There is more to weight management than caloric balance

Are you limiting calories and exercising more and not seeing the results you would like? If you would like to maximize your ability to manage your weight, it might be helpful to use a research based, holistic approach.

Are you eating better and moving more, but feel like you aren’t making much headway managing your weight? If you would like to maximize your ability to manage your weight, it might be helpful to use a research based, holistic approach. Consider the following:

There is a strong correlation between sleep deprivation and obesity. The hormones that regulate appetite, leptin and ghrelin, are affected by the sleep cycle. Individuals that are sleep deprived are more likely to feel hungrier and overeat than those who are well rested.

Where to Start
Step back and reprioritize your needs over the next week to allow for 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Write down your observations about your energy level and appetite – especially in the early and mid-afternoon. If you have more energy and feel less hungry between meals and snacks, adequate sleep might be just the thing that you need to improve your efforts managing your weight.

For every two hours a day that an individual spends in front of a screen (computer, TC, video games) the risk for being overweight is increased by 23%. Research showed that even when activity was added, individuals did not lose weight unless they reduced sedentary activity at the same time.

Where to Start:
Many jobs require that we sit in front of a computer screen for hours on end – this might not be an area for compromise. Reducing your screen time in your off hours might be really important for individuals with sit down jobs. If you are trying to manage your weight right now, it might be a good time to catch up on chores around your house, work in your yard or garden, spend more active time with your kids or take a few extra walks with your dog. Try to reduce your off hours screen time to no more than two hours daily for best results in managing your weight and your health.

Stress affects our food choices. Because food does affect mood, people who are living with chronic stress are more likely to eat high fat and sugary foods for comfort than those individuals who keep their stress levels low or who manage stress without food. These food choices are usually nutrient poor but energy dense, not a good combination for those of us who want to manage a healthy weight.

Where to start:
Ask yourself: “Am I feeling stressed” and “Am I hungry?” If you are really hungry and are feeling stressed, reach for fruits, vegetables and whole grains. These foods have the vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that can really help restore your body in stressful situations. If you aren’t hungry, tend to your stress without food. Take a break, take a nap. Breathe deeply or go outdoors. Learning how to manage your stress without food is tough, but will likely pay off in the long run with better health and a stable weight.

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