Weight loss is not a one-size-fits-all deal, no matter what fad diet enthusiasts may try to tell you. Your weight-loss program and the challenges that come with it are unique to your specific needs — the amount of activity you need and the type of diet you should maintain.
But if you’ve been exercising regularly and still having problems losing that weight, your eating habits may be holding you back. Here are five changes that our medical professionals at McGowan Medical Centers say you can begin implementing to guide yourself toward better eating habits and a slimmer, healthier you.
Your body’s organs and muscles are at their peak midday but slow down when you’re sleeping. When you get those late-night cravings and reach for a sandwich before bed, your body doesn’t metabolize it the way it would during the day.
If you find yourself getting really hungry at night, eat something low in carbs and sugar, and high in protein. High protein foods break down at a slower rate than those higher in carbs and can help stabilize your blood sugar if need be.
Taking the time to plan your shopping trip can help you to avoid impulse purchases. If you’re consistently on a time crunch at dinner time, you can also find healthy prepared or easy-to-make dinners in most grocery stores, but don’t forget to read the labels. That healthy looking snack with leaves on the package and organic labeling could still end up adding a ton of extra calories, sugars, and sodium into your daily intake, severely impacting your weight loss.
Likewise, shopping on an empty stomach makes you more likely to buy junk food, which means you won’t have a healthy variety of foods at home. Have a snack before you shop, or go just after a meal if you can.
We love a good latte as much as the next person, but if you’re drinking sugary, calorie-loaded drinks multiple times per day, you’re doing your weight-loss strategy a serious disservice. If you’re restricting your calories, carbs, or sugar, opt for choices that minimize these. If you just can’t stomach the idea of sugar-free, try getting a smaller size drink than you normally would.
Alternatively, switch to green tea with honey. Green tea has been shown to help reduce inflammation and assist with weight loss. Even if you can’t stomach the idea of giving up your morning lattes every day, just removing a few from your diet each week can have a tremendous effect.
Calories from desserts are more significant in your overall diet than you’d think. Even desserts that are marketed with phrases such as “skinny” or “light” still add to your daily intake and can pack on the pounds. If you really don’t want to give up your daily desserts, consider trading your “skinny” chocolate cake slice for a bowl of fruit topped with honey, or a fruit sorbet.
Consider that most desserts, at the low end, probably add on at least 100 calories to your daily total intake. Over the course of a year eating daily desserts, that’s an extra 36,500 calories, or roughly 12 pounds.
We all know that overeating can cause weight gain, but so can undereating. Although you need a slight calorie deficit to lose weight, eating too little can cause your body to lower its metabolism in order to conserve energy, meaning you hold on to more calories than you would by increasing your calorie intake a bit more.
If you’ve been working out while maintaining a 1,000-1,200 calories-per-day diet, you should try to add calories to your daily intake plan in the form of healthy foods such as vegetables, proteins, and whole grains. You may end up seeing better results more quickly.
Weight loss can be difficult, and the struggle can feel futile at times. We at McGowan Medical Centers are dedicated to helping you live your best life. Contact us today to schedule your weight-loss consultation at our Jacksonville, Florida, facility.