvation, increases appetite, and slowly burns calories (Kelesidis et al.).
An imbalance, particularly leptin resistance, can also occur when the body no longer responds to this hormone. This condition can cause a person to gain weight, and scientists believe it to be a leading cause of obesity (Park and Ahima).
Gaining weight due to hormone issues may involve one or more hormones. In some cases, the gain is gradual while sudden in others. Because these chemicals play such an integral role in body processes, other symptoms also occur.
How do most people respond to weight gain?
Unfortunately, many people seek instant gratification by resorting to quick fixes. However, they are not entirely to blame. Makers and sellers of supplements and medication are excellent at creating enticing marketing campaigns. The best way to lose weight, however, is to change lifestyle habits. Exercising, eating healthy food, and getting enough sleep are the preferable ways. As for people who seem to have reached their weight loss plateau and suspect hormones might be the cause, seek help to regain hormone balance.
“List of Human Hormones.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 10 Mar. 2021, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_human_hormones.
Kolb, Hubert, et al. “Insulin Translates Unfavourable Lifestyle into Obesity.” BMC Medicine, BioMed Central, 13 Dec. 2018, bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12916-018-1225-1#Sec9.
Olatunbosun, Samuel T. “Insulin Resistance.” Edited by George T Griffing, Medscape, 8 Apr. 2020, emedicine.medscape.com/article/122501.
Kullmann, Stephanie, et al. “Brain Insulin Sensitivity Is Linked to Adiposity and Body Fat Distribution.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 15 Apr. 2020, www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-15686-y.
Velasquez-Mieyer, P A, et al. “Suppression of Insulin Secretion is Associated with Weight Loss and Altered Macronutrient Intake and Preference in a Subset of Obese Adults.” International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders: Journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Feb. 2003, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1490021/.
“Understanding the Stress Response.” Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School, 6 July 2020, www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/understanding-the-stress-response.
Herhaus, Benedict, et al. “High/Low Cortisol Reactivity and Food Intake in People with Obesity and Healthy Weight.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 27 Jan. 2020, www.nature.com/articles/s41398-020-0729-6.
Neary, Nicola, and Lynnette Nieman. “Adrenal Insufficiency: Etiology, Diagnosis and Treatment.” Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Obesity, U.S. National Library of Medicine, June 2010, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2928659/.
“Hypothyroidism.” Thyroid Foundation of Canada, thyroid.ca/resource-material/information-on-thyroid-disease/hypothyroidism/.
Agnihothri, Ritesh V, et al. “Moderate Weight Loss Is Sufficient to Affect Thyroid Hormone Homeostasis and Inhibit Its Peripheral Conversion.” Thyroid: Official Journal of the American Thyroid Association, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., Jan. 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3887425/.
Morales, Alvaro, et al. “Diagnosis and Management of Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome in Men: Clinical Practice Guideline.” CMAJ, Canadian Medical Association Journal, 8 Dec. 2015, www.cmaj.ca/content/187/18/1369.
Fui, Mark Ng Tang, et al. “Lowered Testosterone in Male Obesity: Mechanisms, Morbidity and Management.” Asian Journal of Andrology, Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd, 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3955331/.
Russell, Ashley L, et al. “Dietary Isoflavone-Dependent and Estradiol Replacement Effects on Body Weight in the Ovariectomized (OVX) Rat.” Hormone and Metabolic Research = Hormon- Und Stoffwechselforschung = Hormones Et Metabolisme, U.S. National Library of Medicine, June 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5820000/.
Kelesidis, Theodore, et al. “Narrative Review: the Role of Leptin in Human Physiology: Emerging Clinical Applications.” Annals of Internal Medicine, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 19 Jan. 2010, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2829242/.
Park, Hyeong-Kyu, and Rexford S. Ahima. “Physiology of Leptin: Energy Homeostasis, Neuroendocrine Function and Metabolism.” Metabolism, W.B. Saunders, 15 Aug. 2014, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0026049514002418.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has created a difficult situation for parents in Toronto and across the country. Social isolation remains one of the most important methods for mitigating the spread of the novel coronavirus. Many parents are continuing to keep their children home from school and prohibit normal forms of social contact. That’s great for reducing the spread of the coronavirus, but it’s having an unintended consequence: increasing rates of child obesity.
