People usually try to justify eating large amounts of food during the holidays by pledging to go to the gym or to adopt a new diet right after the New Year.
Most people think this will be an effective way to lose weight. These people will stick to this “new weight loss plan” for a short period; a couple of days, a week or a month before going back to their usual ways. They will eventually gain all the weight they lost and probably add even more pounds.
But what if you want to start small or make changes gradually? Maybe try a few habits that you can commit to throughout the year or even for a lifetime. Here are a few minor lifestyle changes that can help you lose weight slowly but surely, all without taking too much of your time and effort.
1. Eat breakfast
Some people skip breakfast because of the morning rush, others do so to cut calories. Skipping the most important meal of the day is actually counterproductive for people who are trying to lose weight. Not eating breakfast will most likely lead them to overeat on their next meal, resort to unhealthy snacks, and consume more calories.
2. Cut down on sugar
Hormones play a big part in gaining and losing weight and food can affect hormone balance. Sugar is a staple condiment that can have an effect on how the body processes hormones. Too much sugar in one’s system can bring about a condition called leptin resistance. Leptin is a substance that signals the brain that the stomach is already full.
Leptin resistance makes it difficult for the brain to recognize that signal, which can then lead to overeating. Too much sugar can also lead to insulin resistance, a condition that is tied to diabetes and hypertension.
3. Get enough sleep
Sleep affects the production of leptin. Too little sleep can lead to having inadequate amounts of leptin, making it hard for the brain to recognize that the person has eaten enough food for the time being. To add insult to the injury, having low leptin levels also causes one’s metabolism to slow down.
If you think your sleep problem is caused by hormone imbalance, it would be best to talk to your doctor about hormone replacement therapy.
Hormone replacement may help alleviate sleeplessness and other symptoms associated with conditions such as menopause and andropause. Having enough sleep, sufficient leptin levels, and avoiding overeating can also lower one’s risk for diabetes and hypertension. So do yourself and your body a favor by making sleep a priority activity.
4. Try not to stress yourself too much
While stress is not entirely a bad thing, having too much of it in your life can affect your mind and body negatively. Chronic stress can lead to an increased appetite and overproduction of cortisol, also known as the fight or flight hormone.
Cortisol helps protect the body by increasing the person’s appetite after a stressful situation. Too much of it, however, can cause one to have a hard time falling asleep. Avoiding chronic stress is not only better for your weight; it can also lower your risk for diseases like diabetes and osteoporosis.
5. Resist taking late night snacks
Late night snacking can be hard to control and typically involve high-calorie types of food like chips, cookies, and candies. In addition, eating close to one’s bedtime can cause sleep problems and indigestion.
To resist opening the fridge after hours, set a time when you should no longer eat. You can also try brushing your teeth right after dinner to dissuade yourself from eating more.
By following these 5 simple tips, you will find yourself losing all those extra pounds and find your way into keeping a healthy mind and body.