These 10 Daily Habits, Backed by Science, Support Your Weight Loss Effort

These 10 Daily Habits, Backed by Science, Support Your Weight Loss Effort

If you're overweight or obese — like more than 70% of women and men in the United States — you’re probably frustrated that you can’t find a lasting way to lose those extra pounds to improve your wellness … and your figure. Diets don’t work. They just don't. So what does?

When you want to change your physique, you have to change your lifestyle, too. That can be a daunting step. But by adding in new, healthy habits one by one, you can ditch the bad habits that hold you back. 

Kimberly Bolling, MD, a caring and expert internist, knows how important a healthy weight is to overall wellness. But she also knows that losing old habits and gaining new ones can be overwhelming if you try to do it alone. 

That’s why she offers medically supervised weight loss and maintenance at our Bowie, Maryland, clinic.

Do you need to lose weight? Adopt these 10 science-backed habits to make healthy eating a happy and easy part of your life.

1. Pick whole fruits over juices and smoothies

Even 100% fruit juice is loaded with sugar that spikes your blood glucose and puts you at risk for weight gain and diabetes. 

When you remove fiber from fruit or vegetables by juicing or blending, you speed the time it takes to move from your digestive tract into your bloodstream. Give your body time to process foods by grabbing whole fruits and vegetables instead. 

2. Treat yourself to new plates

You’re less likely to overeat if your plates are smaller. In fact, people who eat from large cereal bowls eat 16% more, even though they think they're eating less! A healthy sized plate should only measure about 9 inches across.

3. Fill those plates … differently

What you put on your plate matters, too! Use the “My Plate” site and convenient app to ensure you're getting the right proportion of nutrients.

Half of your plate should be devoted to vegetables and fruit. Next, be sure you get enough healthy (non-factory-farmed) protein and whole grains or other low-glycemic carbohydrates, such as sweet potatoes. Add a touch of dairy, too.

4. Shop better

If your kitchen shelves and counters are filled with packaged cereals, convenience foods, and canned goods, you’re shopping in the wrong parts of the supermarket. 

Instead of going down the center aisles — which are filled with processed foods — shop the perimeters, where the fresh, colorful foods like fruits, veggies, and fresh meat and fish are found.

5. Eat enough protein and fat

Protein and real, healthy fats (not trans fats!) fill you up and also provide the fuel your body and brain need for optimal function. Pastured, grass-fed meats, poultry, and eggs help you build more muscle. Muscle, in turn, lets you burn fat for energy.

6. Dance more

Pick a type of “exercise” that you really love doing … and do more of it! Daily movement, from walking, dancing, and just getting up for a stretch or stroll after sitting for 30 minutes or so helps keep your body active and healthy.

7. Exercise … less?

Doing too much cardio raises your cortisol levels, which leads to weight gain, not loss. So spend your time at the gym wisely: Instead of pumping away for an hour on a running treadmill, try high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Sprint as hard as you can for 30 seconds, rest for 4-6 minutes, and repeat four times to lose more fat. 

8. Go for slow carbs

Like fruit juices, carbohydrates that lack fiber enter your bloodstream too quickly, leading to weight gain and possibly diabetes. Choose whole grains over refined grains, and sweet potatoes over white potatoes. 

If you’re not quite ready to give up “fast” carbs like pasta, slow them down by cooling them first. Cooling some starches like white rice, white potatoes, and pasta, turns them into “resistant starches” that resist digestion (and don’t enter your bloodstream) but provide food for the beneficial bacteria in your gut. 

9. Sleep better 

You need to sleep well so your body can repair itself and function optimally during the day. In fact, if you don't sleep enough, you may find yourself craving fast carbs, including sugar. Aim for the recommended 7-9 hours per night, although stressing about your sleep interferes with it. Improve your sleep hygiene with these tips. 

10. Get support

A network of friends, family, and other support is essential for good physical and mental health. Losing weight is hard; make it easier by building in buddies and a support network. Our team is here to help you lose weight healthily, and keep it off, too. 

Find out more about how to change your waistline by changing your habits. Call us today about weight loss management at 301-352-0090 or request an appointment online.

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