Weekly Wellness: Seven Weight Loss Habits to Try
COLUMBIA- The summer can be a time of being more physically active – spending time in the sun, playing sports, spending time on the trail, riding bikes. As we head into fall and winter, we may not be getting as much exercise as we have been. This list of seven lifestyle habits could be just the trick to help you continue your weight-loss journey:
1. Prioritize protein at breakfast: Instead of eating a sugary breakfast or skipping your morning meal entirely, eat something with at least 20 grams of protein. A low-glycemic, protein-packed breakfast can keep you full and increase energy levels, according to a study from the Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology Journal.
2. Incorporate high-intensity workouts: All exercise requires effort, but there are some workouts that can help you accomplish more in a short amount of time. Research shows high-intensity exercise (short bouts of max-effort intervals), for instance, burns more calories than steady-state exercise performed for the same amount of time. For a high-intensity workout, you’ll want to be at 70–80% of your maximum heart rate, which you can calculate by subtracting your age from 220.
3. Keep an eating schedule: Using your circadian rhythm as a meal schedule may help. This means eating breakfast within a couple hours of waking and stop eating several hours before bed. Establishing meal schedules can help you stay fueled during the day, while preventing late-night snacking. The ratio of a circadian rhythm fast is essentially 13:11. You will fast for 13 hours and only eat during 11 hours.
4. Drink more water: Quenching your thirst can help you avoid overeating. In one study, overweight people who drank two glasses of water before their meals every day for three months lost an average of 2.6 more pounds than people who didn’t hydrate prior to eating. To stay hydrated throughout the day, carry a reusable water bottle with you or set a timer every hour as a reminder to consume a glass.
5. Walk for 30 minutes every day: Try turning your work commute into walking time or breaking your walk into smaller chunks after your meals. In one study, Type 2 diabetes patients who walked after each of their three meals experienced greater weight loss than participants who exercised once a day for the same amount of time.
6. Add seeds to your diet: Like protein, fiber is another nutrient that can help promote satiety. Some sources recommend that women should try to consume 25 grams of fiber per day, and men should aim for 35 grams. How can we do this? You can add chia seeds and ground flaxseeds to your yogurt, smoothies and salads. Other good fiber-rich snacks include edamame, almonds and avocado.
7. Reorganize your plate: Changing the way you load your plate can help you fuel up on healthier foods, score more nutrients and prevent overeating. If you look at your empty plate, think about it in quadrants: half of your plate should be veggies/fruits. The rest of your plate should be 1/4 protein (20–30 grams), and 1/4 carbs (choose carbs that are whole grains like quinoa, whole-wheat bread and brown rice). Whole grains have more nutrients than their refined counterparts, and may help regulate your blood sugar better, which can prevent appetite swings.
Try some (or all) of these tips and see what helps you!