Updated: Oct 23, 2021
It is no secret that obesity has become a major issue in American society and throughout the world. If asked, the majority of Americans would admit that, "They could stand to lose a few." According to the Harvard School of Public Health in 2020, "71.6 % of American's" were overweight or obese. The cause of course is multifactorial. Our lifestyles have become increasingly sedentary with many of us now spending almost all of our time inside. We work from home, order food to our home, and often forgo physical activity as a result. Inversely as physical activity has decreased, American's have continued to eat more. According to Pew Research Center, "The average American consumed 2,481 calories a day in 2010, about 23% more than in 1970."
The issue is clear. We are eating too much and moving to little. We must incorporate consistent lifestyle changes if we want to lose body- fat and keep it off. Sure, this is easier said than done. There are many emotional, cultural, environmental, and psychological factors at play that make this a challenge for most people. Diet culture overwhelms us with so many purported holy grails for fat loss: Keto, paleo, carnivore, and whatever the new flavor of the month is is constantly being pushed upon us.
Rather than being overwhelmed by all the noise, here are five simple lifestyle steps that can be implemented today. If followed consistently, these will undoubtedly bring sustainable health and weight loss to anyone who who incorporates these.
Tip #1- Eat low caloric, high volume foods.
This means eat more foods that although low in calories, are more satiating than other foods. Foods like fruit and vegetables and lean meats are great for this. Highly processed foods like chips and cookies are not.
Examples of Good choices foods and meals:
-Chicken salad with tons of veggies and avocado (Protein, healthy fat, and very filling)
-Vegetable and meat stir fry
Tip #2- Eat Throughout the Day
Once you are hungry and continue to wait to eat, the hunger hormone Ghrelin promotes a stronger signal in the body. This will make it more difficult not to binge on large quantities of food. Eat frequently throughout the day 3-4 times.
Tip #3- Chew longer
Taking one’s time with a meal allows the body to relay the signals of satiety. When we scarf something down at a fast rate, it is harder for us to realize we are full sometime until it is too late and we have overeaten.
Tip #4- Get less calories from Drinks
Sodas, alcohol, and other sugary drinks are void of nutrition and will not be very satiating while still adding to total calories.
Tip #5-Drink More Water
This is both healthy with your body and will help you determine if you are in fact hungry, or if it was just thirst. People often confuse the sensation of thirst with that of hunger.
Make it a Lifestyle
Anyone can implement these tips sporadicly, but to make permanent weight loss changes these habits must become a lifestyle. That doesn't mean that you can't enjoy your favorite treats. Ice cream, pizza, and alcohol are still on the menu. However these must be consumed in moderation. I recommend the 80/20 rule. If 80% of your diet comes from healthy sources than you will be well off.