If your child is already overweight, don’t give up. There are plenty of things parents can do to help their children stay active. That’s true even when access to school or regional sports activities is limited. A combination of increased physical activity and better nutrition may be enough to keep already-fit children in shape.
For those children already suffering from childhood obesity, a visit to a Toronto Weight Loss Clinic can help even more. Get in touch to discuss your options today by calling 416-221-1583 or booking a free consultation in-person or online.
The Underlying Problem
Weight gain has been a problem for many Canadians during the pandemic. Some are even referring to their added pounds as the “quarantine 15.” Unfortunately, child obesity is no joke. Being overweight in childhood increases the chances that you will become obese as an adult. Obesity leaves you predisposed to developing a range of more serious health conditions.
It can increase the risk of:
Type 2 diabetes
And other serious problems
Parents want what’s best for their children. In this case, that means helping them attain and maintain a healthy weight to prepare for becoming a healthy adult.
Weight gain has both genetic and environmental components. It’s true that some people, including children, are predisposed to gain extra weight, especially during times of stress. However, pediatricians are noting that their young patients are gaining weight across the board. That points to environmental, rather than genetic, factors.
The primary problem is that most parents rely on their children’s schools and after-school programs in normal times. Now, most of these athletic programs are shut down. Parents who want to play an active role in helping to keep their children healthy are being forced to step up. Many have no idea what to do, and just about everyone has too much on their plates, already.
Obesity and Risk of COVID-19 Complications
For the last year, scientists have learned a lot about COVID-19. They’ve learned that while COVID-19 remains rare in children, obesity can be a risk factor for developing complications.
Experts believe there is a combination of factors that lead to worse clinical outcomes for obese children. Obese children are more likely to suffer from comorbidities like hypertension and dyslipidemia. They also tend to have less lean insulin resistance, more adipose tissue, and higher pro-inflammatory cytokine levels. All these factors are associated with immune, respiratory, and cardiovascular damage.
Obese children are more likely than their peers to experience severe complications from COVID-19. They may include the need for ventilation or intubation, a higher risk of thromboembolism, changes in immune response, and a more prolonged recovery. In other words, if there was ever a time to encourage weight loss, it’s now.
What to Do About It?
The first step is to come up with a plan. It’s important to avoid shaming your child about his or her weight gain. Just like adults, children are feeling the stress of the pandemic. They’ve had their lives turned upside down, and it should come as no surprise that many are stress-eating.
As a parent, your job is to offer support, advice, and compassion. You can start by encouraging more activity. It can help to incorporate physical activity into the family’s lifestyle. Keep in mind, however, that children ages six to 17 need more vigorous and frequent exercise than adults.
School-aged children should be getting at least an hour of moderate-to-vigorous exercise each day. They should also engage in a range of exercises for maximum effectiveness. The best way to get kids started on new exercise routines is to get them, personal trainers. You can contact us at 416-221-1583 to speak with a dedicated weight loss expert who can help.
Most of your child’s 60 minutes of physical activity should involve aerobic exercise. While it’s still warm enough, try encouraging activities like bike riding or going for runs with the family dog.
You may also have to get more creative as temperatures drop. If your child doesn’t love ice skating, try virtual classes. Learning how to dance or perform martial arts can be considered a moderate-to-intense aerobic activity. Plus, your kids will love the classes.
Strength Training Activities
All children and adolescents should perform muscle-strengthening activities as part of their daily workouts at least three times per week. If you already perform strength training workouts, now would be a great time to get your kids involved.
Keep in mind that younger children may need to start with easier exercises. Have them try beginner push-ups instead of regular ones, for example, or spot them while they are performing pull-ups. Younger children respond especially well to being included in their parents’ exercise routines.
Don’t love strength training yourself? You should be leading by example, but if you don’t have the time, that’s fine. Encouraging kids to climb trees, play tug-of-war, or even swing on playground equipment can do the trick for younger children.
Most bone-strengthening activities combine aerobic exercise and strength training. The difference is that they focus on building bone mass as well as toning muscles. Examples of activities that fall into this category include gymnastics, jumping rope, running, and even skipping.
Your older children can also incorporate resistance bands or body-weight exercises into their daily routines. Children should perform bone-strengthening or weight-bearing activities at least three times per week.
Adolescents and Exercise
If you’re raising a teenager, you might be wondering how all of this applies to your family. Chances are, your teen won’t be interested in learning your yoga routine or going out to climb trees. If you’re having trouble getting your teenager up and moving, don’t despair. It may just take a different approach.
Here are a few things you can try:
Don’t call teenagers out on their weight. Instead, offer helpful information about how valuable physical activity is. Not all teens are aware of the benefits of regular exercise. Let them know that physical activities aren’t just for fun. Frequent exercise can also help with stress, improve sleep, and even make it easier to focus while studying.
Suggest the Right Activities
Try to brainstorm activities that will appeal to teens’ interests and won’t feel too overwhelming. Adolescents who are already struggling with obesity may also have self-esteem problems. Attempting workout routines that are way too hard will only teach them learned helplessness. They’ll stop trying and will assume there’s just nothing they can do.
Emphasize Small Goals
Instead of telling a teen to get up and moving for an hour every day, start with smaller goals. Think about it like this: if you got up and went for a five-minute run one day and felt pretty good afterward, you’d be more likely to repeat it. Add five more minutes each week, and you’d be running for half an hour in just a month and a half. Plus, you wouldn’t be pushing yourself so hard you’d feel destined for failure.
Be a Good Role Model
If you prioritize physical activity, your children probably will, too. That’s because teens are especially predisposed to an observational learning mechanism known as indirect modeling. Teens who grow up with active parents are more likely to exercise or participate in sports voluntarily.
There’s a common misconception that children who suffer from obesity just eat too much. In reality, that’s rarely the case. Most obese people of any age aren’t over-eating. They’re eating the wrong foods.
As a parent, you need to make sure your child is getting adequate nutrition. It can be unsafe to place a child on a fad diet. Instead, focus on making family-wide changes that will help your child prioritize healthy eating, more generally.
What Is Healthy Eating?
Even adults don’t always know what healthy eating habits look like. A healthy diet isn’t about placing strict restrictions on yourself or counting calories. It’s about choosing nutrient-dense foods and avoiding refined sugar, processed foods, and empty calories.
To maintain healthy eating habits, you might need to make some changes. If you’re not into healthy eating yourself, it’s time to learn. Instead of eliminating entire food groups, focus on creating well-balanced meal plans that have all the following essential nutrients.
Protein isn’t just responsible for giving your children the energy they need to get up and moving. It also supports cognitive function and can even improve your mood. Try to incorporate a variety of protein sources, from lean meats to plant-based proteins. Legumes, nuts, and soy are all high in protein.
Many people assume that they need to cut fat out of their diets for the sake of weight loss. That isn’t strictly true because not all fat is the same. Healthy fats like omega-3s are vital for maintaining heart and brain health. Industrial-made trans fats are the real problem. Cutting out processed food should eliminate most of them.
Many whole foods are rich in dietary fiber. Eating a high-fiber diet is essential for anyone who wants to lose weight. Try to increase your family’s intake of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables so that everyone is getting enough fiber.
Calcium is primarily related to bone health, which is very important for growing children. Calcium insufficiency doesn’t just weaken bones. They can also contribute to depression, anxiety, and even insomnia. All of these problems can make it more difficult for your kids to get enough daily activity. Incorporating calcium-rich foods like milk, yogurt, cheese, and beans into family meals can help.
While protein gives you long-term energy, carbohydrates provide a quick energy boost. It’s important to focus on complex carbohydrates, not refined carbs. Try to replace white bread, pastries, and starches with whole-wheat alternatives. It’s a great way to lose weight, regulate blood sugar, and even improve mood.
Tips for Making the Switch
It will be very difficult to convince your child to eat healthy if you don’t do the same. That doesn’t mean you have to throw out every sugary treat in your house. It just means you should start making small changes every day that will eventually add up to healthier eating for everyone. Here’s how you can get started:
Prepare Meals at Home
Buying prepared meals or ordering takeout from restaurants makes it very difficult to focus on nutrition. You need to take charge of your family’s eating habits. Cooking meals at home can help you avoid unhealthy foods and incorporate more of the nutrients your children need.
You don’t need to be a master chef to prepare your own meals. If you’re not used to cooking at home, start with easy recipes. Just make sure they’re healthy.
