Easy Weight Management Tips Anyone Can Follow
Obesity is a growing concern worldwide.
In American society, the immediate consequence of being overweight is social discrimination, often causing poor self-esteem and depression. Overweight or obese adults are also at risk for a number of chronic diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and some forms of cancer. Indeed, type 2 diabetes, previously considered an adult disease, has increased dramatically in children and adolescents along with the increase in obesity.
Change needs to happen.
But if you’re not ready to dive into a new diet, there are easy changes you can make that will have an impact.
Here are my top 10 easy weight management tips:
1. Drink Green Tea
Green tea contains a compound called ECCG which promotes fat burning. One study noted a reduction in food intake in rats that were given a polyphenol, which is found in green tea.
Another study concluded green tea had heat-producing and calorie-burning properties beyond what can be explained by caffeine. When 31 healthy young men and women were given three servings of a beverage containing green tea catechins, caffeine, and calcium for three days, their 24-hour energy expenditure increased by 4.6%, according to the research from Lausanne University in Switzerland (source). Not too bad for doing nothing but drinking some tea.
2. Drink 8×8
Researchers at the University of Utah found that when volunteers drank eight glasses (8 to 12 ounces) of ice water per day they had higher metabolic rates than those who only drank 4 glasses per day. Your body can burn calories when it works to heat the water to your core temperature.
Wayne Askew, Ph.D., professor and director of the Division of Foods and Nutrition in the University of Utah College of Health, has found evidence that eight 8-oz. glasses of water a day, not only helps maintain the body’s hydration status, but may bolster its metabolic rate as well, resulting in more efficient burning of calories (source).
3. Choose Organic
Eating fresh produce is the best way to obtain the nutrients that support optimum health, but the pesticides used on many crops are a major health concern. Pesticides are now being called ‘obesogens’ due to their affinity for fat cells.
By choosing organic foods, you can reap the health benefits of fruits and vegetables without exposing yourself and your family to potentially harmful chemicals. Pesticides present real health risks, particularly to children and those with health concerns. The toxicity most commonly associated with pesticides in animal studies includes disruption in the normal functioning of the nervous and endocrine system, and increased risks of cancer.
Researchers in Canada found in one study that the volunteers with the most pesticide chemicals stored in their fat cells were most at risk for thyroid dysfunction and mitochondrial damage. This damage can lead to weight gain. Can’t afford to go all-organic? The following “Dirty Dozen Plus” (from the Environmental Working Group) had the highest pesticide load, making them the most important to buy or grow organic:
- Sweet bell peppers
- Cherry tomatoes
- Snap peas
- Hot peppers
Another easy rule of thumb: If you eat the skin, then go organic otherwise you are ingesting an average of 47 to 67 chemicals on EACH piece of fruit or veggie you eat…even after you wash it.
4. Take a Probiotic Supplement
There are over 400 types of healthy bacterial organisms in our digestive tract. These organisms are tasked with the maintenance of our health. When the balance between good and bad bacteria gets out of whack, the result is a bloated tummy.
According to a study by the British Journal of Nutrition, researchers from Laval University in Quebec instructed 125 overweight women to follow a 12-week weight loss diet, followed by a 12-week maintenance period. Half of the participants also swallowed probiotic pills every day, and the other half got placebo pills. What happened?
After the 12-week weight loss period, the women who took the probiotic pills had lost 9.7 pounds on average, while the women who took the placebos only lost 5.7 pounds. And then, after the 12-week maintenance period, the women who took the placebo pills maintained a stable weight-but the probiotics group continued to slim down, losing 1.8 more pounds, on average. By the study’s end, the women in the probiotics group also had less of the intestinal bacteria related to obesity. Don’t take on an empty stomach or with coffee, the acidity will cancel the benefit.
5. Stop Drinking Cow’s Milk
Even if you drink organic cow’s milk, the cows that provide the milk are still milked an average of 300 times a year. Much of that time, they are pregnant which means all those extra pregnancy hormones are going directly into your milk, messing up your hormones.
According to Dr. Justin Butler’s article in Viva! Health, a registered charity set up to monitor and explain the increasing amount of scientific research linking diet to health, all cow’s milk, whether organic or non-organic, contains hormones and growth factors. It is, after all, baby food designed to help a newborn animal grow and the reason why growth factors are implicated in certain cancers.
All cow’s milk contains:
- Hormones and growth factors – linked to cancers such as breast and prostate
- Saturated animal fat – linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke
- Casein – the milk protein linked to childhood allergies and type 1 diabetes in some children
- Lactose – the sugar in milk is linked to ovarian cancer and responsible for the uncomfortable symptoms of lactose intolerance.
