"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Stop counting calories.

Focus on food quality and a healthy lifestyle to attain a healthy weight.

Most people have been taught that shedding pounds is a matter of basic math. Cut calories — specifically 3,500 calories, and also you'll lose a pound. But because it seems, experts are learning that this decades-old strategy is definitely quite misguided.

The truth is that even careful calorie counting doesn't all the time yield consistent results. How your body burns calories is dependent upon plenty of aspects, including the variety of food you eat, your body's metabolism, and even the variety of organisms living in your gut. You can eat the exact same variety of calories as another person, but have very different results in the case of your weight.

“Let go of the concept of calories,” says Dr. Stanford. It's time to take a special approach, she says, emphasizing improving weight loss plan quality and making sustainable lifestyle improvements to attain a healthy weight.

Not all calories are created equal.

Three major aspects affect how your body processes calories.

1. Your gut microbiome. Trillions of organisms live in your gut, and the dominant types can affect what number of calories your body absorbs from food. Researchers have found that people who find themselves naturally thin have various kinds of organisms inside them than those that are obese. “Taking the gut microbiota out of lean people and putting it into people who are overweight or obese,” says Dr. Stanford. This could also be because some forms of organisms within the gut break down and use more calories from certain foods than other forms of organisms.

2. Your metabolism. Dr. Stanford says that every person has a “set point” that regulates weight. This set point reflects many aspects, including your genes, your environment, and your behaviors. Your hypothalamus, a region at the bottom of your brain that also controls things like your body temperature, stands guard to stop your body weight from falling below this set point—which is admittedly a no brainer. Not a bonus in case you're attempting to reduce weight. That's why you may reduce weight even in case you're weight-reduction plan and exercising diligently, Dr. Stanford says, and why the bulk—96%—of people that lose numerous weight achieve this. Get it again.

“Researchers are studying the show. The biggest loser.She says, which helps contestants lose large amounts of weight through a strict diet and exercise plan, finds that after losing weight, contestants' bodies try to regain the weight. Dr. Stanford says that the amount of calories the body uses in its day-to-day activities means that “metabolic adaptation” makes it much harder to avoid regaining weight. Is.

3. The variety of food you eat. Your food selections may also affect your calorie intake, and never simply because of their specific calorie content. A 2019 study published Cell metabolism It found that eating processed foods made people eat more calories than eating unprocessed foods. In the study, 20 people (10 men and 10 women) were divided into two groups. They were all offered meals with the identical variety of calories in addition to the identical amounts of sugar, sodium, fat, fiber and micronutrients. But there was one essential difference: One group was given unprocessed foods, and the opposite got ultra-processed options. After two weeks, the groups switched and ate one other variety of weight loss plan for the subsequent two weeks.

“People who ate ultra-processed food gained weight,” says Dr. Stanford. Each group was given food with the identical variety of calories and instructed to eat as much as they wanted, but when participants ate processed foods, they ate a mean of 500 more calories per day. The same people's calorie intake decreased once they ate unprocessed foods.

What is the lesson? Not all diets are created equal. “The brain likes healthy foods, in their natural form,” says Dr. Stanford.

Successful weight management

If counting calories isn't a reliable option to manage your weight, what are you able to do to shed extra kilos? Dr. Stanford recommends the next:

Focus on food quality. When planning your meals, try to cut back or eliminate processed foods, which might force your body to overeat. Instead, give attention to selecting unprocessed foods, including lean meats, whole grains, and numerous vegatables and fruits of their natural form.

Exercise repeatedly (and vigorously). Aim for a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. Moderate exercise is completed at a level where you may talk, but not sing. “Many people think that moderate exercise is a leisurely walk in the garden, but it's like walking up a big hill,” she says. While no movement is best than the rest, work toward a more vigorous level of exercise when you may.

Sleep well. Poor sleep quality can result in weight gain, as can a sleep schedule that doesn't match the body's natural day by day pattern, often known as the circadian rhythm. Your body desires to sleep at night and get up in the course of the day. “The Nurses' Health Study, which followed nurses for 20 years, found that those who worked the night shift gained more weight over time,” says Dr. Stanford. The body gets upset once you disrupt its natural rhythm. The same is true in case you're getting poor quality sleep or not getting enough. Lack of sleep affects your weight in the identical way that hormonal shifts do, making you must eat more. Therefore, addressing sleep problems along with your doctor must be a priority.

Check your medications. Sometimes the drugs causes weight gain. Be careful in case you start a brand new medication and also you notice that you simply are gaining weight. Your doctor may find a way to prescribe another that doesn't have the identical unwanted effects.

Reduce your stress level. Like poor sleep, stress may also result in weight gain. Managing stress can aid you keep extra kilos at bay.

Consult knowledgeable. “Many people think that if they can't lose weight, it's a moral failure,” says Dr. Stanford. But it isn't so. As with other medical conditions, many individuals will need assistance from a health care provider. Successful weight reduction may require greater than weight loss plan and exercise. “You may never have thought about using drugs to lose weight. Only 2% of people who meet the criteria for using anti-obesity drugs actually get them. That means 98 “% of people who find themselves treatable are usually not,” she says. Some people may even need surgery to reduce weight, she says. Don't be afraid to ask for help in case you need it.

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