It can be very hard to just give up unhealthy foods. Replacing them with healthier alternatives makes it easier. Try switching out the fried chicken for grilled salmon, for example, or eating fruit instead of sweet treats.
If your child loves sweets, don’t ask him or her to cut them out entirely. Instead, focus on moderation. Encourage everyone to take smaller servings of unhealthy foods and save confectionery treats for special occasions.
Consult a Professional
Losing weight the healthy way is hard. If making basic changes doesn’t help, your child might benefit from diet therapy. Cutting calories is always safer when performed under the supervision of a professional. You can call 416-221-1583 to speak to someone who can help.
Get Help Now
A combination of diet therapy and a targeted exercise plan is often the best plan for helping children lose weight. Parents shouldn’t have to figure it out alone. Instead, you can take your child to a Toronto Weight Loss Clinic that specializes in providing pediatric services.
At clinics, Naturopathic Doctors, professional weight-loss experts, personal trainers and body contouring specialists will be available to create a customized plan and offer advice. Call today to schedule an appointment and get started. Get in touch with us to book a free consultation or call (416)-221-1583 to schedule an appointment and get started.
Every function and process in your body requires water. In fact, water makes up 50 percent of your body weight. However, the amount of water you retain after your body’s natural functions heavily depend on your diet.
For many, excess water weight feels like bloating. But, here’s the thing: your body isn’t bloating because of the water. It’s bloating because of the foods you eat.
Yes, losing water weight will make you look thinner. But that doesn’t mean you should drink less. Dehydration is a big problem for the body. When you restrict your water consumption, you will notice a handful of symptoms. You may experience dry skin and eyes. Your thyroid slows down which decreases your metabolism. You could experience headaches, joint pain, mood swings, lack of focus, and bad breath. It’s also possible to notice a decline in muscle mass when you’re dehydrated.
So instead of limiting your H20 intake, focus on changing your diet to lose that pesky water weight.
Certain food groups are notorious for making your body store extra water. If your diet contains a lot of sodium, your cells get notified to absorb the water and swell up. Furthermore, your body will then store sodium when its insulin levels in the blood are higher than normal. What causes insulin levels to rise? Sugar. A diet heavy in salt and sugar will result in excess water weight.
Another culprit for water-based bloating could be your carbohydrate intake. Every gram of carb that your body uses for energy causes an extra 3 grams of water to be stored. Ever notice how bloated and uncomfortable you feel after a carb-dense meal like pasta and garlic bread?
During the weight loss journey, many people notice a significant initial weight loss. This is because we’re most motivated to change our health and fitness at the beginning of the journey. In those first few weeks, you will lose some of the water weight because your diet will ultimately limit your sugar and salt intake. It’s when you start slacking on your healthy eating that the water weight comes back.
So how should you adjust your diet? Focus more on proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. Antioxidants, fibre, and other nutrients need to make a daily appearance on your plate. Say goodbye to refined sugars found in pastries, cookies, and chocolate bars. The same goes for salty treats; no more potato chips or movie theatre popcorn. Creating a new diet plan is a lot of work, so we took care of that for you. Check out our Ideal Protein Program to get your eating on a healthy path that will last.
In this day in age, everyone experiences some degree of stress. Whether it be minor or major, good or bad, stress impacts the way the body functions. When it comes to weight loss, managing stress is essential and here is why:
1. Elevated stress levels slow down your thyroid.
a. The Thyroid gland is responsible for metabolism. It works by first receiving a chemical signal from the brain called TSH which then tells the thyroid to convert inactive thyroid hormone (T4) to active thyroid hormone (T3). Elevated stress levels prevents TSH from being released, thereby inhibiting the conversion of T4 to T3. Thyroid hormone production decreases and overall metabolism slows down.
2. Elevated stress affects blood-sugar levels
a. Elevated stress levels can lead to insulin resistance, subsequently resulting in increased fat storage, mainly around the abdominal region. Ultimately, increased insulin resistance causes sugars to be stored as fat!
3. Stress can affect your sleep
a. When you’re feeling stressed you’re more likely to have ruminating thoughts at night leading to difficulty falling or staying asleep. If you get less than 7 hours of sleep your hormones Leptin and Ghrelin become affected. You may notice that you’re always hungry and never satisfied! A lack of sleep is a major cause for overeating. Moreover, if you’re not sleeping well at night you may feel tired and sluggish the next day. You may not have the energy to take a walk or work out. Less exercise and the intake of more calories is a simple cause for weight gain.
