Nothing in this article is meant to be medical advice. Please consult your own healthcare provider. 

Some info below taken from: www.health.harvard.edu/

www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/8-principles-of-low-glycemic-eating

Oh! The tribulations of maintaining weight loss.

According to Harvard Medical School (www.health.harvard.edu/), “Eventually everyone’s weight loss slows down and levels off. This isn’t because your weight-loss plan isn’t working. Rather, it’s because your body has adapted by reducing your metabolism to support the decreased energy needs of your newer, smaller body size…”

Harvard Medical School also tells us that “…exercise is not the most effective approach for losing weight in the first place…”  Yet, it’s very important in keeping weight off, and, of course, is essential in overall wellness.

One way exercise helps keep weight off is by increasing that slowed metabolism. To keep our metabolic furnaces burning, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends aiming for more than 250 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week, plus two strength training sessions at least 48 hours apart.

Do the math and divide that 250 minutes up into manageable chunks of time. And recall that even 10-minute sessions can provide benefits if undertaken regularly and repetitively.

By the way, note that key phrase, “moderate aerobic activity.” As we’ve discussed many times in this column, walking is one of the best ways to achieve this goal.

For some of us, the rarefied atmosphere of Idyllwild offers us some extra challenges. Meeting these challenges should definitely be discussed with your healthcare provider.

Rather than maintaining healthy weight long-term by counting calories, which many of us hate doing and which gets old fast, use the new skills you’ve learned to support weight loss in the first place. Eat healthful, nutritious foods that fill you up. Check out a low-glycemic eating plan, not only for folk with diabetes. According to Harvard’s “8 principles of low-glycemic eating” (www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/8-principles-of-low-glycemic-eating), “A low-glycemic diet can help you control your weight by minimizing spikes in your blood sugar and insulin levels ... Low-glycemic diets have also been linked to reduced risks for cancer, heart disease, and other conditions.”

Plus, hunger is satisfied for longer periods of time with nutritious, often low-calorie, low-glycemic foods. We want to avoid getting so hungry that we go rampaging off on a binge.

Change the ecology of your kitchen; rid it of foods with “empty calories,” foods that are calorie dense but offer little nutritional value. If it’s not within easy reach, you’re less likely to binge on it. Fill that void in the cupboard and fridge with foods you like but meet the criteria of being nutritious and not high-calorie.

Continue that new habit of slowing the pace of eating each meal, mindfully enjoying the texture and taste of each bite. Medical science tells us that it takes about 20 minutes for our brains to register that we are full or satisfied. Imagine how many calories we can get down our gullets in 20 minutes of fast eating. (Don’t try this at home, by the way.)

Health: a long-term commitment.

Callie Wight is a California state-licensed registered nurse with a Master of Arts in psychology.

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