Focusing on: Diet, Exercise, Sleep, Stress
Easy habits to implement and commit for 12 weeks of weight management program to become a healthier human being. You may be enticed to do more than one habit at a time – but 4 habit changes is a lot – you want them to stick, so start slow. You can build on them each month!
So you’ve packed on a few pounds and gone up a clothing size or two. Not exactly the “thick” look you were going for ugh? You are not alone. So many of us are trying to lose weight. Only in the United States, 99 million people are considered overweight, and the world's amount of people suffering from different stages of obesity reaches up to 30% of the population.
There's no wonder we see so many weight loss programs and methods created to fight this situation. But which of them work best? And how to lose weight without harming your health?
Let's dive into weight loss science step by step and find out the answers.
First, let’s recount all the biggest contributors to obesity, to know which of them are manageable and where to start from.
One of the main causes of gaining extra weight is harmful food habits. We live in a world where access to obesity-causing food is very easy, often easier than access to healthy foods. Pizza, hamburgers, bread, pasta, cookies, and cakes — all this tasty yet harmful food makes you gain kilo by kilo.
The first step that will definitely turn you towards weight loss is to stop eating junk and sugar-rich food and start cooking at home. Also, it's better to give up eating before you go to bed and at night. If you feel hungry, low-fat yogurt and crackers may help you resist.
Low physical activity is another culprit that is causing a higher risk of packing on the pounds, among other undesirable outcomes, such as low energy and stamina.
Many of us today have very sedentary lives. We go to work in vehicles and then sit at our desks for a large majority of the day. We then go back home where we sit on a couch, sit down for dinner and the list of sitting goes on.
Physical activity is another "must-have" on the fat-fighting list. But no worries, you don't have to force yourself to go to a gym, run, or do any other kind of physical exercises you don't like — if you don't. You may start from walking, playing tennis, or doing any other activity from a large variety of pleasant things that will help you lose extra calories and improve your mood.
Some of us are genetically predisposed to gaining extra fat, meaning that it is easier to pile on the pounds if you’re not careful with your food intake and daily activities. You know, what we mean: somebody may eat a cake and nothing will change in their weight, while another person will gain a pound each time they touch a cookie.
There's nothing you can do with genetics, but anyway, you may follow a healthy diet and active lifestyle and look much better than millions of people with "skinny" genes who live unhealthily.
Health conditions, usually related to hormonal imbalances, and some medications are responsible for weight gain in a number of individuals. Notice how you started gaining weight right after you had to take that particular medication? Yes, that’s right, there are a number of prescription medications that could contribute to the process.
If it's your case, we strongly recommend you to consult with your medical doctor to choose appropriate treatment and not experiment with medications yourself. Self-treatment may cause very serious health consequences.
Aging also often contributes to weight gain. As we age, our metabolism slows down and so does lipid turnover in the fat tissue. This means that as we age our bodies start working less efficiently than before to burn and break down fats.
In this case, physical activity and a healthy diet are also a solution, but after you step into your 60-s, it's always better to ask a doctor before making any radical changes.
Emotional factors also play a huge role in weight gain. Stress and an emotionally-intensive lifestyle always go together with tiredness and fatigue and are often accompanied by poor sleep. These cause changes in how the body uses calories and produces energy and also cause weight gain. In addition, stress often causes hunger which adds up to obesity.
If you want to lose weight in a healthy way, healthy sleep and balanced emotional life are very important to maintain.
According to numerous research, extra weight is often associated with increased risk for many health issues. Here are the main ones.
Over 90% of people who develop type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. But how exactly is type 2 diabetes-related to obesity? With type 2 diabetes your body is making enough insulin, however, your body’s cells have become resistant to the action of that insulin. The more additional weight you have on your body, the more resistant your tissue cells and muscles become.
Another often consequence of gaining extra weight is increasing blood pressure. What happens is that the increase in fatty tissue, in turn, increases your body’s vascular resistance. This also makes the heart work harder to pump blood through the body resulting in hypertension.
Being overweight may put you at a higher risk of heart disease and stroke. A study published by NCBI indicates that with a bodyweight increase of 10 kg (approx. 22 pounds), systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels increase significantly. This also increases the likelihood of you developing coronary heart disease by 12% and a stroke — by 24%.
Research shows a connection between obesity and cancer. The risk is increased for several cancers including kidney and pancreatic cancers, colorectal cancer, breast, uterine and esophageal cancers. Experts note that the additional visceral fat causes inflammation. The visceral fat also affects the body’s management of hormones such as estrogen and insulin. This in turn affects how and when your cells divide and when they die which thereby increases your risk of developing the mentioned cancers among others.
There is a consistent link between extra weight and osteoarthritis. Each additional pound that you put on adds three to four pounds of stress to your knees. This pressure causes a breakdown in cartilage. People who have extra weight are at a higher risk for osteoarthritis that may require joint replacement.
There is an estimated 20% of American adults currently living with fatty liver disease. This condition used to be noted mainly in people that had a history of excessive drinking but now the tables have turned. Fatty liver disease is turning up in more people who have a higher BMI (body mass index) and suffer from diabetes.
