• Weight Loss: 5 Things You Didn’t Know

    Weight Loss: 5 Things You Didn’t Know

    Talk to most folks in your office or at the gym, and they’ll all tell you a version of the same complaint: “I’ve tried and tried – but I just can’t lose weight!” And it doesn’t matter how much they’re trying to lose – 5 pounds, 10 pounds, 20 pounds or more – the excess weight stubbornly remains. Well, there’s a reason (actually, several!) for that: They’re going about their attempt at weight loss in the wrong way.

    That’s why we’ve compiled the top five things that most people probably don’t know about weight loss:

    1. To lose weight, you need to eat! Yes, it sounds counter-intuitive, but starving yourself essentially assures that you won’t experience long-lasting weight loss. When you severely restrict your food intake, your body goes into ‘starvation mode,’” explains Lynn Allen, regional director for Quick Weight Loss Centers in South Florida. “Your metabolism will slow down as your body tries to protect itself from starving.” What’s more, after you begin eating normally again, your body’s metabolism may stay slower than it previously was – which means you’ll probably gain weight, even though you’re not eating any more than you had been.

    “When you severely restrict your food intake, your body goes into ‘starvation mode'”

    2. All calories are not created equal. The calories contained in lean proteins are the best kind because they feed your muscles but don’t raise your blood sugar. They also help you to feel full. Certain kinds of complex carbohydrates – think of most vegetables, as well as low-glycemic fruits such as strawberries, blueberries and apricots – are also important as they provide a variety of nutrients and give you energy. If you’re trying to lose weight, you want to avoid the simple sugars contained in starchy foods (potatoes, pasta, bread, etc.), processed foods, and alcohol and wine. Fiber consumption is also crucial, notes Allen – at least 25 grams daily, which can be consumed via supplement if necessary.

    3. Sleep is essential. You see, when you don’t get enough sleep, your body becomes stressed and produces excess cortisol – which has harmful effects on your overall health, including causing your body to store extra fat. Having an elevated level of cortisol over an extended period of time will undo even the best of dietary intentions – so make sure you get at least eight hours of uninterrupted shuteye every night!

    4. Water is your weight-loss friend. It’s vital that you consume a sufficient amount of water every day – a minimum of 80 ounces (and more if you’re active). Not only does staying properly hydrated keep your mind alert and your organs functioning, it also helps flush the impurities out of your system.What many people often fail to realize is that when they think they’re “hungry,” they’re actually just dehydrated. Drinking a glass of water before every meal will help regulate your appetite and prevent you from overeating.

    5. Journaling will keep you on track. Allen can’t stress enough the importance of “conscious eating” and staying fully aware of what you put in your mouth. Writing down what you eat during the day is the first step in reaching your weight loss goals. “Eating should be done without distraction,” says Allen. “This means no TV, no computer and not while you’re driving.” Studies show, Allen says, that people consume considerably more calories when distracted while eating – including when the distraction is simply a dining companion. “Just carrying on a conversation during a meal may cause you to eat more than you would otherwise.

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