Did you know? Maintaining a healthy weight is about more than diet or exercise. We spoke with nutritionist Julie McGinnis at our south Boulder store about other things to keep in mind on the quest to shed a few pounds.
Get more (and better) sleep. Recent studies have suggested that too little (5 or less hours) or too much (9+ hours) sleep can increase the likelihood of weight gain, since the duration of our sleep can affect the hormones regulating hunger or stimulate the appetite. Plus, the more tired you are, the less likely you are to be active!
Consider a winding down process in the evening to lower your stress hormones. Take a nice hot shower or bath. Turn off computer screens. And speak with a Pharmaca practitioner about supplements that can help—like melatonin, herbs such as valerian, hops and passionflower, and cortisol-lowering supplements like phosphatidylserine.
Don’t just count calories. A healthy diet is more about getting the right distribution of food groups than it is about calories. Divide your plate into thirds, and fill one-third with protein, one-third with vegetables and one-third with a whole grain starch. Other nutritious ideas:
- Prep food with healthy fats like olive or coconut oil
- Aim for 8-10 servings of veggies daily—that’s 1 cup of leafy greens, or ½ cup of other veggies
- Keep fruit intake to 2 servings/day of fruit with a lower glycemic index, like berries, to keep blood sugar balanced—and in turn allow your body to burn more fat
Exercise is a must! Some form of exercise is better than none, so if you have to start with walking, do it. Combining regular activity with a balanced diet will allow for much better fat burning.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Stress can keep the body from losing weight because it elevates your cortisol levels, which in turn elevates insulin levels that result in fat being stored—not burned. So rest when you need to rest. And make sure you integrate rest days into your regular exercise regimen, too.