The Simple Truth of Lasting Weight Loss and Maintenance
As we are all thinking about wearing fewer clothes now the summer is here, throughout July I thought I’d share a few quick nutrition tips and some tasty recipes to help with long-lasting weight loss and maintenance.
Although 61% of Britons are overweight (BMI above 25), did you know just losing 5% of weight (so, say half a stone if you are 11 stone) can make a huge difference to your health risk of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers?
Is Calorie Restriction the answer?
Put in a nutshell NO!! The conventional view of weight loss involves calorie restriction and you need a lot of willpower to keep that up day in day out! However, as I found over years of struggling with my weight, our bodies adjust to fewer calories by down-regulating its metabolism. When we ditch the diet and start to eat “normally” again, our bodies interpret the additional food intake as excess fuel and stores this as fat. Hence calorie restriction slimming programmes work in the short-term, but the weight goes piling back on once the programme has finished and old dietary habits return.
So What Does Work?
Weight loss is all about losing fat, and the best way to do that is to switch your metabolism to fat burning mode. Different foods and eating patterns can stimulate fat breakdown and weight loss.
Tip no. 1 : Think Protein and Flip the Fat-Burning Switch!
Include a good quality protein source (a portion is approximately the size of the palm of your hand) at each meal, yes, including breakfast! Examples of good quality protein are lean grass-fed meat (turkey, chicken, beef, venison, pork, lamb, buffalo), wild (non-farmed) fish, organic or free range eggs, quinoa, tempeh, quality protein powders, nuts and seeds.
The great news is that protein makes you feel fuller for longer, making you less likely to reach for a snack between meals. The body is not designed for constant grazing. If we graze continually we never allow our body to enter into a fat burning state. Therefore combining protein with each meal staves off the urge to snack in-between meals, and gives the body the chance to dip into its fat reserves, leading to effective weight loss.
Including protein with each meal also helps to balance our hormone levels since including protein with our meals prevents the rollercoaster effect of blood sugar imbalance. Once our blood sugar hormones (namely insulin and cortisol) are coasting out of control, this has a destabilising effect on our other hormones including the thyroid hormones and our male and female sex hormones. Hormone balance is key to optimal health and weight management and the inclusion of a good protein source with each meal will kick-start this balancing act.
Have your Cake and Eat It Too!
For a delicious protein pecan nut muffin recipe ideal for breakfast combined with ½ cup of mixed berries, click on the website icon below to visit my website where you'll find this and other delicious protein breakfast ideas, including smoothies and home-made oat granola.
If you are struggling with your weight, or have any other health concerns, take the option of my free 20 minute telephone consultation to see how professional nutritional advice can benefit you. Check out my website at www.evolve-nutrition.co.uk for contact details or phone 01279 726640 to book a free initial telephone consultation.
For more weight loss tips, look out for next week's newsletter.
Juliet Schaffer, Nutritionist, Evolve Nutrition