The holiday season is well under way and the delicious, rich foods are bountiful! Do you want to limit weight gain and get a head start on your weight loss goals for 2013? Here are a few tips to help jump start your journey to a thinner, healthier you!

Increase protein, decrease carbohydrates, and choose healthy fats – Your body digests and processes protein, fats and carbs differently. Think of a campfire. Carbs act similarly to to the kindling – it burns fast and hot, often times leaving a person hungry just a couple of hours after eating. High quality protein and healthy fats act similarly to the big logs that burn for hours – they stabilize a person’s blood sugar and provide long-lasting satiety.

Don’t skip meals – When a person skips meals regularly with the intention of losing weight, they usually end up frustrated to see that they not only don’t lose weight but often times gain weight! Skipping meals tells your body that you are in starvation mode and that you need to hold onto fat stores in the event that you are headed into a period of famine. This process often times disrupts thyroid function, making it even more difficult to lose weight. We recommend that you eat regular, small, healthy, nutrient-packed meals. Also, you won’t find yourself binging from being overly hungry.

Movement – Moving your body is an essential part of any successful weight loss program. It is most helpful to combine stretching/strengthening exercises with exercises that raise your heart rate. We find that it is crucial to find activities that you truly enjoy! Activities can range from going on walks or hikes with some friends to participating in a fitness class at a local gym. Find what you LOVE to do and you’ll find you actually look forward to exercising!

Stay hydrated – Often times, people think they are hungry when in reality they are simply dehydrated. We recommend that you drink 1/2 of your body weight in ounces of water every day! For example, if you weigh 150 lbs, you should be drinking about 75 ounces of water a day, which equates to about 4 and a half pint-sized glasses of water.

Detoxify – If you are dedicated to losing weight, consider planning for a cleanse after the holidays. Often times, by detoxifying the liver and digestive system, it enables your body to process and metabolize food more efficiently. Dr. Mercer develops individualized detox programs specific for her patients’ needs.

Stress Management – It is almost impossible to avoid stressors these days; however, if a person experiences a great deal of stress that isn’t managed, it can wreak havoc on their cortisol levels, thus making it more difficult to lose weight.

Lab assessments – Consider getting a lab assessment to determine if there is a biological reason why you gain weight easily and find it difficult to lose weight.

Dr. Katie Mercer

Dr. Katie Mercer

Naturopathic Doctor

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