by Sam Tan, Nutritionist
Do you eat to live or live to eat?
The way we look at food has a huge impact on our eating habits. Many of us eat purely for the pleasure of it, and this can make it hard to give up certain foods that are hampering your weight loss plan. Start looking at food as sustenance for life, and keep an open mind towards healthy recipes that you could use at home. It’s amazing how delicious healthy food can be!
- Regulate your thyroid function
The thyroid is an endocrine gland that secretes hormones which regulate many bodily functions including your basal metabolic rate (BMR). Your BMR is the amount of energy your body uses at rest. It has been long proven that people with underactive thyroid glands (hypothyroidism) have lower BMRs, making it difficult for them to lose weight despite exercise or being on a strict diet.
Iodine deficiency is one of the many causes of hypothyroidism, and in such cases the supplementation of iodine may be helpful in regulating thyroid function. NewLife™’s Kelp is a rich source of iodine and contains 22 trace elements that are vital for health. Research findings suggest that kelp supplementation may have endocrine modulating effects, and some studies have demonstrated its ability to regulate thyroid function.
If you have always struggled with losing weight successfully and preventing excessive weight gain, Kelp is a must-have for your weight-loss plan!
- Balance your electrolytes
Many people carry excess weight in the form of water retention due to electrolyte imbalance caused by a potassium deficient diet and an over-consumption of sodium. The most effective way to fix this imbalance is to supplement with K Salt. It contains potassium extracted from plant sources and can be taken mixed in fresh juices or apple cider vinegar and honey. With reduced sodium intake and the addition of K Salt, your body will flush out excess water retention.
- Drink enough water
Drinking enough water also helps to promote weight loss, and distilled water is the best choice! Water helps to regulate your metabolic rate, and sometimes the urge to snack is actually your body’s response to dehydration! You should be aiming to drink at least 8 cups of water per day, and remember that other drinks do not count towards this amount! Sticking to pure water instead of sweetened or carbonated drinks is another way to cut out unhealthy calories from your diet.
- Add fibre to your diet
A high fibre diet helps to promote weight loss and regulate your blood sugar. Eat high fibre foods such as fruits, vegetables, wholemeal bread, unpolished rice, and legumes. NewLife™’s Herbal Klenz powder is a great supplement for those who find it hard getting enough fibre daily. It contains both soluble and insoluble fibres, along with detoxifying herbs. Research suggests that eating more fibre helps to prevent weight gain and encourage weight loss, so make the switch from white bread to wholemeal for that added fibre every morning!
- Go for green foods and juices
Introducing green foods such as raw salads and fresh green juices to your diet, is one of the most effective ways to shed the fat! Raw salads and fresh vegetables are high in fibre, vitamins, minerals and nutrients, and low in sugar and calories. Making them a larger part of your diet will go a long way in helping you to lose weight while getting you healthier at the same time! Green vegetable juices contain less calories than sweet fruit juices, and are packed with nutrients. They are also a healthy replacement for less-healthy beverage choices. Remember, “green is lean”!
- Eat healthy fats
Some people’s first instinct is to eliminate all fats from their diet in trying to lose weight. Fats however are an important nutrient, and in fact healthy fats can help to ramp up your metabolism, keep you satiated longer, and assist in progressing weight loss.
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is rich in short and medium-chain fatty acids which help to promote weight loss while maintaining healthy thyroid and endocrine function. Flaxseed Oil is rich in Omega-3, which helps to improve blood flow to muscles and stimulate enzymes which transport fat to where it can be used for energy. Mix either of these oils into your yoghurt smoothies as part of your healthy weight loss plan.
- Exercise regularly
No effective weight loss plan is complete without exercise. Regular exercise does not just burn calories, it also helps to raise your metabolic rate, which is the amount of energy your body uses just to function normally. As we know, weight loss happens when you use more energy than you consume, which makes exercise an important factor for weight loss. Exercise that tones and builds muscles also ensures that your body composition is improving while you’re losing weight. Check out pages 8-9 for some movements that will help you burn fat and build muscle using your rebounder!
- Get enough sleep
Being short on sleep can affect your weight loss plan in a variety of ways. Studies show that a lack of sleep tends to prompt people to eat larger portions of food. Late night snacking and skipping exercise sessions can also be caused by a lack of sleep. Plan your sleeping schedule to get at least 7 hours, and stick to it as much as you can!
Apply the tips above as part of your daily lifestyle and you’ll be well on your way to a leaner, healthier you. Always remember that no matter how hard it gets, your health is worth every effort.
Mindset Is Everything
Maintaining a healthy weight starts with maintaining a healthy mind. Losing weight can be a difficult process at times, therefore it is important to keep your eyes on the prize while you’re munching on green salads with low fat dressing. Here are a few things you could do to stay focused and motivated towards healthy weight loss:
Set reasonable goals
When starting a weight loss plan, it’s natural to want to lose as much weight as quickly as possible. Statistics have shown however that people who lose between 0.5-1 kg of weight per week tend to be more successful at keeping the weight off!
Setting reasonable goals and benchmarks that you can achieve on a weekly / monthly basis will make your weight-loss journey far more enjoyable, and allows for you to set yourself up for success from the beginning. Give yourself a long term goal of your ideal bodyweight (or ideal body composition, i.e. body fat %) and then break it down into smaller benchmarks that you can track on a weekly basis.
Have a support system
Don’t do it alone! One of the most important factors to success is having a solid support system. Share your goals with your close friends and recruit a “workout buddy” to exercise with. If you’re willing to make a bigger investment, find a personal trainer or a fitness studio that you can train with. Being part of a community that encourages you to keep fit and healthy will make it so much more fun and enjoyable!
Reward your achievements
Everybody needs a little “sugar”. Make it a point to celebrate your achievements and reward yourself for sticking to your diet and exercise plan. Rewards are a great way to keep yourself on track and motivated! So go ahead and book that beach vacation while you work towards a trimmer figure.
Losing weight can be difficult and for some, keeping it off can be an even bigger challenge. For decades, people have tried countless methods and products just to achieve a slimmer figure, and weight loss remains one of the most lucrative segments of the wellness industry. What many fail to take into account however, is that certain methods of weight loss while being effective for their purpose in the short term, are not sustainable and may even be detrimental to health. Many resort to “quick and easy” ways, and end up suffering for it.
Always remember that good health begins with your mindset, and any plan you choose to follow should be holistic and sustainable. Don’t sacrifice long-term health for short-term “results”!
Here are some of the unhealthy methods that are commonly used to lose weight:
“Yoyo” or Crash Dieting is when someone goes on a short-term, very extreme diet where they eat very few calories or selective foods. While highly effective short term, crash dieting is not sustainable and most often does not address the main issues of eating habits and lifestyle choices that cause unhealthy weight gain. They can also be dangerous as the body may be starved of certain essential nutrients.
While the dietary plans of the Hollywood’s rich and famous may appear highly effective and glamorous, celebrity diets can be dangerous and are most often fads rather than solid, science-based eating plans. Always remember that different things work for different people, and it’s important to find what is effective and sustainable for you.