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Weight Loss Tips for Success

Offered by: Jessica Ahmed, LAc, DiplOM – Brighton Acupuncture

Even though only a small number of my patients come in with the primary complaint of excess weight, a large number would love to lose 10, 20, 30 or more pounds. Here are some considerations to help you succeed in shedding those pesky extra pounds:

Diet – My favorite dieting advice is to avoid making any changes you cannot sustain for the rest of your life. In other words, you can lose weight quickly with drastic dietary changes and restrictions, but once you begin eating normally again, you will gain the weight back. To avoid this, I recommend slow and steady change, including consuming plenty of high fiber vegetables and low-sugar fruits. We tend to eat the same volume of food each day, so high water content foods will keep you fuller and help you consume less calories. Many contemporary diets focus on eating enough protein, but also include healthy fats such as avocados, fish, olive oil and coconut oil.

Exercise – A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association states that we need on average 420 minutes per week of moderate intensity exercise to maintain our current body weight (that is equivalent to an hour every day!). While metabolisms will vary, the lesson here is that many of us need much more exercise to lose weight than we might want to believe. Consider hiring a trainer or finding a workout partner who will help make physical activity engaging and fun.

Stress Reduction – High levels of the hormone cortisol can contribute to stubborn belly fat, and since cortisol levels are higher with increased levels of stress, focus on developing a stress-reduction protocol that works for you. Acupuncture is my favorite tool for alleviating stress, and I also encourage deep breathing, yoga, and pursuing a relaxing hobby.

Detoxification – Fat storage is in part your body’s intelligent way of keeping dangerous substances out of your bloodstream. With weight loss some people will notice symptoms of irritability, headaches, fatigue and other symptoms of detoxification. In my practice I use a combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbs to support my patients through this process.

“Cheating” – Live a little and have your favorite indulgence! Just don’t do it every day, and let yourself fully enjoy it without guilt.

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