_Have you figured out how you’re going to break the cycle of weight loss and weight gain in 2016? How will you avoid the never-ending cycle of starting a new diet and losing weight, only to re-gain it back at some point during the year? Here are some ideas that should help to inspire permanent weight loss as your New Year’s Resolution. _
Know the science
HealthCentral has published a number of shareposts this year by me and other experts. We try to provide science-based information so you avoid trendy and gimmicky weight loss strategies and focus on diet and lifestyle programs that have research-based strategies. Some of the recent shareposts that offer insight into why your diet may or may not be working include:
- Cutting Edge News from Obesity Week 2015
- Overweight? Struggling with Obesity? The Latest Cutting Edge Tips from Obesity Week 2015
- Your Doctor May Be Key to Successful Weight Loss
- The Top Health Halo Terms That Confuse
- The “Why” of Why You Hate Dieting
- Calorie Counts on Foods May Be Lying
- Common Food and Drink May Be Obesity Provoking Culprits
- One Brain Pathway for Overeating, Sugar Addiction?
This may be the year that you decide, based on some of the science recently published, that bariatric surgery may be the right move for you, especially if you have been diagnosed with obesity and Type 2 diabetes. This may be the year you decide to use apps to help to motivate your efforts to lose weight and to track your progress, but those tools are simply that, tools, and not the end all when it comes to weight loss. Maybe this is the year you embrace exercise together with dietary changes, even if you’ve never exercised before. Or maybe you will consider the recommendation of putting minutes of movement throughout your day so you limit your sedentary time.
Recommendation: This year make a commitment to an individualized approach to weight loss that involves science-based recommendations and consider asking for your doctor’s help, and additionally consider asking for a referral to a dietician or nutritionist. Stop believing diet hype and stop getting on the trendy diet merry-go-round. Use science to reinforce decisions about which foods to include in your diet.
Identify the things getting in the way
If you read When Healthy Labels or Trends Stretch the Truth, then you know that many of the so-called healthy foods you are buying, to support weight loss, may be undermining your efforts. That includes the coconut craze and choosing a gluten free diet. If you exercise- a good habit – but overestimate calories burned, you may also be over-eating.
If you eat while watching TV, work on the computer, or allow noisy distractions to invade your meal time, a new study suggests that distracted dining is actually worse than distracted driving when it comes to your health. When you are distracted during meals you’re at a higher risk of developing obesity or of eating more unhealthy foods. The study suggests that noisy and distracting environments impact the quality of the foods you eat and how many calories you consume. Noisy home or restaurant mealtimes can be huge risk zones for not paying attention to what you’re eating, not noticing when you’re full, and probably eating excess calories because of stress. It’s the ultimate version of mindless eating!
Recommendation – Eat mostly whole foods purchased from the perimeter of your supermarket. Be a true label detective when you buy processed foods and read beyond the label hype. Take a small quiet break to consume meals when away from home. Create a quiet home meal environment and set rules for quiet family meal at a restaurant. View the menu online at home to limit food battles with your kids (and tantrums). It will also help you to pre-select healthier choices in a quiet environment.
Let research inspire sustained commitment
A recent study reveals how a high saturated fat diet can damage your brain. Let that deter you from eating that big mouthful of cheesecake!
A large calorie heavy, fat-laden fast food meal may be a surefire way to gain weight but it can also incite an inflammatory response in your body that puts you at risk of developing cancers, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
When you go out to eat, posted calorie counts and nutrition information, or small symbols that highlight a heavy dose of salt, can also be factual reminders that keep you committed to your eating plan.
Another study found that [home-cooking could help to lower your risk of Type 2 diabetes](file:///C:/Users/Amy/Documents/Link%20-%20http:/www.medpagetoday.com/Endocrinology/Diabetes/54685). Home cooking is also associated with consuming fewer calories, and lowering amounts of added sugar and salt because you are in control of the ingredients and portion size. Let that inspire you to eat more meals that you cook at home.
Stop discounting the core key to weight lossHow many times have you committed to a weight loss program? How many times have you lost and re-gained significant amounts of weight?** Current statistics suggest that two out of three people who lose 5% or more of their total weight gain it back**. Other data suggests that the more weight you lose, the lower your chances of keeping those pounds off, long term. Why is that?
In a survey commissioned by Orlando Health, individuals surveyed identified exercise and then diet as the two biggest barriers to weight loss, while only one in ten individuals identified psychological well-being as necessary for weight loss. Many experts however believe that diet and exercise are not enough to sustain your goal weight. You must also consider the mental resiliency aspect of weight loss. Keeping pounds at bay requires an understanding of your attachment to food. If you struggle with maintaining a healthy weight, you are likely eating for a variety of emotional reasons including:
_Though food is fuel, we use it for more than just nourishment. _
We continue to seek the pleasure and comfort that food provides. Researchers have found an association between stress, anxiety, depression and a higher BMI (body mass index). When you recognize your emotional attachment to food, you can begin to adopt strategies to counter that relationship. If you can remove the emotion out of your eating formula, you will have a greater chance of long term, sustained weight loss. This may require working with a therapist for a while. Also consider a long term commitment to a support group.
_Obesity is a disease, weight loss is a long term process, and sustaining your goal weight is akin to being in remission. _
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Known as The HealthGal, expert contributor Amy Hendel is a popular medical and lifestyle reporter, nutrition and fitness expert, columnist, and brand ambassador, as well as a health coach. Trained as a physician assistant, she maintains a health coach private practice in New York and Los Angeles. Author of The Four Habits of Healthy Families, you can find her on Twitter @HealthGal1103 and on Facebook at TheHealthGal. Her personal mantra is “Fix it first with food, fitness, and lifestyle.”