The weight management marathon—it takes more than just a good pair of tennis shoes
Weight management is tough…really tough. In fact, there’s an unfortunate misconception that changing just one thing in your lifestyle can make all the difference and lead to lasting results. However, a growing consensus shows that it’s a combination of lifestyle choices and healthy habits that make the biggest impact on weight management. For instance, not getting enough sleep every night may sabotage your best weight management efforts.1 But, even if you are getting enough sleep, too much daily stress, a poorly running digestive system or even an imbalance in your gut microflora can also be a prime suspect in the weight management mystery.
Here’s a different way to look at weight management–when embarking on your journey, focus on being the healthiest version of yourself and setting realistic goals. For instance, if you’re struggling with gut health—make changes. According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, they noted “the gut microbiota is an environmental factor which influences whole-body metabolism by affecting energy balance but also gut barrier function, which integrate peripheral and central food intake regulatory signals and thereby increase body weight.”2 They also went on to explain how probiotics can be beneficial in maintaining gut health and contributing to overall weight management. For optimal gut health, choose a high-quality probiotic such as Healthy Probiotic. This National Enzyme Company proprietary blend contains 10 billion colony forming units (CFU) with bacteria that are carefully selected to not only increase the efficacy of the probiotic supplement, but to safely maintain flora balance.
Overall digestion (or lack thereof) can also play an integral role in weight management. If you’re body isn’t breaking down food into useable components effectively, then you may be unwittingly sabotaging a healthy diet and weight management efforts. Every day, your digestive system takes the food you eat and breaks it down into useable nutrients, which the body uses for energy. If your body is struggling to complete this process, due to factors such as age, food intolerances or a major shift in diet (think high-protein diets), then you may not have the nutrients to fuel your body when you are ready to walk those two miles on your lunch break. Digestive enzymes can help! Since high-protein diets are a favorite weight management “go to,” it’s important to realize that the body often struggles to break down large quantities of proteins, which are complex and difficult to digest molecules. Undigested proteins can end up in your colon, causing all sorts of digestive discomfort such as gas, bloating and constipation. An effective digestive enzyme supplement such as BioCore® Optimum Complete, can help the body break down proteins, fats and carbohydrates, thereby supporting overall energy and metabolism.
Even dietary fiber can be a powerful ally, or an even bigger enemy (if you’re not getting the recommended daily allowance.) A study published in the National Library of Medicine found a strong correlation between high dietary fiber intake and healthy body composition.3 It also went on to say that average dietary fiber intake among Americans is roughly half of the recommended daily amount and even less if you’re a high-protein dieter. Fiber intake can aid in weight management by promoting satiation, decreasing absorption of macronutrients, and also by altering secretion of gut hormones.4 Adding fiber with functional foods like drink mixes or nutrition bars is an excellent way to get your recommended daily allowance effortlessly (not everyone wants to eat beans daily).
Lastly, it’s important to realize that weight management isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. And if you’ve ever competed in a marathon, you know that the trick is to keep a steady pace, realizing that you can’t accomplish your goal if you don’t actually make it to the finish line. And, just like how you wouldn’t show up to a lengthy marathon without months/years of preparation, the proper attire or enough water to make it until the last few yards, the same principles apply to the weight management journey. A healthy, prepared body which has everything it needs, is more likely to be successful in anything it does—including weight management. Unlike the claims of many weight loss products advertised in our modern society, there is no quick fix, or easy solution. It requires making many changes, with a focus on overall health and long-term success. The sky is the limit for what a healthy body can accomplish…slow down, stress less, focus on your overall health—then watch how weight management will become a welcome side-effect.
1. Patel SR, Hu FB. Short sleep duration and weight gain: a systematic review. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008; 16:643-53.
2. Kobyliak, Nazarii et al. “Probiotics in Prevention and Treatment of Obesity: A Critical View.” Nutrition & Metabolism 13 (2016): 14. PMC. Web. 11 June 2017.