How has your diet and exercise routine held up this summer? Have you overindulged on ice cream, or avoided the gym in favor of more summer-friendly activities? If so, don’t fret. To get back on track with your weight loss goals, try these healthy lifestyle habits from Vancouver plastic surgeon Dr. Eric Pugash:
Plan Your Meals
Not having a plan is a recipe (no pun intended) for overeating. Think about the nights that you don’t have anything planned for dinner and end up cruising through the drive-thru or picking up a pizza on the fly.
Planning your meals takes the guesswork out of eating and helps you predict your caloric intake ahead of time. Sit down on a Sunday afternoon and list out breakfasts, lunches and dinners for the upcoming week. From that menu, make a grocery list of foods you’ll need for each meal – and don’t forget about buying healthy snacks to enjoy in between.
Notice that your meal plan should include breakfasts. A common characteristic of people who have achieved and maintained significant weight loss is that they eat breakfast regularly. Eating a well-balanced morning meal (that includes fruits/veggies, protein and whole grains) may reduce hunger for the rest of the day and minimize the chance of overindulging.
Find an Exercise You Enjoy
It’s simple: you’re more likely to exercise regularly if you like the activity. If you’re unhappy with your current exercise routine, sample other workouts until you find one that you enjoy. Shape magazine recommends high-intensity interval training (a quick but intense cardio workout), circuit-style programs like CrossFit or a boutique fitness studio with small group training for extra attention and accountability. Pure Barre, a combination of dance, yoga and Pilates, is also becoming more popular.
Studies have shown that not getting enough sleep can be detrimental to your diet. Lack of rest can make you hungrier the next day and cause you to eat fatty, high-calorie foods in bigger portions. Women’s Health magazine recommends sleeping seven to eight hours a night. The quality of your sleep is also important. Fitful sleep can make it harder for your body to recover from exercise, and may make you prone to an injury. Sleeping in a dark room will boost melatonin production, which can increase calorie and fat burn.
Feeling stressed can cause you to make bad dietary decisions and overeat to cope with the emotions. Stress causes the body to release a surge of cortisol, a hormone that can make you very hungry and cause you to crave sweet, salty and high-fat foods. Cortisol also encourages your body to store fat.
To manage your stress, get your heart pumping with vigorous exercise. Exercise will help your blood circulation flush out cortisol. Also, cut back on caffeine and make sure you’re getting enough sleep (see above).
Can Cosmetic Surgery Help?
Cosmetic surgery procedures like liposuction, tummy tuck and mommy makeover are not meant to help you lose weight. However, they are excellent methods to refine your body’s curves and contours after you’ve reached your goal weight (or are within close range of it). If you’d like more information about body contouring procedures, please contact Dr. Pugash today. Call our practice at (604) 522-5199.