Originally published on Kate’s blog and in our Spring 2011 newsletter.
In my practice I meet a lot of patients who want to lose weight, whether it be 5 pounds or 100 pounds! Most people have an unrealistic expectation of how much weight they can lose and how quickly this can be achieved. I recently read an article called Ideal Weight or Happy Weight about the impact even a small weight loss can have on your health and the theory of a weight “set point.”
“If you’re overweight, losing just 10% of your body weight is associated with a myriad of health benefits, including lowering blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugar, and reducing your risk for heart disease.”
These are amazing benefits that not only pay off in the short-run when you feel so much better, but in the long-run by significantly improving your quality of life! A 10% weight loss is a great goal to start with and helps patients adopt the habits that will build the foundation for great health for the rest of their lives.
“Your body weight is naturally regulated to stay within a range of 10%-20%.”
Once you maintain a certain weight for a few years or even decades, it can be difficult to shift significantly outside of this “set point.” However, it is not impossible, it just requires more time, commitment, and consistency than most patients realize. You CAN lower your “set point” through healthy eating habits, exercise, and lifestyle strategies.
What else can I do to support healthy weight loss?
Naturopathic medicine is a great support for weight loss via a personalized nutrition plan, addressing underlying health issues obstructing weight loss, improving digestion, making the mind-body connection, and perhaps more importantly, supporting behavioural change at a deeper level using energy medicine. We’ve all heard that it is so important to address the REASONS behind habits to change them. In my practice I find homeopathy and acupuncture to be great stimulants for self-healing as well as useful tools to address food cravings, mood, stress, sleep, and motivation, all of which contribute to your ability to reach and maintain a healthy weight.
What can I do today?
You can start implementing some healthy weight loss strategies into your life right now:
- Eat a healthy, nutrient-dense breakfast every day
- Ensure you get adequate, quality sleep each night
- Eat a minimum of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily
- Get outside and walk for at least 20 minutes per day
- Stick with it! As they say, “practice makes perfect!”