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Weight Loss & keeping the weight off

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Diet? Exercise? Or both?

The first step to successfully achieving weight loss and keeping it off is to understand that there are no quick fixes to help you lose weight. It is true that short term quick fix diets can help you to shed those pounds, however this often doesn’t last, and the weight one has lost comes back with vengeance. Have you ever heard of the saying; your body works against you? Well, it’s true. When you increase your physical activity and control your calorie intake to lose weight, your metabolism slows down to try and maintain your weight. By doing so it tries to preserve and store fat for future energy.


The second step is to realise that you can't focus on exercise alone. Altering your diet as well as increasing exercise is the key to achieving sustainable weight loss. Although there are numerous benefits from exercise including, a healthier heart, stronger bones and muscles and improved metabolism. Exercise alone does not help in the long run of losing weight. Especially when you're older, the focus to eat a healthy balanced diet is essential. Focusing on fruits, vegetables and lean proteins.


Lastly, it is important to understand that one diet does not fit all. Everyone has different energy requirements, different health needs, and different social situations, therefore, one diet does not suit everyone. When giving out dietary advice a nutrition coach will take this into account and give personalised advice.


What’s important for weight loss?

There are a multitude of factors that are important for weight loss. Sensible weight loss should focus around consuming a healthy balanced diet and exercising! Gradual weight loss is seen as key (around 1-2lbs a week) to ensure that it stays off. Regular meals and a balanced diet whilst keeping an eye on your portion sizes is suggested. There should be no cutting out whole food groups and including carbs, proteins, fats, fibre and minerals and vitamins in your diet. Although having a couple drinks on the weekend wont jeopardise your weight loss, alcohol should be limited as it is full of empty calories and can be hard to fit into a calorie deficit.

It is supported by numerous studies that drinking water can be beneficial in weight loss, as well as aiding digestion and muscle function. Water is a natural appetite suppressant so when your stomach is full it sends out signals to the brain to tell you so. Water takes up room in your stomach in turn leading to fullness. One study, suggested that overweight women who drank water before meals as well as their normal water intake saw an increase in their weight loss[1].


Sleep can play a big role in weight management, and a lot of people simply don’t get enough. Short sleep is associated with weight gain and obesity. Lack of sleep negatively affects hunger levels and in turn can influence people to consume more calories from high fat and high sugar foods.

Sleep helps the body take care of its metabolic functions, such as repairing damaged cells and getting rid of toxins, it also affects hunger hormone levels, ghrelin and leptin that are responsible for making you feel hungry and full. When you do not get an adequate amount of sleep, the body makes more ghrelin and less leptin leaving you hungry and increasing your appetite[2][3]


A key factor important in weight loss is physical activity however, only when paired with a change in diet. Physical activity increases the number of calories your body uses for energy, the calories ‘burnt off’ through physical activity and calories minimised through your diet create a calorie deficit that is crucial for weight loss.


3. Why having a nutrition coach and personal trainer in one program is crucial to sustainability

Having both a nutrition coach and personal trainer is crucial to the sustainability of one’s weight loss. Why? First and foremost it provides accountability, keeping you focused and accountable to your goals and to what plans they have helped you put in place, especially when life gets in the way. We can easily talk ourselves out of doing anything such as going to the gym or going for that walk/run and eating better. However, if you have a nutrition coach and personal trainer in your corner and holding you to your word, it changes things. A nutrition coach gives you 1 to 1 help, creating personalised strategies to teach you how to create a healthy and sustainable lifestyle and keep that weight off. They can help create a lifestyle in which you understand what and how to eat for your body and goals. Giving you the knowledge to make better choices around food , creating balanced and non-restrictive habits.


A nutrition coach and personal trainer can help you structure your meals and workouts, working hand in hand together to plan how dietary needs are in line with your physical activity and your goals. Lastly, having a nutrition coach and personal trainer in one program allows for an abundance of support, it is essentially like having two cheerleaders in your corner when things go well and providing emotional support for when it gets tough.

The bottom line, losing weight and keeping it off can seem like a hard challenge. But, when you are matched with a nutrition coach and personal trainer, the expert help is there to guide you every step of the way!

At Nutrition and Co, we offer a bespoke weight management program. LifeSculpt is a life changing 3 month weight management program which includes individualised nutrition and fitness programming. Meet our dietitians here.


References

[1] Vij, V.A.K. and Joshi, A.S., (2014) Effect of excessive water intake on body weight, body mass index, body fat, and appetite of overweight female participants. Journal of natural science, biology, and medicine, [online] 52, pp.340–344. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/0976-9668.136180.

[2] Frank, S., Gonzalez, K., Lee-Ang, L., Young, M.C., Tamez, M. and Mattei, J., (2017) Diet and sleep physiology: Public health and clinical implications. Frontiers in neurology, [online] 8, p.393. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2017.00393 [Accessed 17 May 2022].

[3] Lin, J., Jiang, Y., Wang, G., Meng, M., Zhu, Q., Mei, H., Liu, S. and Jiang, F., (2020) Associations of short sleep duration with appetite-regulating hormones and adipokines: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Obesity reviews: an official journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, [online] 2111, p.e13051. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32537891/ [Accessed 17 May 2022].


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