Having extra weight has a direct impact on your kidneys. The additional weight forces your kidneys to work harder as it now has to filter more than the normal amount of waste. This additional work overtime increases the risk of kidney disease.
Metabolic syndrome is a complex of symptoms that increase cardiovascular risk significantly. They include obesity, hypertension, and high blood sugar, and cholesterol. It is sometimes called a silent epidemic because the number of liable people increases each year. Key risk components of these conditions are obesity and lack of exercise. As you gain more weight and develop increased insulin resistance your risk of developing metabolic syndrome increases.
The pancreas is responsible for helping digestion and hormones that regulate your body’s glucose-related processes. When you gain extra weight around your belly this can lead to acute pancreatitis or increase your risk of developing the condition.
With the added weight, your diaphragm, lungs, and chest cavity will experience mechanical compression. This can lead to restrictive pulmonary damage. It can further increase pulmonary resistance, decrease the total compliance of the respiratory system, and reduce the muscle strength of the respiratory system.
An increase in weight may also increase the risk of different mental and social conditions which, in turn, often cause new health problems.
There is strong evidence of obesity causing depression, found by a recent study done by the University of Exeter and the University of South Australia. They maintained a study where psychological aspects of obesity were separated from the health-related issues and found out that people with extra weight are more liable to depression than others.
When you are aware of the fact that you are overweight it can wreak havoc on your self-esteem. This is especially true for those who are struggling with trying to reduce weight without success. Studies show that people that have higher BMI tend to have considerably lower self-esteem than their peers.
Both clinical and community studies show an overlap between obesity and mood disorders.
Repeated unsuccessful efforts to lose weight over time results in a lack of motivation. This is not simply motivation to eat right or exercise but a general lack of motivation towards the regular day to day activities.
Whether you gain a little excess weight or a lot, people will see it, and often, they will comment. There is a certain amount of stigma associated with being overweight. While some people are not even aware of the fact they do this is it widespread. Sometimes we even have our own internalized stigma that stems from the dissatisfaction of our body due to the weight gain. This can cause overweight people to shy away from social situations which can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression.
Along with the physical and mental health issues that also cause an increase in medical spendings, excess weight creates other types of obstacles. It can get problematic to get up, move around the house, choose clothes, find sturdy furniture, book airline tickets — all this is bound to affect the quality of your life.
So you gained a couple of extra pounds, or maybe more than a few. What now? Now you solve the problem before it blows up and manifests itself in physical sickness among other risks.
Here are proven ways that will help you get back down to a healthy weight over time. Whatever you choose to do, remember to stick with it. This needs to be a lifestyle change, as no quick fix will work for the long term.
Food is our main source of energy and is directly linked with fat loss or gain. But it's not enough to just stop eating (and feel hungry all day long) or refuse from several products. Based on research, we collected some of the most recommended diets that may change the game.
Based on studies, such as the one conducted by the Institute of Medicine in Washington and another one by Irene Strychar published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, here is a list of health-safe diet for fat loss:
Here are a couple of weight loss tips on how you can make healthy foods a regular part of your everyday food, meal choices:
Sports and other physical activities are very important in your fight against excess weight. More physical activity will increase the number of calories you burn which is what leads to fat loss. While eating fewer calories can help you to lose weight, staying physically active will provide a bigger success. When both diet and exercise are combined you can get the best result.
Knowing the importance of physical activity and actually doing exercise are two different things. As such you will need to develop habits that will support a continuous lifestyle.
Here are some tips to keep you on track once you start your new physically active lifestyle:
When you are not getting proper sleep your body alters the way it responds to food dramatically. You will notice an increase in appetite when you are not sleeping properly and you will find it harder to ward off these craving temptations. You may find yourself bingeing more when not getting adequate sleep.
Here are some healthy habits that help to promote good quality sleep for fat loss.
If you continue having trouble sleeping and none of the tips work, see a doctor. You might have a disorder that affects your ability to sleep, such as sleep apnea, so proper diagnosis is in order.
Water also plays a very important role in the weight loss process. When you are drinking it in adequate amounts. Water is 100% calorie-free and is a good appetite suppressant if you consume it before meals. When you replace all your sugary beverages with water you will benefit from a decrease in sugar and also a decrease in calories. After all, your body is approximately 70% water so you can only see benefits when ingesting water in its correct amounts.
When you drink water you cleanse your body of waste products while boosting your metabolism. This can stop your body from retaining water and lead to a loss in water weight which is for many people a cause of extra weight gain. Studies also suggest that getting enough water intake can increase the number of calories you burn.
We get it, drinking water only is hard, I mean, it is a colorless tasteless liquid! We all would rather put only tasty things in our mouths. But for the sake of our health, we need to be consuming adequate amounts of water. How can you develop healthy water drinking habits? How much water is “adequate” for daily consumption?
