8 Tips to Help Maintain a Healthy Weight

Losing excess weight and keeping it off can be a challenge. Hopefully, these eight tips can help make it easier to win the battle of the bulge…

  1. FOOD JOURNAL: A study published in the journal Obesity reported that in a 142-obese person group, those who consistently logged their meals and held online group sessions about weight-loss strategies lost an average of 10% of their body weight within six months. This process reportedly took participants just 15 minutes per day.
  2. WHEN TO EAT: It’s not just WHAT we eat but also WHEN we eat that can make a BIG difference. One study showed that a “time-restricted feeding” (TRF) group (eating breakfast 90 minutes later and dinner 90 minutes earlier than usual) felt more energetic, shed more weight, and experienced greater improvements in their blood sugar and blood lipid readings than individuals who continued to eat on their normal schedule.
  3. SELF-CONTROL: Before reaching for another serving, rate your satiety on a 0-10 scale (10=feeling stuffed) and aim for a score of 4-6/10 maximum to avoid feeling like you ate too much. Studies suggest that exercising this rating method can reduce the risk you’ll consume excess calories at mealtime.
  4. WHAT TO EAT: When the urge to eat junk food strikes, think about eating a healthy food choice instead of an unhealthy choice. A KEY to success with this recommendation is to have healthy choices pre-prepared so it is easy to grab when the urge for a snack strikes.
  5. READ & FOLLOW THE LABELS: Restrict the volume of food to the serving size that is printing on the packaging. For example, when it comes to a bowl of cereal, many people fill the bowl to the brim, which may actually be three servings, not one. One study reported that when participants followed this simple instruction, they consumed an average of 300 fewer calories per day.
  6. FRONT-LOAD YOUR CALORIES: Studies show that individuals who consume more of their daily caloric intake earlier in the day tend to be less likely to feel hungry during the day and crave sweets than those who eat a light breakfast and a large supper.
  7. BE BEVERAGE AWARE: Be mindful of what you drink as well as what you eat. Many beverages such as sodas, juices, iced tea, and milkshakes are full of sugar and/or high in calories. Drink water instead. Staying hydrated is very important to ensure proper metabolic functions as well. Drinking a full glass of water before eating will also reduce the volume of food consumed.

EAT MORE PROTEIN: Avoid processed/fast food as these stimulate dopamine in the brain which may increase cravings for such foods. Eat nutrient-dense foods rich in protein and fiber (chicken, fish, lean meats, and non-starch veggies) instead.

Dr. James Sheehan Dr. James Sheehan is an expert in the treatment of neck and back pain.

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