Updated: Apr 4, 2019
Weight loss isn’t about being skinny. It isn’t about trying to fit into a certain size of clothing. It isn’t about looking like a super-model or fitness model. It is about being healthy and optimizing your wellness. Everybody has a different body shape and structure and build. Everybody has a different target weight they would like to achieve. If you feel as though you cannot lose weight despite exercise and diet, then you are missing something.
There are several other factors that play into losing weight. These factors include normalizing brain neurotransmitters, restoring youthful hormonal balance, increasing physical activity, improving insulin sensitivity, detoxifying the liver and gut, investigating food allergies/sensitivities/intolerances, and adopting long-term healthy eating plans. There are many potential causes that can lead to weight gain which include stress, endocrine or metabolic disorders, lack of sleep and nutrient imbalances, and that is just the tip of the iceberg. The most well known, but often misunderstood theory, includes an imbalance in the amount of healthy calories in your diet. Not all calories are created equally and a simple reduction in calories does not always lead to healthy and permanent weight loss. So, stop wasting your time and money on countless diets and fads and pills. Consult with the doctor and/or nutritionist. Get tested. Discuss supplements and therapies. Try the InBody scan and CVAC pod. Embrace your body and start your journey on the road to better health. Stop wishing for it to happen. Start making it happen. You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep rereading the last one. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a first step.
Here are some integrative health weight loss tips to get you started:
- Aim to consume up to 10 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables daily, relatively uncooked…eat a “rainbow” of fruits and vegetables to get a large variety of vitamins and minerals and antioxidants.
- Eating/snacking every few hours throughout the day may seem counter-intuitive, as eating less will lead to your body using its reserves of energy, but you do still need food. Avoiding and skipping meals will affect your metabolism, slowing it down and making it more difficult for you to lose weight. If you are hungry most of the time, you will also choose less healthy options when you do eat. Small, frequent meals allow you to maintain a higher metabolic rate, burning off calories and reducing levels of fat. And don’t go grocery shopping on an empty stomach.
- Don’t cut out any food groups. Unless there is a medical reason and you have been advised to do this by your doctor, this should not be done. This will not be sustainable on a long term basis and, like skipping meals, will slow down your metabolism. Your body will think that you are starving, and try to reserve as much of your food intake as possible, by converting it to fat. When you do reintroduce the food group (carbs, for example), you will experience weight gain. Cut down on the offending types of food such as fast foods, processed foods, sugar, refined carbs, sodas, juices.
Eat from a smaller plate. While large dinner plates look great on your table, research has consistently shown that people eat more as a result. It is thought that this is because we feel the urge to fill the plate, rather than just taking what we require. A smaller plate looks full much sooner, so you will eat less overall, if you do this at every meal. Cutting down portion size is crucial. American culture encourages “supersizing”, and that is not right. Your stomach should contain 50% food, 25% liquid and be 25% empty after a meal. You should never be satiated to a point where you feel uncomfortable and have to loosen your belt or unbutton your pants.
- Breakfast is the single most important meal of the day. We are not talking about coffee and donuts and pastries. A nutritious breakfast such as oatmeal, peanut butter and toast, a fruit smoothie, nuts…this is what will jump start your day. It is known that children who skip breakfast or have high sugar breakfasts tend not to do well in school and have behavioral and focus problems. The same goes for adults. Breakfast is the necessary fuel to start your day after a long period of slumber.
- Boost your intake of protein. Salads are usually the most popular choice of lunch for people on a diet, but it can lead to hunger setting in during the afternoon. Adding protein and a light salad dressing will help to satisfy your hunger more effectively, without increasing the calories too much.
- Don’t try every new diet fad that comes out. Investigate why you are unable to lose weight despite diet and exercise. Please consult your doctor and/or nutritionist to start the work up. This will change your life.
This post was contributed by Dr. Deepa Verma. Photos contributed by The Struggling Vegan.