4. Stress can cause food cravings and lead to emotional eating!
a. When you feel stressed you may notice cravings for sugary or salty foods. It’s rare to crave a salad during a period of intense stress! Sugar cravings often happen when stress levels are high; when stress is prolonged and the body gets tired of releasing the stress hormone salt cravings take over. Regardless of what you’re craving, you’re likely to overeat. Coupled with a slower metabolism and insulin resistance, it’s not wonder it’s so easy to pack on the pounds!
If you’re experiencing stress of any kind it’s important to strategically manage it. For some it’s as simple of taking a few deep breaths while for others supplementation to address stress hormone imbalance is necessary. Massage therapy and acupuncture treatments can also reduce stress levels as well as improve sleep. If your goal is to lose weight, speak with a professional who can address all aspects that may be affecting your weight loss success!
Yesterday I shared my 10 favorite dietary tips that are essential for healthy weight loss and optimal wellness (If you missed it, click here). Everyone who implements these changes notes significant improvements in how they feel physically, mentally and emotionally. When it comes to weight loss, you have to remember that diet is only one part of the picture. Lifestyle plays a major role and sometimes “life” is the biggest barrier to success. Below you’ll find a list of 11 tips that go above and beyond diet. Incorporating some or all of these small suggestions will surely help you reach your weight loss goals!
1. Chew your food 20-30 chews per bite.
Did you know that you are supposed to chew your food 20-30 times with every bite you take? If you’re like most people, you likely only chew your food 1-3 times! Most people eat their meals so quickly their brain doesn’t have time to receive the signals from the stomach that it is satisfied. Slowing down your meals can significantly reduce the amount of food you eat.
2. Mealtime conversations should be light and fluffy.
Whether you’re eating alone or with family or friends, mealtimes should always be pleasant. Try to avoid hot button topics or any conversation that makes you or those you are eating with feel upset, angry, irritated or stressed. When the body is in a state of stress it automatically sends blood to the muscles and brain. If your body has this response during a meal, your food won’t be digested properly leading to physical symptoms and weight gain.
3. Manage your stress levels.
Weight gain around the abdomen is typically related to elevated or prolonged stress levels.
Increase cortisol levels (stress hormone) affect thyroid function and blood sugar levels. The thyroid is responsible for metabolism and imbalances in blood sugar leads to fat accumulation. Stress can also lead to emotional eating and sleep disturbances, which can in turn affect cravings and satiety.
There are many ways to manage stress levels, from deep breathing exercises and progressive muscle relaxation to incorporating adaptogenic herbs (botanical herbs that help the body adapt and cope with stress) and acupuncture.
4. Spend less time in front of screens.
Studies have found that the average person spends 7.9 hours a day in front of a screen whether it be a TV, smartphone, ipad or laptop. You may want to think twice next time you find yourself eating while watching TV or working. You are likely to consume a greater quantity of food when your focus isn’t on your meal. Instead of trying to multitask eating alongside your other daily responsibilities, schedule specific meal times where you can sit down, relax and enjoy your dish!
5. Prepare your own meals.
I know that for some this is easier said than done. Preparing your own meals is one of the best things you can do for your waistline and your wallet. Come up with a menu for the week and make meals that will work well as leftovers. If you’re making any soups or stews, make enough that you can freeze a batch for another day. Washing and cutting vegetables for salads or stir-fry or save you tons of time. If this task is a challenge for you, consider connecting with a whole-food meal delivery service company that will bring you fresh or frozen foods, individually portioned and ready to eat.
6. Walk daily.
30-minutes of walking every day is enough to help you lose weight and leave significant health improvements. If you have a pet, walking it 3 or more times a day for 10 or more minutes at a time will help you reach your 30-minute mark. If you take the subway, choose to take the stairs instead of the escalator, if you’re driving, park your car a little bit further so that you have to walk. Every little bit counts.
7. Increase your physical activity.
Exercise is not only important for healthy weight los but is fundamental to healthy living. Physical activity reduces blood pressure and cholesterol levels, improves heart strength function and enhances lung capacity. It reduces stress levels, benefits sleep, manages pain and increase mood. 30 minutes of walking every day is the minimum amount of exercise you should be doing daily. If you have some barrier or limitation, speak with a professional to learn different ways you can exercise!
