Have you been trying to lose weight? But you find yourself struggling to keep the weight off after you’ve shed a couple of pounds. Approximately 68.8 percent of adults are either overweight or obese and have a difficult time with keeping their weight at a healthy level. Obesity is an epidemic that creeps in over time as people become overweight because of unhealthy dietary and lifestyle choices. And to complicate matters even further, the abdominal fat in obesity is a different kind of fat that secretes chemicals to support its growth and promotes chronic inflammation in the body.
So how can we maintain a healthy weight? In the obesity chapter of my upcoming book, The Gene Therapy Plan, I discuss the science behind this health epidemic and make recommendations on the best foods to prevent and reverse obesity at the genetic level. To lose weight and keep it off, incorporate the following tips into your daily routine:
- Hydrate Your Body: Eating processed foods causes inflammation in the gut and poor absorption of healthful nutrients. This condition is called “leaky gut syndrome.” Prevent it by drinking water in lieu of sports drinks, artificial juices, and soda.
- Rough it: Eat foods that contain plenty of fiber. Fiber, also called roughage, isn’t broken down by our digestive system. But it’s a probiotic nutrient that reduces abdominal fat, curbs chronic inflammation, and improves gut health. It’s also loaded with vitamins and minerals. Grains like oats and barley are good sources of fiber, and they contain beta-glucan, a sugar found to improve cholesterol levels.
- Don’t Take Breaks from Breakfast: Begin your day with a healthy meal. It’s bound to help you jumpstart your metabolism. Why is breakfast so essential? In the last several hours that you’ve been asleep, your body has been working to repair and rebuild itself and that uses a lot of energy. Consume steel-cut oatmeal or Greek yogurt, which contains more protein and takes a longer time to be digested, and top it with fruits and nuts for added energy and nutrition.
- Consume Salubrious Spices: Cinnamon helps to maintain healthy sugar levels in blood. You can also turn up the heat with peppers to burn calories: Habaneros and jalapenos contain capsaicin, which increases our metabolism and slows down our appetite; cayenne pepper increases metabolism and reduces blood sugar levels. Turmeric, a spice used in curry dishes and American mustard, contains beta-carotene, which protects the liver from damage during the metabolism of fats.
- Drink Tea and Coffee in Moderation: Both coffee (caffeine) and tea (caffeine and catechins) contain substances that boost metabolism. Also, when we drink hot beverages, we tend to slow down the speed at which we drink and eat, and this helps to regulate caloric intake and blood sugar levels. But limit your intake of caffeinated beverages to two cups daily; if your intake exceeds that then you may experience rapid heart rate, insomnia, restlessness, and irritability.
- Consume Various Fruits and Vegetables Daily: Fruits and vegetables consist of high amounts of water, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants. They also contain fiber, which help to keep us feeling full longer. Berries like blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries contain high amounts of water and fiber to help keep you sated. And their sweet taste makes them a great way to enjoy dessert or a snack without the guilt factor because they aren’t high in calories. Add garlic and onions to your diet because they contain compounds that regulate fat and cholesterol in the body. So eat varietal fruits and veggies daily because they are packed with nutrients that promote health and fight disease.
- Balance Hunger Hormones: Neurochemicals called ghrelin (hunger hormone) and leptin (satiety hormone) play a role in regulating appetite. An unhealthy diet disrupts the balance between these hormones and can lead to weight gain and obesity. Consume wholesome fats like avocado and nuts—these foods are digested slowly and provide us with a feeling of fullness, which prevents overeating.
It’s also crucial to recognize that maintaining a healthy weight is not about following popular diets. Rather, turn your attention to eating foods that promote good health with long-lasting benefits, not short-lived results. Another advantage of eating foods that are nutrient-dense is that you help to regulate insulin, which is integral in maintaining blood glucose levels (long-term elevated blood sugar levels precipitate changes in the body that lead to diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer). To learn more about the genechanging community and how you can use nutrition to promote wellness and longevity, sign up for my free newsletter.