If you’re on a mission to drop some extra pounds, it’s easy to get off course if you skip workouts or sneak extra desserts. But sometimes weight stays put even if you are on track with exercise and disciplined about what you eat. Take a look at these five tips to get a boost in achieving your weight loss goals.
- Break past your biology. Certain genetic profiles can make it difficult to lose weight—but not impossible. Scientists have discovered more than 50 genes linked to obesity. Some prompt your body to store fat, while others may make you feel hungrier. But a study found that adults with one common fat-related gene who exercised for just one hour a week were 27 percent less likely to be obese.
- Reduce stress from your past. Survivors of abuse, neglect, or other childhood trauma are at a higher risk of being overweight and having related diseases, such as diabetes. You can’t change the past—but you can always take steps to reduce your stress. Surround yourself with supportive friends and family, or practice deep breathing. Be sure to talk with a professional if things feel overwhelming.
- Get off of your gadgets. If you spend hours on your mobile devices, you’ll likely find yourself with a lower fitness level and a larger waistline. Limit yourself, and the entire family, to two hours of at-home screen time. Be active during the hours you save—take a family walk at a zoo or museum.
- Start a strength routine. It’s true that aerobic exercise burns more calories than lifting weights. But strength-training can help you maintain muscle while you lose fat. Plus, you can keep weight off after you’ve shed it, because muscle burns more calories than fat, even when you’re not working out. Set a goal to do resistance training two days per week. Be sure to hit all the major muscle groups, including your legs, arms, chest, abs, and back.
- Stick to a sleep schedule. If you skip out on shut-eye, your hunger hormones can end up out of sync. You can end up more likely to overeat—and more prone to pick pizza or candy than fruits or veggies. Most adults require seven to eight hours of sleep per night, though everyone’s needs will vary. Try to hit this target every night, including on the weekends. And it’s best to avoid large meals late at night—they can disrupt your slumber and contribute to weight gain.
Find your healthy weight. WCHN’s Centers for Weight Loss Surgery may be able to help. Learn more: