Weight loss and weight maintenance are like finely tuned instruments. All components must be calibrated for the system to work. Aging changes our energy, our hormones and how effectively our bodies digest and utilize food. Low energy, while maintaining the same food intake, often results in weight gain. Negative impact of hypothyroidism or diabetes can impede weight loss and maintenance.
Here are some suggestions to help you reach your weight goals, when embracing fitness becomes an automatic, daily occurrence.
- Ask your doctor about blood work to check your thyroid and blood sugar levels and your iron count (to rule out anemia). Your primary care physician who is familiar with your health history may also recommend other tests to rule out any disorders, metabolic or endocrine issues that may be impacting your weight.
Sleep patterns. Are you getting seven to eight hours of sleep per night? Do you snore? Disturbances of sleep can cause weight gain. Restorative sleep enhances the body’s ability to burn calories, while also maintaining excellent energy levels. Elevate your bed on the headboard side, add a pillow or two, and/or sleep on your left side to help with acid reflux that may be waking you up. Do not eat past 7 pm and limit fatty foods, cheese, coffee and alcohol.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIT). Punctuating your work-outs with 30 to 60 seconds of high energy, high intensity exercise (e.g., from walking to running and back to walking again, or maintaining a steady cadence on your elliptical machine alternating height, speed and resistance for short bursts) can reignite a fat-burning system. Exercise three times per week.
Find a diet with foods you like – this will be a lifestyle choice, not a temporary “diet.” The key is to find a diet that best matches your tastebuds,( knowing that your tastes may change as you become healthier, when you might try an alternative plan). Go with what you know you can do and will stick with - financially, pre-cooking, pre-measuring, counting, a plan that fits with your family’s diet. Get a buddy to support you, someone with whom you check in weekly. Many plans also have a phone app for you to keep track.
Meditation and yoga are also amazing techniques to promote healthy body/healthy mind!