Keep a healthy weight

Keep a healthy weight Share

This topic is very popular especially now before the summer holidays. It’s important to keep a healthy weight especially as population obesity rates are on the rise and obesity brings a lot of unwanted issues. It’s also important not to stress about it though, as that’s not helpful or healthy either.

Unfortunately, interventions aiming to alter food selection, for example less fat and sugar or counting calories, do not result in long-term weight loss and maintenance.

There are a few basics rules which, when you have them covered, you can occasionally enjoy the things you love. Everything in moderation!

I personally think that if we tell ourselves we cannot have something we automatically prepare ourselves for a failure. It’s good to speak to the mind and say ‘I can have this cake but I’m not going to have it as I don’t need it and it doesn’t do my body any good’. In this instance we trick our mind and it should be easier to avoid it. There has been a study on this which show that restricting ourselves is not healthy for our mind and body.

Here are some tips to help you keep your weight in check…..

  1. Swap refined sugar and refined carbohydrates. Choose more complex carbohydrates like wholemeal pasta, wild rice, wholemeal or sourdough bread and add only a little bit to your plate. Fill your plate with other foods like vegetables, nuts, seeds, healthy fat and good protein.
  1. Set up your environment. Not having junk food in the house or at work. We all get tired or stressed and if we get home and there is a chocolate bar or a packet of potato crisps, we usually grab it and eat it, not caring whether it is healthy or not. Then many of us feel guilty but it’s too late. Swap the sweet stuff for fruit and vegetables or have a little bit of dark chocolate 70% now and then.
  1. Balance the blood sugar. This will stop any cravings. Having 3 meals a day with healthy protein and healthy fat will fill you for longer and doesn’t leave you with low energy and cravings. I have already written about this topic so if you need more info please see my first blog. Making simple changes to your diet can have significant impact on your health and wellbeing.
  1. Eat mindfully. Mindfulness may encourage healthier weight and eating habits. It’s important to think about our food, where it comes from, whether it has the protein and good fat and what nutrients it contains. Sitting down, chewing food well and not looking at any ‘screens’ whilst we are eating will give signals to the brain that it’s time to properly digest our meal. (i)
  1. Eat at the right times. I think that having breakfast within 1 hour of waking up and having your last meal no later than 6-7pm is very important. Having time to fast overnight gives your body a break to do other essential functions and keep your body weight in check. Studies show that eating at around the same time every day is beneficial for our circadian rhythm (internal body clock) as well as maintaining a healthy weight. (ii)
  1. Enjoy some kind of physical activity. Whether it’s going to the gym, a brisk walk or gardening. Our body is designed to move and it needs it every day. As we all know exercise has so many benefits on our health as well as using up the adipose tissue – the fat.
  1. Have a good nights sleep. Studies show that sleeping well, 6-8 hours, influences our weight in a positive way and should be part of the obesity prevention approach. A well rested body doesn’t need as much energy as when we wake up tired and therefore it decreases the chances of wanting something sweet that releases energy quickly. (iii) (iv)
  1. Stay hydrated, reduce alcohol consumption and avoid fizzy drinks. Sometimes if we feel hungry, and we only ate an hour ago, it can be thirst instead. Our brain sends the same signals of hunger and thirst so it’s always a good idea to drink a glass of water and see if the hunger is still there. Alcohol is liquidised and refined sugar, very dehydrating which leads to slowing digestive, metabolic and hormonal processes in the body. (v)
  1. One last thing I would recommend is don’t go shopping whilst you’re hungry and try to avoid the sweet aisles……but I’m sure you all know this.

Sources:

  1. Jordan, C.H., Wang, W., Donatoni, L., Meier, B.P., 2014. Mindful eating: Trait and state mindfulness predict healthier eating behavior. Personality and Individual Differences 68, 107–111. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2014.04.013
  2. Summa, K.C., Turek, F.W., 2014. Chronobiology and Obesity: Interactions between Circadian Rhythms and Energy Regulation. Advances in Nutrition: An International Review Journal 5, 312S–319S. doi:10.3945/an.113.005132
  • Darukhanavala, A., Pannain, S., 2011. Sleep and Obesity in Children and Adolescents, in: Global Perspectives on Childhood Obesity. Elsevier Inc., pp. 167–182. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-374995-6.10016-7
  1. Taheri, S., 2006. The link between short sleep duration and obesity: We should recommend more sleep to prevent obesity. Archives of Disease in Childhood. doi:10.1136/adc.2005.093013
  2. Moritz, A. 2007. The liver and gallbladder miracle cleanse. ‘Simple quidelines to avoid gallstones.’ Ulysses Press. Canada. Pp 130-163