8. Get adequate sleep nightly.
Sleep plays a major role in weight loss and weight management. When the body doesn’t get 8 hours of sleep hormones are released that affect appetite and satiety. If you have a hard time with sleep, first ask yourself why. Are you feeling stressed out? Have you overeaten? Are you in pain? Understand the cause of poor sleep is the best way to improve it. Many patients benefit from writing their thoughts out on paper, taking supplements and getting acupuncture.
9. Sleep in colder temperatures.
I recently wrote a blog with 3 tips to boosting metabolism and one of my suggestions was the turn your temperature down. When you sleep in cooler environments your body uses more energy to perform its necessary functions. Studies have found that this one trick could substantially reduce abdominal fat.
10. Track yourself.
You need to stay accountable. Write down what you’re eating in a food diary on paper or on your phone. There are many free apps you can try that have great features such as myfitnesspal. Calorie tracking devices like the Fitbit and Jawbone will track your steps, how far you’ve walked, how many stairs you’ve climbed, calories burned and active minutes. It also tracks your sleep quality, which is fantastic if you suffer from difficulty falling or staying asleep. Calorie tracking devices often integrate with calorie counting devices such as myfitnesspal, which makes for a truly awesome experience. With my patients, I offer Weight Wellness Check-Ins. This gives me an opportunity to weight and measure my patient and evaluate their food diary. I make all my patients track obstacles so we can come up with strategies for success.
11. Find a friend.
Even though weight loss can be a very personal journey, it also requires a lot of support. If you live with someone who would also benefit from making dietary changes, try getting them on board with your plan. Often times the dietary changes you make for yourself will improve the health of your loved ones. If you’re thinking of joining a gym or taking a yoga or zumba class, see if any of your friends want to join you. Sharing your experience with a friend will not only help you both stay motivated but will help make your journey easier and much more fun!
When it comes to weight loss, there isn’t one formula that works for everyone. There are however, so many different tips and tricks you can try to enhance your goals. Of course, diet IS a huge component of healthy weight loss but lifestyle plays an incredibly important role as well. Pick one, some or all of these tips to work on and reap the rewards!
I’m a big believer that small changes make BIG differences and time and time again, I am proven this is true. When it comes to weight loss, sometimes it takes many small changes to see the difference but everyone has to start somewhere. If you want to lose weight, optimize your health and improve the quality of your life, consider what changes you can make and start making them! I’ve come up with a list of 20 tips that are easy and doable. Pick one, two or all twenty and see big changes for yourself!!!
In my efforts not to overwhelm you, I have divided my list into 2 groups of 10. See below for all my dietary tips and check out part 2 of my blog for my remaining 10 weight loss tricks.
DIET IS EVERYTHING!
1. Cut sugar out of your diet.
There are two main sugars you will want to eliminate from you diet. The first is refined, processed sugar that is often found on the ingredient list of packaged foods under the names sugar, brown sugar, caramel, caramel syrup, corn syrup, corn starch, high fructose corn syrup, anything that ends in “-ose” such as dextrose or maltose and anything that ends in “-itol” such as sorbitol or mannitol (that list alone should be pretty scary!). Most of these sugars are artificial and all of them affect blood sugar, immunity and brain function. Studies have found sugar to be more addictive than cocaine.
The second kind of sugar is glucose, the end product of carbohydrate breakdown. The body breaks down breads, pastas and potatoes into sugar in order to be absorbed and used by the body. Whole grain breads and pasta may provide more fiber and help stabilize blood sugar levels but the bottom line is they still break down into sugar.
2. Remove processed foods
Prepackaged convenient foods may be inexpensive but their health effects can be costly. If you do buy processed foods make sure you read the ingredient label. If you don’t recognize an ingredient, your body won’t either. Don’t be misled by marketing! The best thing you can do for your health and your waistline is avoid prepackaged foods and stick with whole foods.
3. Load up on vegetables
According to Health Canada’s Food Guide, adults should be consuming between seven and eight servings of vegetables per day. From what I see in my practice alone, few people consume even half of that. Vegetables are filled with vitamins, minerals and tons of phytonutrients that are essential to health. Most vegetables can also be considered zero calories and can be consumed in unlimited quantities.
