I usually tell patients that their main health objective should always be to reach or keep a healthy body weight. It is important to realize that despite all the advancements in modern medicine, when it comes down to it, your bathroom scale remains one of the most important tools for your future health.
The latest statistics are staggering. The obesity rate amongst Canadians has roughly doubled in the last few decades and we have reached the point where one in four Canadian is obese with more than half of us being overweight. The consequences are dramatic; obesity is taking a significant toll on productivity and health care spending while reducing life expectancy and worsening health outcomes. But there is good news. Obesity remains a completely modifiable risk factor and if you can lose a little weight, your health will benefit tremendously. Trimming down even if only by a few pounds will lead to lower blood pressure, healthier cholesterol levels, better sugar metabolism and a significant reduction in your risk of developing heart disease. Attaining a healthy body weight will also leave you with more energy, healthier joints and feeling better overall.
We all know that it is not easy to lose weight. We evolved to conserve energy whenever possible and eat when food is available. It is not surprising that with our increasingly sedentary lifestyles in the age of fast food and supermarkets, we are gaining weight.
If you are trying to lose weight, you need to regulate your appetite and increase your energy expenditure. In terms of appetite control, you should aim to have a good source of protein with every meal and increase your fiber intake as both strategies will help to balance your blood sugar and reduce cravings. In terms of physical activity, try to find a form of exercise you enjoy and someone you can exercise with or a class you can join. Always try to exercise when you have more energy, mornings tend to work best for most people.
You also have to find ways to manage your stress since stress leads to a breakdown in our coping mechanisms which often causes us to make poor food choices selecting foods high in energy such as refined carbohydrates and fat which are both linked to weight gain.
Several supplements can be of great help. Fibre and protein supplements are a given. Some excellent choices include Energy Protein which combines an excellent source of vegetable protein with MACA, a root vegetable often used to help balance stress hormones. In terms of products providing fibre, Fibrelean is a great choice since it provides both soluble and insoluble fibre. In terms of adaptation to stress, the combination of plant extracts found in Adrenasense should help to reduce the effects of stress.
Lastly and most importantly, you need to expect setback but must keep trying – the most important factor for successful change is always your ability to persevere.