Especially during the plentiful and social summer months, managing your weight can be a challenge. Many of our patient partners come to our Wellness Clinic with the goal of losing weight, and our Registered Dietitians provide tips and evidence-based tactics for success.
However, many people also turn to online resources to research the latest diet fads and are left feeling overwhelmed and confused. There is a lot of conflicting information online, which can lead to frustration when the results don’t appear as anticipated!
This week we got together with one of HealthOne’s Registered Dietitian’s, Eric, to bring you these 5 actionable tactics for weight control.
1. Drink 500mL of Water Before Meals
Research has shown that participants of weight management programs who drink 500mL of water before meals lose weight 1.5 times faster than those who do not (Dennis et al, 2010). Either carry a water bottle with you or remember to put a class beside your meal as a reminder!
2. Prepare 2-3 Meals in Advance
Eating meals cooked at home is extremely important to effectively managing your weight. Restaurant meals are full of hidden calories and unhealthy ingredients that can sabotage your efforts even if they appear to be healthy!
Research shows that people who consume more than five meals at home per week were 28% less likely to be obese than those who consumed less than three home cooked meals. Not to mention, they also had diets with higher overall nutritional quality, ate 160g more fruit and vegetables, and had reduced risk of CVD, type-2 diabetes, and early mortality (Mills et al).
Consider making extra portions of your dinner to put into containers for the next day, making batches to keep in the freezer, or pre-chopping vegetables for your fridge. Having healthy items on hand can make a huge difference in your food choices!
3. Eat Protein Foods at Every Meal
Studies have shown that eating protein with meals can greatly enhance weight loss efforts. Especially at breakfast, many people grab something on the go that ends up being mainly carbohydrate such as muffins, pastries, and bagels. One study found that eating eggs with breakfast led to a 1.7 times faster rate of weight loss than eating bagels (Vander Wal et al, 2007). Other ideas for protein foods at breakfast include turkey bacon, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, chia and hemp seeds, or a high quality protein powder.
4. Take 20 Minutes to Finish Your Meal
Research shows that slow eaters actually end up consuming less calories than people who eat quickly (Andrade et al, 2008). Be mindful of taking the time to chew your food, put your fork down in between bites, be mindful while eating, or use chopsticks to practice eating more slowly.
5. Find Your Exercise Sweet Spot
Interestingly, both very low exercise as well as very high levels of exercise can increase calories consumed, while moderate exercise does not show the same effect.
Everyone has a unique definition of what moderate exercise means to them, so experimenting is important to finding out what’s best for you. Start by working out 2-3 hours per week and work up to 4-6 hours per week while monitoring your hunger. When you feel your hunger increasing, scale back your activity slightly or opt for less intense exercise such as walking.
If you have any questions about weight management, make an appointment at our Wellness Clinic with one of our Registered Dietitians here.
Have an inspired day!
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