After all the hobnobbing we did over the holidays, it’s not surprising that some us have weight loss as the number one resolution this year. We are already in the middle of January and some of our New Year’s resolutions are falling by the wayside already. Maybe it’s because you’ve not quite managed to stick to your diet for weight loss, or you’re confused about what you should be eating. Don’t fret, because our favorite wellness consultant from Intercare Wellness in Abu Dhabi – Dr. Nas Al Jafari – has your back. Today he’s sharing his insight and top tips on how to diet for weight loss, and shed that kilo or three in a healthy manner this New Year.
Why Weight Loss Resolutions Fail in the First Place
According to the good doctor, the reason why your previous January weight loss resolutions have failed in the past is that the advice you got on the diet for weight loss was most likely based on fuzzy science (or no science at all).
“The common assumption that all you need to do to lose weight is ‘eat less’ or ‘burn more’ calories and voila, just doesn’t hold true,” notes Dr. Jafari, adding that the body is far more complex than we give it credit for.
Our weight is under hormonal control. What you actually need to do is regain control of your hormones, and not your calories. This means making changes above and beyond just simple calorie reduction. All aspects of our lifestyle are interlinked through our hormones, therefore addressing nutrition alone usually only yields limited results. “You should aim to achieve all 4 pillars of good health: i) Eating well ii) Sleeping Well iii) De-stressing well and iv) Moving Well.”
How to Make Your Diet for Weight Loss a Success
Eat 2-to-3 meals a day of equal size portions: If you’re following the rule of ‘whole foods’ then you should eat until you’re satisfied: you want to avoid snacking because this will cause hormone imbalances.
Don’t count calories: They don’t matter (if you’re following rule no.1).
Eat during the day: Consume your food during daylight hours or leave 4 hours between eating and going to bed. The body is primed to eat during the day and rest after sunset, and this includes your gut.
Fasting: Have at least a 12-hour fasting window during your day (which can be during sleep too!). This helps bring your Insulin in check, otherwise known as your fat-storing hormone.
Exercise and relax: Incorporate mindfulness exercises and relaxation into your daily routine. This will help keep the dreaded Cortisol (stress hormone) in check.
Don’t over-exercise: Regular exercise will help balance your hormones but don’t fall in into the trap of over-training. This will wreak havoc with your cortisol, therefore holding on to the central fat you’re so desperately trying to lose.
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Eat as diverse a range of vegetables a possible
As well as being nutrient-packed, the fiber is what feeds your gut bacteria and improves the richness of your microbiome. The healthier your microbiome, the more balanced your hormones will be, and the more success you’ll have with your diet for weight loss.