10 Tips to Jump Start Your Weight Loss
The summer is a popular time to revisit previous weight loss goals. Check out the following 10 tips to jump start your weight loss and get you on track to better health and well-being.
1. Get rid of sweetened beverages and diet beverages. Focus on water. Tired of plain water? Try sparkling water with lemon and lime wedges.
- Why? Sweetened beverages are a major contributor of excess calories. When a sweetened beverage is consumed it is unlikely that calories will be cut from other meals/snacks. Diet beverages, while they contain no calories, still are recognized by the body as a sweet beverage, in response the body will release insulin (if you are still making insulin) causing increased hungry thus resulting in likely increased caloric intake.
- Sugar Swaps – Easy Ways to Improve Your Carb Count
2. Limit/avoid (as much as possible) purchasing packaged and/or value size items such as chips and crackers.
- Why? Such foods are typically lower in fiber, higher in the glycemic index, less nutrient dense and make portion control more challenging.
- Creating a Grocery List
3. Shop along the periphery of the grocery store.
- Why? The periphery of the grocery store is where you typically will find most of the fresh food such as produce, meat, fish, and dairy.
4. Avoid grocery shopping when you are hungry.
- Why? Shopping when you are hungry increases the chances that you will give in to free samples and make impulse purchases.
5. Limit carbs
- Why? Carb restricted diet have been shown to assist in weight loss and improve blood sugar control.
- To learn more on the science of a carb restricted diet: Can a Low Carbohydrate Diet Help?
6. Increase protein
- Why? Protein help keep you feeling satisfied longer between meals.
- Unique Protein Sources
7. Increase your daily fiber intake (Recommended fiber amount: 14 grams/1000 calories)
- Why? Fiber helps fill you up and keep you feeling satisfied longer between meals.
- Fiber Fun: Five Filling & Easy Snacks
8. Get moving!
- Why? Exercise helps burn calories and build muscle. Both of which will help with weight loss as well as improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels.
- Fitness & Physical Activity
9. Keep a food journal
- Why? A food journal helps keep you honest. It can help you identify triggers of overeating (i.e. bored, stressed, sad, etc.) as well as reveal hidden sources of calories.
10. Avoid low blood sugars.
- Treatment of a low blood sugar requires you to eat or drink quick acting carbs to bring your blood sugar to a safe level. If low blood sugars are recurrent this will likely result in excess caloric intake.
- To learn more about low blood sugars: Understanding Hypoglycemia: Risks, Prevention and Treatment
Bottom Line: Pick 1 or 2 of the above tips as starting goals. Once you have consistently followed changes for 2-3 weeks consider adding on another goal. Remember to avoid labeling your diet changes as a “diet”. For many, when we hear the word “diet”, we think “temporary” or “short-term”. This is a lifestyle change. Some days will be better than others. If you have a bad day, forgive yourself and start fresh tomorrow!
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, sleep apnea, RLS) in addition to your diabetes?