Written by Michal Shelton, RDN, LDN
June 13, 2021
Weight loss is an important goal for many people and my job as a dietitian is to help individuals develop healthy, long lasting behavior changes that will enable them to maintain a weight they feel their best at.
Studies have shown that the majority of people who go on a diet specifically designed for weight loss end up gaining back the weight they may have lost. One reason for this is that traditional diets restrict calories but fail in helping to establish behavior changes that are important for sustainable weight loss. Instead of trying to reach your “goal weight” focus on incorporating behaviors for overall health and you may be surprised to find that weight loss becomes a natural byproduct.
Top 5 healthy behaviors that may help with weight loss
Keep a food journal for yourself
Writing down not only what you eat each day but also why can be really helpful in identifying patterns especially if you struggle with overeating. What else was going on at that time and what were you feeling? Were you stressed? Bored? Angry? Happy? What was your hunger level before and after eating?
Focus on the foods you want to increase eating
When trying to lose weight people often assume they need to just eat less of certain foods. While this may be one factor when it comes to needing to eat less sugar and processed foods, think about replacing certain foods with healthier options. Instead of focusing on what not to eat, focus on what you can be eating more of. For example: vegetables (lots of variety here), fish, nuts/seeds.
Get enough sleep (7-9hrs per night)
You may notice that you feel hungrier when you’re really tired. This is because inadequate sleep can mess with the body’s hunger and satisfaction cues which overtime can lead to eating more than your body is actually burning. Inadequate sleep can also increase cortisol levels which may lead to weight gain or make it more difficult to lose weight.
Exercise has a lot of benefits apart from weight loss but adding in a consistent exercise routine can be helpful for weight loss by boosting metabolism and helping to decrease appetite.
Talk to an Integrative Functionally Oriented Registered Dietitian
There is a lot of conflicting information when it comes to nutrition. Dietitians are trained to look at the “big picture” and provide recommendations that are grounded in credible research. There will always be a certain degree of controversy in the nutrition field but I can help by prioritizing what may be most important according to your specific medical history, genetics, lifestyle and personal goaIs.
Advice for weight loss has often been to create a calorie deficit by “eating less and moving more”. In theory this makes sense but the human body is vastly complex, always changing and adapting. There are actually many factors that can inhibit a person’s ability to lose weight including (but not limited to) age, gender, genetics, high levels of stress, inadequate sleep, mindless/emotional eating, insulin resistance, hormonal imbalances or certain medications.
If you need extra support in addressing some of the other factors that could be impacting your weight loss goals please call and schedule an appointment.
We are here to help and want you to feel the very best that you can!