When it comes to trying to reach your target weight loss and staying there, these following tips are extremely helpful to keep in mind.
- Relaxation techniques designed to counteract the effects of stress can also help to reduce unhealthy compulsive eating.
- One group of women who followed a two-year program of yoga, meditation and visualization lost an average of 2.5 kilograms (5 1/2 pounds), and kept the weight off, while another comparable group who focused purely on exercise and nutrition did not.
- The “relaxed” women were also generally healthier and happier at the end of the research study.
- One of the study’s coauthors, Dr. Caroline Horwath, from the University of Otago in New Zealand, believes that helping women to “break free from chronic dieting” is the key to better long-term health.”
- By learning and practicing relaxation techniques as part of a wider lifestyle-change program,” she says, “women acquire effective tools to manage stress and emotions without resorting to unhealthy eating.”
21st-century food diary
- Watching what you eat has taken on a new meaning in the digital age. People who are trying to lose weight should photograph their food before eating it, suggest American scientists who compared the usefulness of ordinary written food diaries with photographic diaries.
- The researchers found that, when volunteers took a snapshot of each meal before they ate it, they were more conscious of what they were about to eat, were frequently prompted to eat more healthily and were less likely to overeat.
- Photographs are accurate, simple and quick, and may act as a brake on bingeing, the researchers say.
- You don’t even need a camera; use your cell phone. These snapshots could make you stop and think before you chow down.
The value of breakfast
- Eating a good breakfast aids weight loss. In one study of 94 obese women, those who ate a breakfast containing half of their total daily calorie allowance lost nearly four times as much weight over eight months as women who simply followed a low-carbohydrate diet — on average, five kilograms (11 pounds) against 4.5 kilgrams (10 pounds).
- Researchers speculate that breakfast reduces cravings for high-fat or sugary snacks later in the day, and can increase many people’s fruit and vegetable intake, ensuring healthy levels of fibre and vitamins.
- Getting a good night’s sleep can build up your resistance to food cravings. Sleep is crucial in regulating metabolism, so, when you get the seven to eight hours a night most people need, you feel rejuvenated.
- But just one night of sleep deprivation significantly increases feelings of hunger, and people who are deprived of sleep double their risk of obesity, research finds.
- Inadequate sleep reduces levels of leptin, the hormone that signals to the body when we are full, while increasing levels of ghrelin, the hormone that makes us feel hungry.
- When sleep scientists at the University of Chicago limited healthy volunteers to four hours of sleep a day, their leptin levels were similar to those of people under-fed by 1,000 calorie day for three days.
- In a similar study, sleep-deprived men and women craved sweets and starchy and salty foods.