4. Eat fruits in moderation
Like vegetables, fruits are a great source of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. They are essential to health and are a great substitute for refined sugar. Fruits contain a third type of sugar called fructose. Fructose is a natural sugar that is jam-packed with anti-oxidants. If your goal is weight loss, it is important to limit your fruit intake. Enjoy up to 2 servings per day but avoid eating more than that.
5. Indulge in healthy fats
Lets get one thing clear: healthy fats don’t make you fat. Fats make food taste good and make you feel satisfied. It’s all about the fats you’re consuming. There are two types of harmful dietary fats: saturated fat and trans fat. Saturated fats can be found in red meat, chicken and full-fat dairy products while trans fats come from hydrogenated oils. These fats are implicated in obesity and heart disease. Healthy fats include monounsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids and omega 3 fatty acids. These fats come from a variety of sources including fish, olive oil, nuts and seeds and avocados. Fats should always be consumed in limited quantities because of their high calorie content but they do not need to be avoided. If you’re trying to lose weight, limit your fat intake to 2 tsp of oil per day in addition to 1tsp of seeds or 1 handful of nuts. Avocados can be consumed 2x/week.
6. Include Protein with every meal.
Protein is incredibly important for every cell in your body. You need it for your hair, skin, nails, hormones, neurotransmitters and muscles. Protein is essential and most people don’t consume enough of it. Protein can come from both animal and plant sources. Some people do best on a strictly vegan diet while others thrive on a paleo diet. If you eat meat, make sure you include a variety of different lean proteins and limit red meat to 1x/week.
7. Include protein shakes daily.
If you don’t eat meat, it is important for you to include protein shakes at least one time per day. Meat eaters should also incorporate protein shakes one time per day. When you eat any animal or vegetable protein, your body only absorbs 30-50% of that protein. When you consume a protein shake, made from isolated proteins such as rice, pea, soy or whey, your body absorbs 95% of the protein. If you want to lose weight from fat, you have to nourish your protein stores. Protein shakes or premade foods as found in The Ideal Protein Program are an ideal way of doing this.
8. Add a variety of herbs and spices to your meals
Adding herbs and spices to your dishes will not only give them tons of flavour but will also provide some pretty awesome health benefits. Black pepper, cardamom, cayenne, cinnamon, garlic, ginger and horseradish are all warming herbs. They increase your internal body temperature and in turn, increase your metabolism. All these herbs also contain antiseptic properties and help relieve colds and flu’s. Now that winter is almost here, it’s the perfect time to experiment with herbs and spices.
9. Drink more water
It’s amazing how many people don’t drink enough water. Either they don’t feel that they are thirsty or if they are, they prefer coffee, juice or pop. Water is essential for our vitality. The body is made up for at least 60% water. When we don’t drink enough water, our cells become dehydrated and their function changes. Drinking sufficient amounts of water is not only associated with weight loss; it is related to improvements in skin complexion, digestive functioning and pain reduction.
10. Avoid alcohol
Sometimes making small changes means giving up on certain indulgences. Alcohol is often associated with socializing and celebrations as well as relaxation – whether it be after a long day or a long week. The trouble with alcohol is that it contains 7 calories per 1 gram and has absolutely zero nutritional value. Alcohol is considered a non-nutrient and is a major contributor to weight gain and difficulty losing weight. If you find yourself having more than 5 drinks per week, ditch the booze and benefit from the positive results.
When it comes to weight loss and health in general, diet is everything. It truly is the core to well being. The best way to take control of your health is to take control of your diet.
When it comes to weight loss and optimizing health, we often focus on calories in and calories out. In reality, multiple variables that can lead to weight gain and affect weight loss are frequently overlooked, such as hormones, food sensitivities and toxic overload. Over the last 5 years detoxes and cleanses have become extremely popular, yet, often remain misunderstood. Different health professionals have differing opinions about them leaving many people confused. Research shows that certain chemicals act as “obesogens” by altering a person’s metabolic processes, predisposing and contributing to continued weight gain. Understanding how the body naturally functions is essential to understanding why toxins contribute to weight gain, fluctuation and difficulty losing weight.
