If trying to clean up your diet just leaves you more ravenous and frustrated, you’re not alone. Weight loss can be so hard, right? Which is why we’ve found three practical ways to help you lose weight. Bonus: They’re basic habit changes, not total lifestyle overhauls!
1/ Fuel smarter to lose weight
Endocrinologist Dr Scott Isaacs advises clients to base their meals on protein and fibre, both of which suppress hunger hormones. His ideal meal plan to increase leptin levels and other key appetite regulators? Eggs for breakfast, lean chicken with greens and brown rice for lunch, carrots and low-fat hummus (low-calorie and fibre-rich) for a snack and a dinner high in leptin-boosting zinc (beef and black beans are both good sources).
Eating more omega-3 fatty acids – found in fish and flaxseeds – may also help mitigate the impact of inflammation on the hypothalamus, which can make leptin’s pathways less responsive, says Dr Stephan Guyenet, author of The Hungry Brain.
2/ Go to bed
When it comes to managing your hunger and appetite and losing weight, sticking to a solid sleep schedule is a must. “Leptin is mostly secreted at night, so if you’re getting less than seven hours, you’ll have lower levels,” says Isaacs. In fact, if you’re getting only five hours a night, you’ll have almost 16 percent less leptin than if you’re managing the full eight, according to research in the Annals of lnternal Medicine.
Another reason to maximise your shut-eye: insufficient sleep can result in consuming up to 400 extra calories a day, mostly of high-fat, low-protein food, according to the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Ready to rest now?
3/ Watch your why
External cues are influential in determining what, when and how much we eat. For example, researchers found that people who ate with others consumed up to 60 percent more than those who ate alone. Another big cause for the munchies? Stress. While 80 percent of people said they normally ate healthily, that number dropped to 33 percent when they were stressed, a study reveals. And the majority of those folks said stress produced an increase in their appetite, so pin down a few non-food coping mechanisms – deep breathing, going for a walk, venting to a friend – that you can use as soon as life gets tense.
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