When it comes to weight loss in the New Year, there are plenty of books, products and programs vying for your attention.
From fad diets to herbal remedies, many of these weight-loss methods will take advantage of people looking to once again reclaim their health and well-being this year.
Thousands of resolutions will be set, however, few will succeed. Healthy weight loss can become a frustrating endeavor and can cost hundreds of dollars before lasting results are achieved.
While there are many products and diets to help someone lose weight quickly, these may not be the healthiest way to do it. After all, studies have shown the "yo-yo dieting" can permanently damage a person’s fat-burning metabolism, causing them to regain the weight they lost previously and then some.
Unfortunately, without permanent lifestyle changes, weight loss will just become another failed resolution. There are never any shortcuts to health.
So how does one achieve healthy weight loss, without all the heartache?
The short answer is: it depends on who you are.
The reasons people gain weight in the first place are as variable as the people seeking to lose the weight. Some people eat too many calories, some have too much stress, some individuals may not be getting enough vitamin D, some people do not move around enough, while others may have problems with cellular toxicity and hormonal balance.
Because of these differences, healthy weight loss can be as simple or complicated depending on who you are and what you are trying to achieve.
Fortunately, there are some simple lifestyle changes that can benefit everyone and also serve as a great starting point for healthy weight loss.
1. Reduce/avoid sugars — Excess sugar is eventually stored as fat. This not only includes sweets, but refined carbohydrates such as breads pastas and rice.
2. Eat clean — Packaged foods contain chemicals that interfere with fat-burning and should be replaced with veggies, fruits, lean proteins, nuts and good fats. If you are not feeling full, increase your protein and good fat content.
3. Drink water — Eight glasses a day hold true. Avoid sugary drinks and caffeine. Drinking water will also make you feel full.
4. Sleep — A minimum 8 hours of sleep a night is essential to heal and repair. Also, people who get plenty of rest have less incidence of cancer and heart disease, their vitamin D levels are higher and they are able to burn fat more efficiently.
5. Move your body — At least 30 minutes of slow, aerobic exercise a day is required for proper metabolic function and fat burning. No time? Try short, intense bursts of anaerobic exercise for five-10 minutes, three times a week instead.
6. Maintain your frame — Nagging injuries will quickly derail any exercise or weight loss program. To stay on track, visit your chiropractor, massage therapist, athletic therapist or other practitioner to heal old wounds and maintain your body at its peak performance.
These are just the fundamentals. Some people may require a more extensive weight loss plan according to their needs. Remember that healthy weight loss is always a side-effect of a healthy lifestyle and not necessarily the end result.
Dr. Christian Chatzoglou, D.C. is a chiropractor, writer and natural health expert.