Being overweight can lead to many health complications, including heart disease, diabetes and an increased risk of stroke. We’ve spoken to nutritionist Rose Holmes, education and training manager at Rio Health, to get her top tips on how to manage our weight naturally.
How important is it to control our weight?
“Weight management is very important since being overweight or obese can negatively impact so many aspects of health. Weight management can be challenging for many individuals because there are a number of other factors which may complicate ability to maintain optimal weight. Both diet and lifestyle play important roles in weight management, as does emotional/mental/spiritual health. This can make it difficult to work out reasons for an individual’s perceived reduced ability to maintain optimal weight,” explains Rose.
What steps can we take to manage our weight, in a healthy, natural way?
“Natural weight management must involve dietary and lifestyle choices as well as positive mental/emotional attitude toward the chosen goal. It is important to have that goal—it might be to fit a specific size dress or jeans, it might be to look great for your own or your child’s wedding, or it might be to enable you to run that charity race you signed up for. Having a goal is the first step.
“Learning ways to achieve it is the next step. And monitoring progress is important. It is also essential not to become despondent if weight loss doesn’t happen at the speed you would like it to happen. Sticking to the decided action plan is important but don’t beat yourself up if you have a momentary weakness for something you know is not on the plan, or you want to go to that party celebration instead of the gym one Sunday morning. Just hop straight back on track as soon as you can.
“Most of us already know which foods are healthy and which are not. However, to clear up a common misconception: diet brands are not always the healthiest choices. Opt for plenty of simply cooked steamed or raw vegetables, limited amounts of fruit (whole, not juice), lean chicken and oily fish and limit the starchy, high carb foods. Avoid sugar and high fat dairy foods and try to ensure good blood sugar control.
“Ensure regular exercise—both cardio and weights if possible. Start with swimming, fast walking, cycling or yoga if you are new to exercising and seek the help of gym staff in choosing a suitable program of exercise.
“My top tip is don’t think that you are denying yourself the eating of a piece of that favourite cake. Instead think that you are just deferring eating it until another day—as far in the future as you can manage.”
Are there any supplements that can help?
“Ensuring good but gentle detox is important during weight loss—both as an aid to weight loss and to deal with the toxins that store in fat tissue and are released during fat loss. Chlorophyll is an excellent way to detox. Barley Grass offers an excellent source of chlorophyll that is great for detox, as well as being highly nutritive and alkalising.
“Guaraná is another great choice to aid weight loss. Rich in guaranine, a caffeine like compound, guaraná may help boost energy without the fluctuations in energy associated with caffeine. As a bonus, guaraná may also help reduce mental fatigue and maintain mental awareness.
“Yerba maté is rich in another caffeine-like compound, mateine, which has been much in the media recently as footballers have been using yerba maté as a great pick-me-up and gives a more sustained energy boost than caffeine and energy drinks. This green leaf tea may help also to relieve stress, reduce blood sugar and suppress appetite. It is a useful addition to many protocols addressing weight, blood sugar dysregulation, stress and fatigue.”