When you’re serious about losing weight:
Make the most of your weight loss effort by fine tuning your routine. Add as many of these tips to your routine as you can. Don’t rush. Make only as many changes at a time as you comfortably can. Always discuss your weight loss plans with your doctor.
If you don’t exercise regularly, start walking daily. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes a day. A short brisk walk after meals is a good way to add exercise to your routine.
If you already exercise most days, be cautious about adding more exercise: More than 6 hours a week of vigorous exercise can actually increase your appetite and result in modest weight gain for some people. Exercising too much can cause burnout and make you want to stop exercising.
Take a probiotic containing L. gasseri like Swanson L. gasseri or Phillips Colon Health or VSL3. You may need to order it online. Take one daily for the first 2 months of lifestyle changes. Some people get gas and bloating when they start taking a probiotic. You may need to avoid certain foods while your body adjusts. (Ask for a low FODMAP diet handout if you get too much gas) Ask your doctor if symptoms are severe or persist more than a week in spite of eating well. Probiotics are the natural bacteria in our colon. Most people who are overweight have an imbalance of the types of bacteria in their colon. Taking the right supplement can actually help you lose weight. While fermented foods like yogurt can be a healthy part of a good diet, they don’t contain enough probiotics to stimulate weight loss in most people.
If you eat processed foods, substitute foods containing prebiotics for some or most of those foods. (Don’t just add them to your diet–eat them in place of less healthy foods) Probiotics have limited effects if you don’t feed them prebiotic foods on a regular basis. If you don’t add prebiotics to your diet, probiotics probably aren’t worth the money.
Since these foods can cause gas, add small amounts at first. It is OK to take an enzyme supplement like Beano with gas-causing foods. Never take digestive enzymes without food.
Examples of prebiotics are:
bananas, berries and other fruits
beans, lentils and soybeans
cabbage and other green vegetables, asparagus and artichokes
whole grain breads, cereals and rice
root vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, onions and garlic
Foods to limit or avoid or replace with prebiotics:
sugar or sweet foods like cookies, cakes, processed granola bars, fruit flavored snacks.
soda and other sweet drinks including sports drinks and coffee drinks
Foods with additives and preservatives
processed foods like crackers, chips, pretzels, white bread, sweet cereals, desserts and candy
Take a multivitamin daily to cover for an imperfect diet. It is very difficult to lose weight while getting plenty of every vitamin and mineral. Do not take more than the RDA unless instructed by your doctor. Don’t take an iron supplement unless your doctor tells you to.
Eat breakfast as soon as you get up. (within 30 minutes) This will jumpstart your metabolism.
Try to eat supper early enough that there are 12 hours between supper and breakfast. No snacking after supper! This will also help your metabolism. If you have a sports or dance practice after supper consult your doctor for an alternate plan.
Drink a glass of water before each meal. Mild dehydration can feel like hunger. Drinking water before you eat will help you feel more satisfied with less food. It will NOT change the way you digest your food.
Sleep 8 to 11 continuous hours at night depending on your age. (Avoid naps.) Kids 7 to 12 aim for at least 10 hours. Teenagers aim for at least 9.
If you are taking supplements, it is worthwhile to consult consumerlab.com on a regular basis to see if your brand has been recalled or if there is a brand with better ratings. Always let your doctor know which supplements you’re taking.
Call your doctor if you are losing more than 2 pounds a week. Rapid weight loss can cause muscle wasting which can damage your metabolism and cause weight gain to increase in the future. It can also be a sign of dehydration or other health problems.