No more yo-yo diets

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Written by Diane Krieger

By now everyone knows the pitfalls of weight loss. They rarely work, and sometimes they hurt.

Cycles of weight loss and gain – known as the yo-yo effect – can produce feelings of shame, leading to low self-esteem and unhealthy concern for diet and body image.

Here is an original idea: place the scale in a dark cupboard. Forget the weight. Instead, focus on well-being. You will feel better and be healthier.

As a bonus, you can start to lose weight.

“Addressing old behaviors or implementing new behaviors takes effort,” says Kristen Hung, MPH, RD, Clinical Dietitian at Torrance Memorial. “But if we practice new behaviors until they become unconscious habits, we unlock one of the most important keys to having a real impact on our health and well-being.”

Here are some daily habits that will improve your health and well-being and reduce your body mass.

Eat better

You know the rules. Don’t skip breakfast. Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables. Drink more water. Cut down on sugary drinks, wine, and beer. Stay away from unhealthy snacks and desserts.

If your stomach is growling from the austerity measures, Hung offers this handy tip: “befriend the bean”.

“Beans and lentils are high in fiber and protein, which enhances feelings of fullness,” she says. “They also help lower ‘bad cholesterol’ and their low digestion means fewer blood sugar spikes, which can affect your appetite. “

Above all, when – not if, but when, because it has to happen – you have a slip, don’t throw in the towel. Get back in the game. Dieting is temporary, but eating well is a lifelong project.

Takes physics

One of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to lose weight is setting the wrong type of goal. “They form outcome-based goals such as“ Look good in my swimsuit, ”says Torrance Memorial Clinical Dietitian Christian Torres, RD.“ What’s more important are the behavior-based goals needed to get there. happen, for example, “Exercise for 30 minutes four times a week.”

The key to permanent change is consistency. Change your routine and your body will change too.

Being overweight can make it more difficult to exercise, so start small. Resolve to walk a short distance every other day. And really do it. As you get stronger, increase your game plan. Walk every day. Walk further. Decide to always take the stairs instead of the elevator. Accelerate your walking speed, try jogging, cycling, swimming. Pick achievable goals and let consistency be your measure of success, not the arbitrary number on your scale. If you’re craving digital data, consider wearing a fitness tracker like the Apple Watch or Fitbit to count your steps, measure your heart rate, and calculate the calories you burn.

Don’t skimp on sleep

Change your sleep hygiene and you will likely change your pant size. Studies show that people who lack sleep consume more calories and avoid exercise. Skimping on sleep prepares your brain to make bad decisions. It dampens activity in the frontal lobe, resulting in poor impulse control and speeding up reward centers, sending you on the hunt for something that feels good like ice cream or crisps.

Behaviorally, research shows that sleep hungry people are inclined to snack late at night and more likely to choose snacks that are high in carbohydrates or fat. They eat larger portions of all foods. And lack of sleep leads to fatigue which usually results in less physical activity.

sleeping man

At the metabolic level, lack of sleep limits your body’s ability to process insulin, a hormone needed to turn sugar and starch into energy. It also affects the production of appetite-controlling hormones, leptin and ghrelin.

“These hormones contribute to feelings of hunger and the regulation of fat storage,” says Hung. “Lack of sleep creates an imbalance and can lead to increased hunger pangs and higher calorie intake. “

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a third of adults don’t get enough sleep (at least 7 hours a night).

Be aware

If you aren’t already doing this, add meditation or yoga to your weekly routine. Not only will this lower your blood pressure, it will likely improve your nutrition and help you control your weight. Research shows that regular practice of mindfulness reduces binge eating and emotional eating.

Also try mindfulness at the table. Add a touch of gratitude to every meal, whether it’s saying grace out loud or just taking a moment to enjoy the food in front of you.

“A good tip for quick eaters like myself is to set a timer for 12 to 15 minutes,” says Torres. “Spend more time analyzing the different textures, flavors and aromas. “

Chew slowly. Place the fork between bites. Breathe deeply after swallowing.

Control your appetite

Listen to your body and only eat when you are hungry. If there is a bad taste in your mouth, try brushing your teeth instead of looking for gum, mints, or a snack. If you tend to overeat, ask yourself why. Is it emotional or related to stress? If so, investigate and deal with those feelings. Boredom, distraction, and poor planning are other common causes of overeating. You can break the cycle by introducing healthy eating habits, such as putting the cell phone down at mealtimes.

Cooking as an activity can be an antidote to overeating. “Eat whatever you want, cook it yourself,” recommends national food trends analyst Harry Balzer.

Craving fries? Then go peel and slice the potatoes yourself and fry them in a hot and splashing pan.

“Preparing the food ourselves helps us understand what we are eating and often leads to eating simpler, healthier meals,” says Hung. Once you’re done cleaning the greasy pan, draining the hot oil, and washing the dishes, you might reconsider how often you “enjoy” French fries.

When dining out, you can avoid overeating by introducing these two routines: decide ahead of time to share a starter with your companion or ask for a take-out box ahead of time and reserve half your portion at the start of the meal. meal.

Are you looking for a weight management support group?

Weight loss program

CORE4 is a 12 week adult weight management program offered by Torrance Memorial. Based on evidence and guidance from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, weekly group sessions focus on nutrition (portions, meal planning, dining out, macro and micronutrients); behavior modification (hunger, awareness of appetite, relationship to food); and how physical activity relates to weight reduction and management. Offered virtually, the next session begins Thursday, September 2 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Cost: $ 200. Call 310-891-6707.

Individual coaching

Torrance Memorial offers private coaching through its Nutrition and Wellness Education program. Customers partner with a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist (RDN) to develop a personal action plan for meal planning, grocery shopping, food journaling, mindful eating, and any special needs such as food allergies , veganism and nutrition during pregnancy or breastfeeding. The service is available without reference. Call 310-891-6707.

Support group

Between Starving and Stuffed is a bimonthly online interactive program that teaches mindful eating techniques to lead a healthy lifestyle for a healthy weight and other lifestyle goals. Visit Zoom every 2nd Thursday and 3rd Tuesday, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.


To learn more, visit the Torrance Memorial Nutrition and Weight Loss webpage at TorranceMemorial.org/Nutrition. Make an appointment with one of our registered dietitian nutritionists through the MyTorranceMemorial patient portal or call 310-891-6707.


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