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3 Strategies for Weight Management

Losing weight is much more complicated than we think it is. There are numerous factors that can contribute to cause someone to gain weight, and unfortunately there is no "magic pill". In reading this blog, I hope you can truly grasp how significant sustainability in weight management approaches need to be. We need to enjoy our foods, not be deprived, enjoy our exercise routines, reduce our stress, sleep better, and essentially have a positive outlook on life in general.

It is hard to grasp this but, for some of us, this will always be a lifelong battle. Looking after ourselves always is, but that's the beauty of it- we have control over that. Weight management may always have its "ups" and "downs" just like everything else in life, but what is most important is that we keep fighting and persevering no matter what curve balls life may throw at us. The good news is, there are healthy strategies that can be implemented to help you to become healthier overall and attain your weight management goals. After all, it is never too late to create a whole new body!

Throw Away the Scale

When it comes to a person's journey with weight management, the scale has become, in my opinion, a hindrance. There is no way, unless you have a fancy piece of equipment that your total body weight value is going to tell you exactly what that number represents. Remember, your total body weight value represents your bone mass, muscle mass, fat mass, organs, water retention, foods that we have consumed, and beverages we've had in that day. So, if you weigh yourself and you gained weight, is it water retention, or an increase in fat or muscle mass? We will never know.

Therefore, the best and true indicator that will show you your progression is how your clothes feel on you. When clothes are looser, that truly demonstrates a positive change in your body composition (fat mass down, muscle mass up). Sometimes, you can weigh the same number but look and feel completely different. Therefore, in my profession opinion, that's most important, focus on how great you feel, how much more energy you have, and how loose your clothes fit. Positive reinforcement always brings on more positive change!

Positive Thinking

Your weight management goals should be something you can quickly remember and keep on the forefront of your mind. As this is something you are going to keep on your mind each day, I think it's better to make your goal to be something positive, instead of negative. For instance, many people will often say to me, "I want to lose 30 pounds" — but that's actually a negative goal — it focuses on removing something and is not the healthiest place to have your mind's attention. Your attention and thought processes are incredibly important to your health and weight, and so a better way to approach this goal would be more in the direction of something more positive. Therefore, instead of thinking: "I am going to cut out carbohydrates from my diet because it makes me fat," think, "Everyday, I choose nutritious foods because I treasure my body" OR "I resolve to reach my healthiest, most natural weight" — which is more positive.

Another thing that will prevent you from burning out or forgetting about your goal is having a deep and meaningful reason why you want it. Maybe you want to shed weight because it's a reflection of your health and wellness, and being healthy is one of your deepest values. For example, I choose nutritious foods because I treasure my body" because "I am a unique human being. I love and treasure my body. I take care of it by eating nutritious foods so that I can get all the nutrients, minerals, and vitamins to keep myself strong and vibrant, and look and feel as healthy as possible". As you can see, it's really important to think deeply about this.

There are several verses in the bible that you can meditate on with regards to treating your body right. In 1 Cor. 6:19, 20, it says "Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies."

Also in 1 Corinthians 10, Paul said, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."

Meditate on all these verses so that the reason you have truly matters to you. If your "why" is not strong enough, you probably won't have enough motivation or focus to propel you beyond any challenges or setbacks, which are unfortunately, inevitable in life.

Sleep and Weight Gain

Do you sleep enough? Could lack of sleep be causing you to gain weight? Think about it: If you're feeling sleepy at work, you may be tempted to reach for a cup of coffee (or several cups) and a doughnut for a quick shot of energy. Later you may skip the gym and pick up takeout on your way home to your family -- no time to cook. When you finally find yourself back in your bed, you are too wound up to sleep. It's a vicious cycle, and eventually this sleep deprivation can sabotage your waistline and your health. The sleep-diet connection is a regular topic for discussion in diet books and magazine articles.

Did you ever hear that if you sleep more you lose more weight? That's somewhat true, well sort of. It's not so much that if you sleep, you will lose weight, but if you are sleep-deprived, meaning that you are not getting enough minutes of sleep or good quality sleep, your metabolism will not function properly. On average, we need about 7.5 hours of quality sleep per night. Therefore, if you are a five-hour sleeper and start to sleep for seven hours a night, you will start dropping weight.

How lack of sleep affects our ability to lose weight has a lot to do with our nightly hormones. The two hormones that are key in this process are ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin is the ‘go' hormone that tells you when to eat, and when you are sleep-deprived, you have more ghrelin. Leptin is the hormone that tells you to stop eating, and when you are sleep deprived, you have less leptin.

In other words, more ghrelin plus less leptin equals weight gain. So do make sure you get your zzzz's!

Your Nutritionist and Coach,
Juliana Cavaleri

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