According to surveys, the most popular 2020 New Year’s resolutions are focused on health. And, the number one resolution is to lose weight. To help get those pounds off, here are some practical, weight loss tips.
Dr. Nina’s What You Need to Know: Key Weight Loss Tips
Set Healthy, Well-Planned, Realistic Goals for Success: Losing just 5-10% of your body weight is a manageable goal that can have a BIG impact while providing a major health boost: lowering blood pressure, symptoms of sleep apnea, and risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and certain cancers, while boosting your mood. Healthy weight loss is one to two pounds a week.
The most effective diet for weight loss is to focus on a healthy, balanced one that includes: fruits and vegetables; low-fat dairy products; legumes; whole grains; lean protein such as chicken and fish; healthy oils, in moderate amounts, and drinking plenty of water. (Steer clear of fad/crash diets!)
Take time to plan and keep these tips in mind:
1. Keep moving throughout the day and “rise up” against the sitting disease.
Add activity by parking your car further away from doors; conducting walking phone calls; taking 5-10 minute lunchbreak walks; walking “more” when visiting a store or mall; turning TV-time into a workout (biceps curls, pushups, jumping jacks, walk-in-place); and, taking stairs instead of elevators. It adds up! Set a goal to get at least 30-minutes of active movement/exercise, overall, throughout your day.
2. Hydrate—with water.
Drinking H2O before your meals can help you consume less calories because it provides a sense of fullness. Additionally, by opting for water to quench your thirst, instead of juice, soda, or alcohol, you are consuming a zero-calorie beverage. Craving flavor? Add lemon or orange, cucumbers, blueberries, or watermelon.
Too, even slight dehydration can cause a drop in energy levels making it less likely you will stay active during the day. It is also one of the most common causes of sugar cravings as dehydration makes it more difficult to metabolize glycogen (stored sugar) for energy. Your body craves sugar to provide a quick source of energy when all you need is to hydrate.
3. What you eat determines how satiated you feel—because foods affect fullness differently.
Choose filling foods to help ward off hunger and consume less calories. Generally, these are foods high in protein, fiber, and volume including eggs, oatmeal, fish, soups, lean meats, vegetables, fruit, Greek yogurt, legumes, nuts, seeds, and popcorn.
4. Be mindful when you’re eating
Meaning, chew slowly and enjoy the textures and flavor; eat at a table, dine with friends or family; and turn-off electronics. It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to signal to your brain that you are full. If you’re distracted while eating, you may not get the message.
5. Get your ZZZ’s!
Not getting enough sleep results in an average of 385 extra calories the following day! Just 9 nights of inadequate sleep would equate to gaining a pound of fat. Scientists credit the fact that when sleep deprived, there’s greater activation of areas in the brain associated with reward as well as an increase in ghrelin, the “hunger” hormone.
6. Watch liquid calories.
Depending on the brand, a can of soda or glass of wine or juice contains around 140 calories, and a 12-16 ounce energy drink 110-280 calories. These calories are mostly sugar, adding-up quickly!!
7. When out, order smart.
Split your appetizer, main course, or dessert. Most servings are super-sized and people tend to eat the food that is placed in front of them. Or, ask your server to pack away half of your meal before serving it at the table (you can have a meal the following day).
8. Lighten the foods you already love.
French fries your thing? Try baking or air-frying potatoes or sweet potatoes. Swap buns, tortilla wraps, or bread for Portobello mushroom buns or lettuce wrap; sour cream with Greek yogurt, spaghetti for spaghetti squash, butter for squashed and melted bananas when baking, Ranch or other creamy dips for hummus, and potatoes for mashed cauliflower.
9. Eat a protein-packed breakfast every morning!
It provides energy and lessens the chances of binging later.
Experts stress to take your larger 2020 goal and break it down into smaller parts – week-by-week –with specifics like, lose 3-4 pounds in January and do it by cutting sodas, walking two miles, 4 days this week…
Cheers to your commitment to your 2020 wellness journey!
Dr. Nina Radcliff is dedicated to her profession, her patients and her community, at large. She is passionate about sharing truths for healthy, balanced living as well as wise preventive health measures.
She completed medical school and residency training at UCLA and has served on the medical faculty at The University of Pennsylvania. She is a Board Certified Anesthesiologist. Author of more than 200 textbook chapters, research articles, medical opinions and reviews; she is often called upon by media to speak on medical, fitness, nutrition, and healthy lifestyle topics impacting our lives, today.