Sponsored - Conventional doctors often use a cookie-cutter solution of reducing caloric intake and increasing physical activity, but do not provide specifics on how to effectively do so based on your needs. They may recommend medications or supplements to suppress your appetite or improve fat burning.
Functional medicine addresses all aspects of your well-being and takes this same approach with medical weight loss. The inability to lose those last few pounds or keep weight off is not only affected by what you eat or how active you are. Genetics, metabolism, hormonal imbalance, stress, mental health, and environment may all play a role as well. Here are 10 effective ways to help you lose weight and keep it off!
1. Set realistic goals. Break down larger goals into smaller parts so that you can see your progress and work your way up.
2. Eat real food. Crowd out processed, packaged foods that are filled with sugar, dyes, additives, and preservatives by adding in a variety of fresh, whole foods into your diet, such as lean meats, plant-based proteins, whole grains, non-starchy vegetables, and healthy fats.
3. Improve gut health. If the balance between healthy and unhealthy bacteria is off, it can lead to disease, weight gain, intestinal issues, and other problems. Incorporating more foods that are fermented (such as sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, or kefir), high in fiber (beans, legumes, whole grains, and fruit), or rich in prebiotics (apples, artichokes, asparagus, and oats) can increase levels of healthy bacteria. Taking a daily probiotic can also support better gut health.
4. Know trigger foods. Too much inflammation can stimulate the body to store fat rather than burn it, which can lead to weight gain. There are tests that can help identify these issues, but making changes to your diet to reduce common triggers such as gluten, sugar, or dairy, can be beneficial as well.
5. Be intentional about eating. Create a weekly meal plan that outlines what you will eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Prep meals ahead of time. Keep healthy snacks like nuts or whole fruit around to keep you energized. Pay attention to your body and eat when you are hungry, rather than unconsciously grazing when you are bored, thirsty, or stressed.
6. Find a nutritional strategy that works for you. You want to find a nutritional strategy where you are eating consistently good versus occasionally perfect. Aim for 80% of your meals and snacks to be in line with getting you to your weight loss goals, and allow for 20% to be foods you enjoy. Many people also find that intermittent fasting can be an effective approach to weight loss.
7. Address underlying conditions that are hindering progress. Hormonal imbalances, thyroid disorders, metabolic conditions, and other issues can contribute to weight gain or weight loss resistance. You may need medication to help regulate these conditions and work in conjunction with other weight loss efforts, such as changes in your diet, physical activity, and stress levels.
8. Focus on stress management. Your mental state affects your health. When you are not in a good place, it puts stress on your body, lowers your immune system, and makes it more difficult to commit to healthy lifestyle choices.
9. Prioritize sleep. Your body needs time to rest and recharge, and this comes with a good night’s rest. Sleep can help alleviate stress and energize your body for the next day. Getting eight to nine hours of restful sleep per night can support weight loss, metabolism, and heart health.
10. Have fun being active. Physical activity is an important part of weight loss, but many people see it as a chore rather than a fun way to improve your health. Find activities that keep your body moving but also keep you engaged. This could include things like cardio, weight training, Pilates, biking, power walking, or a fitness class.
Take Back Control of Your Weight Loss Journey! Dr. Tracy Page at the Wisconsin Institute of Functional Medicine works closely with you to create clear, simple, actionable steps that take the guesswork out of weight loss. Plans are customized to your individual makeup, existing medical conditions, fitness level, lifestyle, and goals. Learn more about how functional medicine can make a positive difference in your health by listening to Dr. Page’s podcast and scheduling an appointment to discuss medical weight loss options. Office Phone: (920) 968-9311 or find Dr. Page at WisconsinFunctionalMed.com.