Multiple studies show how an increase in the stress hormone cortisol is correlated to a larger waistline. As such with stress management, the aim is to lower the levels of cortisol in the body. With the following healthy stress management habits, you can start working towards this goal.
The best tempo for weight loss is considered to be between 1 to 2 lbs per week according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — CDC. This translates to 4 to 8 pounds of weight lost each month. This can be achieved if you burn an extra 500 to 100 calories than that of which you consume each day. So the main way to reach this goal is to lower your calorie intake while also performing physical activities outside of the normal to get your body working to burn calories.
A realistic initial goal in the majority of situations is to reduce their current weight by 5%. This is of course if you have not been advised by a health professional to lose more weight than that. You should always follow the primary guidance of your health professional over any advice you find here or anywhere else on the internet. They are professionals for a reason after all!
Weight is manageable, but it comes with hard work. It takes commitment to a plan and the ability to stick to the plan and follow through with it. There is no one size fits all approach to fat loss, exercise, and dieting. While the concept is as simple as to be more active and consume fewer calories, translating this into real-life comes with its own set of challenges. You will need to remain accountable during your weight loss journey and will need some amount of support.
Thanks to increases in technology you can now find support not just from those in your household or at work but you can find people from all over the globe who can cheer you on and give professional advice.
Let's see how it works.
Ever so often people go on diets, lose weight, and then regain it. This is often because they don't monitor their progress and quickly return to their old habits. A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine provides confirmation that accountability is important for fat loss, no less than other healthy habits we listed.
In this study, it was found that persons who kept a food journal were two folds more successful than those people who did not. Keeping a food journal helped to keep participants motivated and helped them to be better able to realize when they were making mistakes and pointed them on how to not make those mistakes again. Avoiding mistakes provided a feel-good factor that further motivated study participants to stay on top of their fat loss goal.
We get it, it is not easy to manage your weight and more so to lose weight. With more than 66% of the adult population of the United States is classified as obese there is a need for effective interventions. Without proper support, it is easy to fall back into old habits. The good news is that there is a lot of information, methodologies, and professional support for those who need it.
It is a well-known fact that social interactions and relationships can affect diet and physical activity and thereby affect weight status. You can find support through mobile apps, friends, family, and personal fitness trainers. As technology increases the forms of support continue to increase as well.
Verb is an SMS-based online coaching platform intended to help people maintain a healthy lifestyle and overcome challenges with professional support. There is no app to install on your mobile device and instead, you simply get a text message.
Verb helps you to remain accountable when it comes to fitness, nutrition, sleep, water intake, and stress. The tool learns your habits over time and checks in on a daily basis via SMS.
All this allows for effective long-lasting results once you are paying attention to the reminders offered by the tool. In addition to weekly reviews, there are also progress reports that help you to see your progress over time and help you to understand how your fitness habits develop overtime as well.
“It’s extremely helpful to have the texts throughout the day. It’s like the little voice in my head reminding me of what im working towards.”
“I have learned more about health, and fitness. For example 80 ounces of water is dope for recovery as is sleeping 8 hours consistently every night.”
“The reminders, questions and support have been excellent for my journey.”
Make Verb your own. Set custom reminders, adjust message timing and ask questions.
Stay true to your goals even when you can’t get to a gym. Let Verb be your workout buddy.
Workouts paired with daily messages and weekly reviews give you the power to achieve lasting change.
“By the summer of 2019 I was unable to handle the stresses of life while continuing to take care of myself at least to my standards. I was able to get away without structure and foundation for a long time, but getting older and more responsibilities eventually made it unmanageable. I started using Verb 8 months ago and the external results speak for themselves. I was 216lbs and 22% body fat as of July 2019. Verb’s platform is the foundation for my core daily activities and accountability. Both of which are a huge struggle for me. This solid foundation gives me the ability to take on more personally, professionally and physically. Without daily action there is no long term improvements.“
Automated accountability questions about ideal water intake, sleep, food, stress, work or a custom parameter.
Stay on track with new and exciting workouts, even while you're not able to be at the gym.
Our coaches review your responses for the week to provide encouragement and recommendations.
Develop an understanding of your fitness habits by seeing your progress over time.
The key to Verb’s success is the success of our users. We provide the tools and you provide the drive. When users set realistic goals and achieve them, we all win 🚀
Usually, Verb requires a monthly commitment of just $4.99. Right now we are offering Verb for free.
At Verb, your privacy is our number one concern. We’ve taken all the necessary measures to ensure that any communication to and from Verb is secure and safe 🔐
A group of users were selected to join our beta testing group. With the help of these users, we’re working to make sure Verb is the best possible product to launch with when it becomes available to the public 🙌
Verb is an SMS based platform. What that means is there’s no need to add another app to your phone, simply text us like you would anyone else. The goal of Verb is not to complicate, but instead to make your experience as seamless as possible 👍
We want to make sure Verb is the best tool to help our users accomplish their goals. For this reason, we are taking time to ensure that not a single detail is missed or rushed. We hope to have Verb fully available by the fall of 2019. Trust us, it’ll be worth the wait 🌟