WELLNESS--As a health and wellness coach, the number one reason that people seek me out is for weight loss. They are looking for guidance and tips on how to battle that bulge and keep it off for good.
While Los Angeles may be an exception, the majority of Americans are overweight with over one third being considered obese. It’s a serious problem and it goes far beyond being solely a vanity issue. More and more people are suffering from the negative health consequences of being overweight including increased risks of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other illness.
Losing weight and getting in shape usually means approaching our health and lifestyle from a number of angles and not just our eating habits.
Here are the top areas to look at in order for you to lose weight, gain muscle, and increase your overall chances of living a longer life:
- Reduce Sugar & Processed Carbohydrates – The main cause of weight gain is the overconsumption of high fructose corn syrup, sugar, and processed foods especially white bread, pastry, and pasta. When eating these types of food our insulin and blood sugar spike which may wreak havoc on our system. With excess sugars in our blood our body eventually begins to store fat and it craves more and more sugar as time goes on. It is a vicious cycle. A diet high in sugar and processed foods also challenges our digestive system while lowering our immunity too. Work on bringing in monk fruit sweetener instead of sugar, and use whole grain products whenever possible. Better yet, eat more healthy fats like avocado, fish and nuts, and lower your carbohydrate intake altogether which will shift your body into fat-burning mode and create less sweet cravings.
- Exercise – Most of us dislike this one but the truth is, we can’t lose weight permanently unless we move our body. This doesn’t mean that we need to be gym rats but it does mean some type of movement each and every day even if that is a half hour walk with a neighbor or friend. Resistance training is also ideal because it builds lean muscle which in turn burns even more body fat. Make it fun and know that once you begin, it gets easier and easier to continue. The hardest part is making the commitment to start.
- Avoid GMO Foods – If you eat anything that is non-organic, there is a 75% chance that that particular food is genetically modified and also contains a chemical called Glyphosate. Glyphosate has been linked to the breakdown of our gut health and in turn may lead to extreme weight gain along with numerous other health challenges. It is always best to buy organic or look for labels that are certified as non-GMO.
- Reset Your Metabolism – Sometimes all we need is a kick-start! Re-booting our metabolism sets us off onto a healthy path of weight loss and detoxing which can motivate us to continue on the healthy lifestyle journey. My favorite is the Purium 10-day Transformation where people lose 5-20 lbs in 10 days and lose visceral fat, build lean muscle, sleep better, and increase their energy while decreasing cravings for junk food.
- Stop Eating in the Evenings – Intermittent fasting is all the rage now and for good reason. Intermittent fasting can be done in different ways but one effective method is to stop eating at 7pm in the evenings and not to begin again until 11am the next day. If this is done even just 3 days per week, it gives our body a rest from processing food while we sleep, kick-starts our metabolism and helps us to build more muscle while burning excess fat. There are plenty of other great benefits too! While 16 hours without food may seem extreme, remember that we are sleeping through half of it.
- Get your Hormones Checked – Hormones are the spark plugs for our body. As we age they can go a little haywire. In men, our testosterone may go down and our estrogen can increase causing weight gain around the middle and less muscle mass. For women, higher levels of estrogen and lower testosterone also has its effects along with the other key hormones that change with age. Low thyroid may also cause weight gain. Seek out an anti-aging specialist or endocrinologist in your area and have a full hormone panel to see if there is something they can do to help. Bio-identical hormone replacement may be an option for you.
- Drink More Water – Water is essential for good health, weight loss, and overall energy. Drinking more water increases the number of calories that we burn during the day so drink up. 8-12 glasses per day of clean, filtered water is best.
- Supplement – Certain supplements can assist weight loss. Garcinia Cambogia, Green Tea, and Green Coffee Extract are shown to assist fat burning and to decrease appetite. Chromium Polynicotinate helps to stabilize blood sugar and in turn, reduces sugar and carbohydrate cravings. Low Vitamin D levels are also linked to weight gain and obesity so get your blood tested and ensure that you get at least 20 minutes of sun each day at non-peak times without sunscreen and consider a Vitamin D3 supplement daily.
*Always consult with your physician before beginning a new vitamin, exercise, or hormone regimen.
(Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifesytle.com. He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!)