Obesity is becoming one of the fastest growing health problems that contribute to diabetes, heart disease, hormonal disturbances, digestive problems, cancer and many more chronic diseases.
One of the best ways to check if you are carrying too much weight is to measure your waist. Below 94 cm is ideal for men, between 94 and 102 puts you into the high risk category whilst waistlines above 102 are a metabolic syndrome indicator which increases your risk for high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.
For women below 80cm is ideal while between 80 and 90cm puts you into a high risk category and above 90cm indicates metabolic syndrome.
Healthy, effective, long lasting weight loss is not about short term diets but demands a balanced, healthy lifestyle that incorporates good dietary eating habits and exercise. In this article, I'll cover the main lifestyle changes and useful techniques that will help you lose weight and improve your overall health.
Foods have different effects on your body. For instance, 100 calories of fast foods won’t benefit you and prevent you from your weight loss goals.
On the other side eating, 100 calories of broccoli will nourish your body with necessary vitamins, satisfy your hunger and won’t cause problems with digestion like fast foods can do.
So, the idea is to ditch the foods that are high in calories, hard to digest and may cause or aggravate gastrointestinal health issues. All those unhealthy, packed with calories foods can be replaced with healthy alternatives like vegetables.
Carbohydrates are important for your health, but if you have problems with weight loss, it is important to cut back on carbs. In order to control your carbs intake and improve weight loss, you have to clearly understand the difference between simple carbs and complex carbs.
Simple carbs are also known as refined carbohydrates, and this is your main enemy.
Examples of simple carbs: cookies, sugary cereals, candies, white bread, and many other treats and drinks that you might like so much.
Complex carbs can benefit your overall health, and unlike refined carbs won’t impact your blood sugar levels.
Examples of complex carbs: whole grains, including whole oats, whole-grain barley, brown rice, bulgur, freekeh, buckwheat, quinoa.
To come closer to your weight loss goals, just follow this simple rule:
Eliminate refined carbs and consume complex carbs moderately.
Fats aren’t necessarily bad for your health and some fats actually support weight management and well-being. Check out bellow the examples of fats that can benefit you.
Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are known as “good fats” and you shouldn’t be scared to consume them. Moreover, these fats can enhance you’re your heart health and your overall health.
Note: As far as your main goal is to lose weight, it doesn’t mean you can eat a kilo of walnuts at a time. Remember that “healthy fats” are still fats and they are high in calories. Make sure to control the intake of your calories.
While cutting on calories and eliminating or reducing the intake of many foods, you should not transform your weight loss program into starvation. In order to fill full, reduce sugar craving, and maintain optimal energy levels, eating high-fiber foods such as fresh fruit, non-starchy vegetables, beans, and whole grains is the right choice
Here are a few tips:
Just knowing what foods to avoid and what to eat is not enough, the important part is taking action and controlling the process.
To achieve success in weight loss, control when you eat, how much you eat, and what foods you eat. By tracking your food intake and how do you feel after each meal, you can improve your diet by identifying possible food intolerances, vitamin or mineral intolerances. This is an important step in a healthy way to weight loss.
Unless you found some restaurant specialized on healthy meals, or some vegan-friendly restaurant, avoid eating outside. By ordering a meal in the restaurant, you cannot fully control the portion size, intake of unhealthy fats and sugar.It will take just 10 minutes to prepare a simple, healthy and tasty salad, so try to cook your own meals at home when it’s possible. Eat small portions and
To support healthy digestion, eat small portions. You can eat more often but make sure not to overeat and control the calorie intake. I recommend planning and scheduling ahead your meals. You can also prepare small snacks in advance and keep them in containers.
Having a high-protein breakfast can help you boost metabolism and prevent food cravings during the day.
Try Intermittent Fasting There are different types of intermittent fasting, the most popular ones are the 16/8 method, eat-stop-eat method, 5:2 method. Intermittent fasting will help you not only burn fat but improve the detoxification, lover insulin, and blood sugar levels.
Drink water to stay hydrated and support metabolism. Also drinking water can help you suppress food cravings.
A sedentary lifestyle can lead to numerous health issues, including obesity. That is why exercising should be an important part of your daily routine if you want to burn fat and get in shape.
Stretching, running, cycling, walking instead of riding a car, and regular gym sessions are equally useful for your overall health and getting rid of excess weight.
Even 15-30 minutes of exercising is better than nothing. Find a physical activity that you would enjoy. Not necessarily you have to spend hours only in the gym. You could try dancing, hiking or playing basketball. Whatever makes your body move and work is beneficial for your health.
Not only diet and amount of exercising can influence your body weight. Emotional and mental health can impact hormone production and metabolism. Stress can lead to high cortisol levels which in turn can cause weight gain.
In nowadays world, it is hard to remove all the stressors, but it is possible to learn to manage stress. Here are some techniques you can try to keep your stress levels low:
These techniques can help you keep stress levels at bay and reduce cortisol levels which stop you from achieving your weight loss goals.
Note: Weight gain is one of the symptoms of hormonal imbalance. If you also experience fatigue, loss of emotional control, muscle weakness, increased sensitivity to cold or heat, constipation or more frequent bowel movements, I recommend the DUTCH test. This is an advanced test that can help you identify hormonal imbalances and detect the main factor behind obesity.
Even if you have changed your diet and exercise every day, you may still find difficulties in losing weight. Obesity could be just one of the symptoms of severe diseases.
The key factor behind obesity could be an imbalance of “bad” and “good” bacteria, pathogenic parasites, bacterial, viral or yeast infections, digestive conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), leaky gut.
If you experience symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, reflux, bloating, I recommend having a closer look at your gut microbiome with the help of the GI-MAP test.
If you are not sure whether GI-MAP is necessary and have some additional questions on weight management, you can always schedule a consultation with me.
Michael is head consultant at Planet Naturopath - Functional Medicine and Nutrition Solutions. As Seen