(Family Features) For many people who wish to work toward a healthier weight, one of the greatest obstacles is figuring out where to begin.
These tips from SlimFast consultant and registered dietitian Maryann Walsh show it doesn’t take a drastic lifestyle overhaul to make an impact.
Many people who struggle with their weight benefit from being more conscious about what they’re eating and why. For example, consider your eating habits, such as eating even when you’re not hungry whether that’s because it’s mealtime and you think you should eat, you’re satisfying a craving or using a tasty snack to cope with stress.
Recognizing why you’re eating is an important step toward correcting destructive eating patterns, but so is paying attention to the other details of the eating experience, including what you eat and how it makes you feel. Ultimately, this may allow you to choose healthier foods that nourish your body for the long-term, rather than the brief satisfaction that comes with less nutritious choices.
Consider Intermittent Fasting
One weight-loss method many people find success using is intermittent fasting, which involves abstaining from all food and beverages for a specified time period each day or week. While going too long without food can sometimes lead to excess hunger then overeating later, in shorter, controlled fasting timeframes one can often more easily achieve a caloric deficit, which is required for weight loss.
Prepare for your fasting phase by choosing foods that support satiety. Options like SlimFast’s Intermittent Fasting line of meal bars and protein shakes can help avoid a sense of deprivation with tasty flavors like the Vanilla Cupcake Snack Shake Mix and Vanilla Almond Crunch Complete Meal Bar. The shake mixes deliver 15 grams of slow-digesting protein, compared to whey protein, to help curb hunger, along with more than 20 vitamins and minerals. The meal bars clock in with 15 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber.
When you’re stressed, your body produces cortisol, which also raises insulin and can drive hunger and trigger cravings for comfort foods. In fact, that’s the very reason people tend to overeat when they’re under pressure. Light exercise and meditative practices can help you manage your mental strain. You might also consider talk therapy with a friend or professional or spend time unwinding with a book or music.
Get Proper Sleep
Poor sleep habits affect your weight in numerous ways. One is that when you’re feeling tired, your hunger and satiety hormones, ghrelin and leptin, can be affected, leading to an increase in caloric intake and subsequent weight gain. Additionally, when you’re tired, you’re more likely to take shortcuts like skipping workouts or opting for unhealthy convenience foods. All are reasons to make better rest a bigger priority.
Track Eating and Exercise
When you’re not paying attention to what you eat and how you move, you may not even realize how your habits are affecting your health. Logging what you eat, especially if you use a tool like an app that helps you see the nutrition breakdown, may give you a clearer idea of the quality and quantity of your intake. Similarly, when you’re specifically writing down the time you’re committing to physical activity, you’ll find it easier to identify patterns and pinpoint where you can make adjustments to increase your exercise.
Visit SlimFast.com to find more resources on weight management and intermittent fasting.
If you’re new to the idea of intermittent fasting, these tips can help you find greater success so you can see results.
- Pace yourself. Make a gradual transition so your body gets used to going without food for shorter periods of time before you work up to extended fasting periods.
- Stay hydrated. Avoid confusing thirst for hunger by upping your fluid intake. Staying hydrated and energized while you fast helps keep fatigue and brain fog at bay. Options like fruit-flavored SlimFast Intermittent Fasting Energizing Hydration Supplement Drink Mix won’t break your fast and can help you add variety as a flavorful alternative to water. They can provide the energy and focus you need between meals and are perfect for those who feel groggy or run-down while fasting.
- Set goals. Know what you want to achieve and why, so your “why” can keep motivating you to follow your intermittent fasting plan even when you’re tempted to quit.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (woman and man exercising)