Want to Drop a Few Pounds This Summer?
Jul 03, 2020
If you are one of the 64 percent of Canadian adults (69 percent of Americans) who are overweight or obese and you are not happy about it, take heart! Sometimes all it takes to get you on the path to your ideal weight are a few healthful lifestyle tweaks. Whether your weight loss goal is to shed 5, 50, or 100+ pounds, the principles and practices that make it possible are fundamentally the same: water, sunshine, rest, air, exercise, and diet.
- Water acts as an appetite suppressant and assists in the breaking down and reduction of fat deposits.
- Lipase, the enzyme that metabolizes fat, has significantly reduced function when the body isn’t fully hydrated. Even mild dehydration will slow metabolism by as much as 3 percent.
- A mere 2 percent dehydration can reduce cognitive function by up to 30 percent. This can lead to poor decisions regarding food choices or lack of motivation to exercise, two additional factors in weight management.
- Through adequate sunlight exposure our bodies are capable of making vitamin D. Making oodles of vitamin D is important because low levels interfere with the effectiveness of leptin, the appetite hormone that tells you when you are full.
- Obesity rates soar when sleep requirements aren’t met. Inadequate sleep is associated with both reduced leptin (the appetite-inhibiting hormone) and increased ghrelin (the hormone that promotes hunger). All in all, it is a disastrous combination.
- Deep breathing practices induce relaxation to reduce stress and normalize cortisol levels, which in excess are often responsible for that unwanted roll around the middle.
- Consistently expending fewer calories than are consumed is one of the means by which obesity results. Physical activity is essential for people to maintain the proper balance between calories you chow down and calories you burn off.
- Aerobic exercise enhances the metabolism of estradiol, counteracting estrogen dominance which is linked to weight gain.
- One of the fastest ways to gain weight is to eat sugar. One of the fastest ways to lose weight is to remove sugar from the diet. When sugar is consumed disproportionate to the rate to which we are able to burn it off, our bodies store the excess glucose in the form of fat.
Weight management is essentially a health management issue. Integrating these six simple strategies into your day can get you started in losing weight— and gaining health:
- Drink at least two liters (quarts) of water throughout the day.
- Spend at least 15 minutes outdoors in full sun each day (weather permitting).
- Aim for at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
- Practice slow, deep breathing for at least 15 minutes daily.
- Walk briskly for at least 20 minutes each day, preferably outdoors.
- Remove sugar and artificial sweeteners from your diet.
There you have it. No gimmicks. No magic potions. Just healthy living and common sense.