Diet the right way
Are your New Year’s resolutions falling by the wayside already? Maybe you’ve not quite managed to stick to your diet, or you’re confused about what you should be eating. Dr. Nas Al Jafari, Consultant at Intercare Wellness Abu Dhabi, gives us his insight and top tips on how to lose weight, in a healthy manner this New Year.
“The reason why your previous January weight loss resolutions have failed is that the advice was most likely based on fuzzy science (or no science at all). The common assumption that all you need to do to lose weight is ‘eat less’ or ‘burn more’ calories and voila, just doesn’t hold true. The body is far more complex than we give it credit for.
Our weight is under hormonal control. What you actually need to do is regain control of your hormones, and not your calories. This means making changes above and beyond just simple calorie reduction. All aspects of our lifestyle are interlinked through our hormones, therefore addressing nutrition alone usually only yields limited results. You should aim to achieve all 4 pillars of good health: i) Eating well ii) Sleeping Well iii) De-stressing well and iv) Moving Well” Dr. Nas Al Jafari.
Focus on eating whole foods. Avoid anything with a food label. A general rule of thumb, if it didn’t exist 100 years ago then you probably shouldn’t be eating it.
Eat 2-to-3 meals a day of equal size portions. If you’re following the rule of ‘whole foods’ then you should eat until you’re satisfied: you want to avoid snacking, this will cause hormone imbalances.
Don’t count calories. They don’t matter (if you’re following rule no.1).
Eat as diverse a range of vegetables a possible. As well as being nutrient-packed, the fiber is what feeds your gut bacteria and improves the richness of your microbiome. The healthier your microbiome, the more balanced your hormones will be.
Consume additional fiber (pre-biotics) in the form of chia seeds or flax seeds or an equivalent. Similarly, consume a high quality multi-strain probiotic.
Consume your food during daylight hours or leave 4 hours between eating and going to bed. The body is primed eat during the day and rest after sunset, and this includes your gut.
Have at least a 12 hour fasting window during your day (which can be during sleep too!). This helps bring your Insulin in check, otherwise known as your fat-storing hormone.
Incorporate mindfulness exercises and relaxation to your daily routine. This will help keep the dreaded Cortisol (stress hormone) in check.
Obtain 7 to 8 hours of good quality sleep per night. Poor sleep makes us hungry and less energy efficient.
Regular exercise will help balance your hormones, but don’t fall in to the trap of over-training. This will wreak havoc with your cortisol, therefore holding on to the central fat you’re so desperately tying to lose.
Dr. Nas Al-Jafari, is Family Medical Consultant at Intercare Health Centre, Al Marina, Abu Dhabi. For appointments, please call 02 639 0080.
*Featured image: www.everydayhealth.com