Friday, April 15, 2016

Weight Loss and Weight Management

Over 6 million Canadians live with obesity, which is a leading cause of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and various cancers, and has been categorized as a chronic disease by organizations such as the Canadian Medical Association. As a result, weight loss and weight management has become a constant debate amongst individuals in Canada.

At Brentwood Medical Clinic, Dr. Ali Ghahary encourages his patients to lead healthy lifestyles by way of exercise and healthy eating. While every individual is different when it comes to finding a healthy weight management program, there a few a few basic rules that everyone can follow to lose weight and maintain that loss in the long-run.

  1. Limit your bread intake. Heavy carbohydrates can slow down your metabolism, so it is important to stay away from carbs, including potatoes, white rice, and flour products.
  2. Lower your salt intake. Excess salt intake is detrimental to heart health, and studies have also shown that a lot of salt can actually make you gain weight. Brain scans show that sodium chloride (table salt) triggers a chemic called dopamine, therefore making you want more of that product. Salt also increases thirst, which is fine if you drink a lot of water, but it often makes you want to turn to high-sugar or high-calorie drinks like sodas and juices instead.
  3. Eliminate wine or alcohol. There is a high content of sugar in alcoholic beverages, which will negatively affect blood-sugar levels.
  4. Stay away from sugar. This is self-explanatory. While a little bit of sugar every now and then is okay, most people cannot control the intake, so it is best to cut out sugar from your diet completely. Sugar, like salt, triggers excessive production of dopamine, thus making you crave it more. 
  5. Meditate. Calming exercises like meditation for at least 10 minutes per day can help you focus on your goals and maintain a clear mind about what you want in regards to weight loss and weight management. Aim every single thought at the path of air going in through your nose, down through your throat, and then filling your lungs and following that path again. Tell yourself that you are breathing in success and positivity and releasing out thoughts of negativity and failure. This will go a long way in any weight loss regimen.
  6. Exercise four to six days a week. Exercise is important for maintaining a healthy weight and overall physical functioning. Something as simple as going for a walk for 30 minutes will help you notice a difference in the way you are feeling.
  7. Drink lots of water. Water helps to clear the toxins from your body and keep you satiated in between meals.
  8. Diet with a friend, family member, or in a group. This will help to motivate you to stay on track. It gives you a sense of connection and achievement to start a weight loss program with someone who has the same or similar goals.
  9. Keep a diet journal. Studies show that journaling your goals and keeping track of your profess helps to keep you focused by forcing your mind to accept the process. It eliminates the possibility of getting sidetracked. 
It is important to note that excessive dieting or exercising can take a toll on your body and make you feel less energized. This can often lead to feeling discouraged and finding it difficult to continue with a weight-loss regimen – but again, each individual is different, and it is important to do your research as well as have frank discussions with your doctor about a weight-loss plan.