The winter is a difficult time to lose weight. The hibernation genes naturally make easier to store fat. The inclement weather and the cold make it hard to maintain high levels of physical activity. These are a recipe to gain weight during the winter months. Luckily after every winter, comes spring. The days are longer, and sunlight is a natural energy boost. This is the perfect time to jumpstart your weight loss. Here are some things you can do to get you back on track.
KNOW YOUR CALORIE REQUIREMENT:
While losing weight is more than just calories in and calories out, it is important to have some idea of how many calories you need in a day. The balance of energy intake and energy expenditure must be respected if you are to enjoy meaningful weight loss. The most accurate way to determine how many calories you burn in a day, is to measure your resting energy expenditure (REE). In my practice we do this through a process called indirect calorimetry. This may not be a practical solution for some people.
The next option is to use any of the free resources online that allows you to enter your height and weight and it will estimate your calorie goal. The limitation of this is that is based on population studies and there can be significant variations between what you as individual needs and the population averages.
However, you are able to get your calorie requirement, you should try to stick to that goal.
LOG YOUR FOODS AND DRINKS:
Commit to keeping a food journal either electronically or with paper for 4 weeks. Log everything that you eat or drink. This is usually an eye opener. You will discover that some of the foods you thought were healthy may not be as healthy. This is very good way to keep you accountable and on track.
Mindful eating refers to being present and mindful of everything you eat. Take about 20 minutes to enjoy your meals. Pay attention to how you feel. Chew your food multiple times and completely. This will help you experience satiety and stay full longer while consuming smaller portion. It will also help you identify emotional triggers for overeating and food sensitivities.
Meal replacements come in different forms. Shakes, bars, soups are a few examples. A true meal replacement should have in addition to macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein and fats0 micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals and trace elements in proportions found in a complete meal. This is a key difference between a meal replacement and your average protein shake.
Meal replacements are a great way to get high protein without a lot of calories or cholesterol. They also simplify four meal planning. Replace at least one meal and snacks with high quality meal replacements. You can find great options at shopkudosproducts.com.
This is a very low carbohydrate diet. In the early phase of ketogenic diet, the goal is to restrict carbohydrates to 20 grams or less a day. With this, the body turns to burning stored fat for energy. It can be an effective way to jumpstart your weight loss. The challenge is that it can feel very restrictive. They is a likelihood that once you reintroduce liberal amounts of carbohydrate, that you will regain any weight loss.
This can be done either as alternate fasting or time restricted eating window. With alternate day fasting, you restrict calorie consumption to 700 calories or less on fasting days and eating normally on fasting days. With restricted eating window, you simply limit your meal consumption a about 4 to 8 our window and fast for about 20 to 16 hours. This can be effective in helping jumpstart your weight
There has never been a better time than now to seek medical treatment if you are struggling to lose weight. The research on obesity is rapidly expanding our knowledge of the disease and how to treat it. The medications are producing outstanding results. Find a provider who is trained in Obesity Medicine, and you might just be amazed at what is available.
For quicker results, you may combine two or more of the strategies outlined above.
Ife Ojugbeli, MD, MBA, Dipl. ABOM.