Water Soluble Vs. Fat Soluble Toxins
The human body is designed to continuously and naturally remove unwanted toxins. There are two types of toxins that can enter the body: water-soluble and fat-soluble. While the blood, kidneys and lungs naturally eliminate water-soluble toxins, fat-soluble toxinssuch as heavy metals, environmental pollutants, pesticides, plastics, preservatives, food additives and other environmental chemicals must enter the body and be converted to their water-soluble counterparts prior to being eliminated. The liver plays a crucial role in this process but if the digestive system and detoxification are not functioning optimally, toxins find their way from the liver to the blood, fat cells and brain where they can be stored for years.
In order to truly understand how toxins are stored in fat cells, it’s important to understand how the body’s natural elimination process works. When we eat and digest a meal, both nutritional and toxic fats get transferred from the stomach into the small intestines, where bile is secreted from the liver and gallbladder. Within the small intestines exist millions of small “hairs” known as villi and lacteals. They work simultaneously to sweep the gut,emulsify fats and help them absorb via Gut Associated Lymphatic Tissue (GALT). GALT surrounds the intestines, absorbs lacteals and takes the absorbed fats back to the liver where good fats are used to make energy, cholesterol, hormones and brain cells and toxic fats are processed for elimination. If the lympathic system becomes congested and when the detoxification pathways in the liver and large intestine are not functioning properly, the body begins to store the toxic fats rather than remove them. Toxic fats get sent back into blood circulation and eventually become absorbed into fat cells throughout the body andstay stored for many years causing free radical damage and cellular degeneration while also affecting metabolism, leading to insulin resistance leading to abdominal weight gain.
Signs of Toxic Burden:
Bloating and indigestion
Fuzzy thinking and difficulty concentrating
Rashes and other skin disorders
Puffy, dark circles under the eyes
What Does Your Poop Have To Do With It?
The primary role of the large intestine is to eliminate unwanted toxins from the body through Bowel Movements. A healthy person typically has 1-3 sausage-like bowel movements per day. When a person is constipated, toxins become reabsorbed, reenter blood circulation and eventually become stored in fatty tissue. There are many factors that can contribute to constipation and addressing bowel health is essential to detoxification and weight loss.
Common Causes of Constipation:
Certain medications (i.e painkillers, antidepressants, some iron supplements, antacids)
If constipation is an issue, start by making simple changes. Increase water intake to 8-10 glasses of water a day, incorporate more fibrous vegetables into your diet and remove refined sugars and processed foods and add some form of physical activity. Consider food sensitivities,have your blood or saliva tested for thyroid function and review all medications and their side effects.
According to the latest CDC report, every person who participated in blood testing for toxin exposure was found to have a host of nasty chemicals including flame-retardants and Bisphenol A, a hormone-like substance found in plastics, stored in fatty tissue. The best way to remove these toxins is strategically, with the help of a medically guided program and healthcare professional. Naturopathic Doctors, Holistic Nutritionists and Functional Medical Doctors are extremely knowledgeable in different detoxification protocols and can determine which one is specifically best for you. Be aware: not all detoxes are appropriate for everyone so avoid going to a healthfood store and picking up any random cleansing kit. This may leave you feeling worse than you started! You will require a thorough assessment to determine which area or areas of the body need to be addressed so that a specific supplement protocol can be prescribed.
Small Changes Make Big Differences:
Before you see a healthcare provider, consider what small changes you can implement on your own. Firstly, reduce your exposure to toxins found in foods by removing any processed, pre-packaged and boxed foods as well as alcohol and caffeine. Eliminate refined sugars, additives, sweeteners, preservatives, artificial flavoring, food colouring and dyes. By sticking with organic, plant-based whole foods instead, you reduce the toxic burden on the liver and intestines. The next step is to review all cleaning and personal hygiene products such as chemical-ridden soaps, lotions and beauty products and opt for natural alternatives where you can.
How Detoxification Facilitates Weight Loss:
A medically guided detoxification will help you identify and get rid of specific toxins, address imbalances in the digestive system and get the livers natural detox pathways working effectively. Toxins stored in fat cells get pulled out and enter the blood stream, get reabsorbed by the intestines and re-enter the liver. The liver can then convert fat-soluble toxins into their water-soluble counterparts and effectively eliminate them through urine, sweat and breath. Subsequently, strategic dietary changes can facilitatefat loss, maintain muscle mass and result in long lasting weight loss!