Fact: Obesity is a global health crisis.
But what can one do to lose weight in a safe and healthy way?
Without a doubt, there is a lot of conflicting and just plain bad weight loss information on the internet, leaving many of us feeling confused on how to even start. The truth is, losing weight in a healthy way does not have to overwhelm us. In fact, the key to dropping a few pounds permanently is cultivating healthy habits that remain long after you’ve reached your desired weight.
Listed below are some easy lifestyle hacks you can start today. Done together, these tips will lead to permanent weight loss and optimal health.
- Get good sleep
We all like to debate the best diet, but is diet any more important than sleep? NO! Getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night is critical for weight loss and long-term weight maintenance. Studies show that sleep-deprived people are up to 55% more likely to become obese compared to those who get enough sleep.
- Minimize sugar
As much as we may not want to hear this, sugar is high in calories yet low in nutrients, so minimizing your intake can really boost your health. Sugar is often hiding behind its many names in processed foods, so you are likely ingesting a lot without even realizing it. (I am also including alcohol here too, as alcohol turns to sugar in the body). Consuming large amounts of added sugar are linked with all metabolic diseases, including heart disease. The best way to avoid added sugar is to stick to whole foods found in nature to fill your plate. Opt for fruit instead of processed sugar.
- Get active
The more active we are, the less we way. Commit to a daily walk, hike or bike ride. I love to ski in the winter and kayak/standup paddle board in the summer. In addition to lowering risk factors for many diseases, cardiovascular exercise has been shown to reduce body weight and the belly fat that can lead to disease. Keep it simple, and get moving!
- Get sunshine
The light from the sun melts fat, according to a recent study. Obese people have low vitamin D levels and the skinny people tend to have higher vitamin D. Smart sunshine is the key. If you are not able to get much sun for most of the year, I highly recommend a sunshine lamp here.
- Try IF
IF, or intermittent fasting, is eating within a certain window of time within a day. There are many variations, and Intermittent fasting has been shown to boost overall metabolism. This makes fasting an easy, yet powerful weight loss aid. A recent study documented a 3–8% weight loss over 3–24 weeks when participants used this eating tool. It’s a very effective way to lose weight and belly fat. Our favorite way to implement intermittent fasting is using the sunshine schedule. Eat only when it is sunny. Contact us for information about prolonged fasting of 72 hours and beyond!
- Be Happy
Worldwide stress is at an all time high. Stress leads to poor food choice, poor sleep, and reduced activity levels. As discussed above, these three factors lead to weight gain. Stress leads to poor digestion as well. Find your happy.
Taking these simple steps to increase your wellness and nourish your body with healthy food and nutrients will go a long way to aiding your health, but also help weight come off naturally. Pick one and start today!
Bonus Tip #1
Loaded with antioxidants and other beneficial compounds, we are finally recognizing the health benefits of high quality coffee. Of course, we are talking about pure, black coffee, not the type with all the added sugars and sweetened creamers and syrups. But, did you know that drinking this quality beverage can aid in weight loss by increasing energy levels and total calories burnt? Caffeinated coffee may boost your metabolism by 3–11% and reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Go ahead and have a cup (or 2 or 3) of joe today! Try our Cardiology Coffee.
Bonus Tip #2
There are two supplements that deserve attention for weight loss.
- OptiLipid– 6 nutrients all designed to support optimal weight. 1 cap 2x per day
- Heart Helpers. This 10 strain probiotic supports healthy weight and optimal heart health.
Written by Lori SatterwhiteNTP and reviewed by Dr. Jack Wolfson.