Written by Vera Coetsee, Health and Nutrition Coach
22 Dec 2022
With Christmas behind us and the New Year around the corner, many of us are getting ready to get back into routine and to start working on our goals for 2023. It’s not a surprise to hear that weight loss, gym dedication and getting in shape are some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions of all time. Especially after an over-indulgent holiday season. But weight loss struggles are very common among many people, and it can be a frustrating battle when you have tried every weight loss tip out there, with no results. If you are looking to lose weight this year, then it is important to understand the reason behind weight gain.
Weight loss doesn’t come overnight, and there is science behind it. Many factors come into play when it comes to unwanted weight gain. Our processed diets and sedentary lifestyles play a major role in fat storage. When we are fueling our body with empty calories, and not moving enough, our bodies don’t get the opportunity to burn fat, which leads to unwanted weight gain. A high-stress lifestyle, accompanied by a lack of sleep, increases our hunger hormone and cortisol, which can lead to cravings throughout the day. Hormonal imbalances between estrogen and testosterone, which happen during menopause and andropause, have also been proven to lead to more fat storage in the body. If our thyroid gland is not working properly, our metabolism slows down, which decreases fat burning and makes it harder to lose weight. Insulin resistance, which is often not diagnosed, can cause glucose to be stored as fat, and lead to sugar cravings and unwanted weight gain. Inflammation caused by undetected food allergies may also be to blame for weight gain.
The best approach to losing weight is to work with a functional medicine practitioner since they can help you to determine the root cause of unwanted weight gain. But as a start, incorporate these simple healthy habits which can help you lose weight in 2023.
Eat Nutrient Dense Foods
When it comes to losing weight and keeping it off, the most important factor is to clean up your diet and eat appropriate portions within a specific calorie range. By increasing the quality of foods you eat, you will feel fuller and get nutrients your body needs to function optimally. Nutrient-dense foods are high in fibre and water, which helps you to feel full, and prevent overeating. Focus on eating protein, healthy fats and fibre at each meal, since these foods will help you feel fuller for longer and thus prevent snacking on empty calories. Avoid processed foods, refined carbohydrates and oily foods, since these foods will spike your blood sugar, which can lead to an increase in appetite sooner. Increase your vegetables intake, since they are full of fibre, essential minerals and vitamins that may help give your metabolism a boost. The phytonutrients in these foods can also help you to live a long and healthy life.
Decrease Your Portion Size
An essential factor for weight loss is creating a calorie deficit, which means consuming fewer calories than you burn. If you’re eating more calories than your body needs, your body will take those extra calories and store them as fat. In order to reduce those extra calories being stored as fat, we can use portion control to make sure we don’t overeat. Portion control is a great method to lose weight and maintain your ideal weight. Eating less has also been shown to increase your lifespan. So how can we practise portion control? Oftentimes, we feel we have to finish all our food on our plate, which can lead to overeating. So start by using smaller plates, which will help you decrease the amount of food you eat at a time. Practising mindful eating can also help you to slow down, and give your body time to digest your food and realise that you are satisfied. Meal prepping is also a great way to practise portion control. By having your portions ready and planned a day or week before, you are less likely to eat more than what has been prepared. Fill your meals with fibre, protein and healthy fats, since consuming these foods will make you feel fuller for longer, and reduce the likelihood of overeating.
Exercise and eating right goes hand in hand when it comes to weight loss. Exercising every day will help to raise your heart rate, which allows your body to burn calories. Movement of any type can be a very useful weight management tool, so it’s most important to select an activity that you will enjoy. There is no point in going to the gym every day if it is going to make you feel miserable. Do your research and find something you love to do. In addition to your scheduled exercise, simply moving around more by increasing your step count can help to achieve your weight loss goals. Moving more isn’t only beneficial to your waistline, but also to your energy levels and mental health. The more active you are, the more energised and empowered you’ll feel. Exercise and increased daily activity (walking, taking the stairs, cleaning the house, riding a bike) can also help improve sleep quality, mental outlook, self-esteem, and productivity.
Track Your Intake
Studies show that writing down what you eat is an effective method for weight loss. It raises awareness and forces you to think about what and how much you’re eating. This habit can take less than 5 minutes per day and is easy to implement. Write down what you ate, how you felt and how much you moved. You will be surprised at the awareness you will build up on nutritional gaps and how certain foods make you feel. Tracking is also an effective tool for evaluating your eating habits and patterns. It can become your accountability partner, which helps to keep you motivated. If writing is not for you, then download one of the many tracking apps available on your phone. MyFitnessPal is a top-ranked tracking app, which helps you track your daily intake and activity. It helps you stay accountable for what you’ve eaten, and can help you identify areas that could use more improvement.
About the Restore 30-Day Weight Loss Program
With the Restore 30-Day Weight Loss Program, we test for different factors to determine the root cause of why you are struggling to lose weight. Once the root cause is determined, we set you up with success by providing you with the right tools to lose weight. We place a special focus on detoxification through diet, IV therapy, and infrared sauna, to support your liver and give your metabolism a boost, which will help increase fat burning. The supplement plan focuses on supporting detoxification, increasing fat burning, restoring the gut, providing stress relief, and balancing hormones. In addition, our health coach will provide you with weight loss meal planning, which will educate you on portion control and the essential micro and macro nutrients needed to support weight loss. Optional add-ons include functional tests, caloric restriction meal plans and weight loss peptide injections. Find out more here.