6. Use Essential Oils
It’s no secret that I love essential oils and I’m passionate about sharing their physical and emotional health benefits. Weight loss is no exception. Essential oils can speed up your metabolism, aid in digestion, and boost your energy. A fast metabolism and healthy digestive system will allow your body to burn more calories each day. They can also increase energy, which will make exercise easier.
These are the essential oils I recommend for weight management:
- Grapefruit – supports your metabolism.
- Cinnamon – supports healthy blood sugar and insulin release, this keeps your sugar cravings in check
- Black Pepper – supports metabolism, curbs cravings, and assists in removing excess water from the body
- Lemon – detoxes fat soluble toxins and its zesty scent will help energize you
- Lemongrass – removes excess water from the body, and also detoxes fat soluble toxins
- Slim & Sassy Blend – designed to help boost your metabolism and manage hunger craving
To learn more about how essential oils help you with your overall health, schedule a free consultation with me here.
7. Choose Sweet Potato Over White Potato
Sweet potatoes are a delicious member of the dark orange vegetable family, which lead the pack in vitamin A content. Substitute a baked sweet potato (also loaded with vitamin C, calcium, and potassium) for a baked white potato.
And before you add butter or sugar, taste the sweetness that develops when a sweet potato is cooked – and think of all the calories you can save over that loaded baked potato. “Sweet potatoes are a great source of dietary fiber, which helps to reduce blood sugar and insulin spikes, ultimately reducing belly fat,” explains Shana Maleeff a dietitian and fitness professional in New York City (source).
8. Swap Honey for Sugar
The more white processed stuff you can cut out, the better your weight and health. Honey is still a sweetener, but at least you get the health benefits with it. Aren’t all sugars the same? No, your body processes whole food, natural sugar such as honey differently than white processed table sugar. Honey contains 22 amino acids, which play an essential role in metabolism. As your metabolism increases, you burn more calories and increased energy levels.
Sugar is made of 50 percent glucose and 50 percent fructose, the sugar typically found in fruits, and is broken down very easily, leading to a surge of blood glucose. What your body doesn’t use right away gets stored as fat. Honey is also made mostly of sugar, but it’s only about 30 percent glucose and less than 40 percent fructose. And there are also about 20 other sugars in the mix, many of which are much more complex, and dextrin, a type of starchy fiber. This means that your body expends more energy to break it all down to glucose. Therefore, you end up accumulating fewer calories from it.
9. Replace Pasta with Spaghetti Squash
Jonny Bowden, Ph.D. and Clinical Nutrition Specialist, and author of The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, says that there are two types of squash, summer squash and winter squash and both offer specific advantages. Dr. Bowden reports that summer squash is good for weight loss because it is the lower of the two in calories. Spaghetti squash is a type of summer squash that is a particularly good diet food.
One cup of spaghetti squash has only 42 calories and contains moderate amounts of potassium and vitamin A. It also has 2.2 grams of dietary fiber that can help curb your appetite.
10. Eat More Fruits, Vegetables and Beans
Add more of the following foods to your diet:
- Apples and pears – apples contain a fiber called pectin, which helps you feel fuller longer. In a study published in the journal Nutrition, scientists found that instructing participants to eat an apple or a pear before meals resulted in significant weight loss (source).
- Grapefruit – eating half a grapefruit before a meal can actually help people drop weight, while also improving insulin resistance. As an added benefit, grapefruit contains cancer-fighting compounds like liminoids and lycopene, and red grapefruit has been shown to help lower triglycerides.
- Spinach – spinach extract containing green leaf membranes called thylakoids curbed food cravings by 95 per cent and boost weight loss by 43 per cent.
- Cruciferous vegetables – cruciferous vegetables contain a large amount of diindolymethane, a compound that can restore the balance in estrogen metabolism (an imbalance causes the body to store more fat).
- Berries – juicy foods are great for losing weight because they fill you up quickly, since their high water content bumps up the volume while driving down the calories. Berries also contain fiber and folate. Fiber aids in weight loss and helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Beans – a cup of black beans packs a whopping 15 grams of satisfying protein and doesn’t contain any of the saturated fat found in other protein sources, like red meat.
BONUS TIP: Detox from Sugar
Did you know the average American is eating about 20 teaspoons of ADDED sugars per day? This doesn’t include natural sugars from food like fruit and milk. Even if you’re trying to cut down on your added sugar intake, there are likely many hidden sources in the food you eat every day. Click here to join my Sugar Detox email series.
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