A Holistic Approach To Weight Loss
Yo-yo dieting. Crash dieting. The inevitable new fad diet that storms onto the scene. If you’ve hopped on the diet train to lose weight only to gain it back, you’re not alone. Many people go all-in on a diet, see some relatively quick results...but then inevitably crash and burn later, oftentimes gaining everything back.
The hard reality is that real weight loss is not an overnight endeavor. You can’t “hack” your way to weight loss - it involves a lifestyle buy-in and true consistency, both during the time that you’re actively trying to drop weight, and after to maintain. Whether you’re trying to hit a specific weight loss goal, or looking to clean up your nutrition and take steps toward better health, approaching your weight from a holistic philosophy is the way to go if you want to see real results. Allow us to explain in more detail.
Key Components Of Holistic Weight Loss
We want to stress that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss – every person’s journey is different. However, the following basics are incredibly important pieces to keep in mind while you work on becoming the best version of yourself. Think of these as your pillars of weight loss philosophy.
Move Your Body
Moving your body may seem like an obvious answer, but we have one more recommendation: don’t overcomplicate it. Keep your goals top of mind, but try not to put too much pressure on yourself to transform into an invincible athlete. Instead, find activities that are naturally appealing for you and go with those. Discover ways of moving that are enjoyable and fun, as your chances of sticking to a long-term plan increase immensely. Whether that’s running, hiking, biking, an indoor strength routine, or a push-up challenge, if you find something that gets your blood pumping that you actually enjoy, your chances of staying consistent with exercise will increase. For many, finding activities that lead them outside become compelling reasons to get out on a regular basis. And remember: consistency is key! Work to string together days, weeks, months, and eventually years of physical activity to reap the real rewards of movement.
Plus, as you move through your journey with weight loss, studies have shown that consistent exercise will help you keep the weight off, instead of yo-yoing back to your starting point. Consistent physical exercise enhances your metabolic function, thereby making it easier to keep weight off. In other words, if you’re looking to make a healthy change that’ll stick, this is a habit you want to continue with, even after you’ve dropped a few pounds.
Clean Up Your Diet
Along with a consistent exercise or movement plan, you’ll need to also assess your current eating habits. You may have heard the sentiment, “you can’t out-exercise a bad diet.” It’s true. As important as exercise is to a healthy body, it’s not the silver bullet to weight loss. In fact, when it comes to weight loss, about 80 percent of the shift in habits needs to come from the kitchen, while the other 20 percent can be accounted for in exercise.
To start, take a hard look at what you normally consume. As you tune in to what you’re actually eating day-to-day, you may be surprised at some of the stuff (or how much) that you’re putting into your body on a regular basis. Some habits become so ingrained over time that we barely notice the impact on our day-to-day lives. Focus on eating real, whole foods, as well as cutting back on processed junk food. Enlisting the help of a nutritionist to help guide you and provide some structure to your approach is a great idea, though there are also some great applications out there that can help you track what you’re eating while giving you guidance to follow on overall intake, based on your weight loss goals.
A note of caution: as you focus on your diet, be careful not to go too extreme too quickly. Decreasing caloric intake can yield weight loss results. However, if you decrease too drastically and too quickly (also known as “crash dieting”), your risk of regaining the weight later also increases drastically. It’s better to find a more sustainable daily amount that you feel comfortable with, and are able to maintain long-term.
Don’t lose sight of the end goal: better overall health through weight loss. By taking smaller, bite-sized (pun intended!), steps, you’re teaching yourself healthy habits that you’ll be able to carry with you through the rest of your life.
Get Your Sleep
As basic of a human function as this is, the science behind sleep and weight control is incredibly compelling. When we’re sleep-deprived, our bodies produce hormones differently, including the hunger hormone (ghrelin) and the appetite control hormone (leptin) that usually tells us when we’re full. Ghrelin is produced much more in those who aren’t getting enough quality sleep – and we’re sure you can imagine where this goes. With increased ghrelin, making healthy choices in the kitchen becomes more difficult, and may even cause you to overeat. The good news: with a couple of extra hours in bed at night, you could side-step this completely.
How Chiropractic Can Assist Your Weight Loss Journey
Another excellent way to support your body through a weight loss journey is by working consistent chiropractic care into your routine. The adjustments of the spine and extremities provided in chiropractic appointments help to realign common misalignments that happen as a result of everyday life but can wreak havoc when left unaddressed.
Not to mention, as you increase your level of activity and physical movement, you want to make certain that your body is ready for the added load. Otherwise, injury can occur more frequently and hamper your motivation (and ability!) to stay active. Chiropractic adjustments can help ensure that your spine is aligned and functioning properly, while also decreasing inflammation and pressure in your body.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for in-person advice or care from a medical professional.