If your struggling with weight loss or weight issues, there may be some form of underlying metabolic challenge that’s causing you to store more body fat. But, before you go see a functional medicine practitioner, get blood work, take any meds, you can do these three tips. They can have a significant impact on helping you lose extra body fat.
1) Proper Levels of Physical Activity
We have become more sedentary, even though there’s more gyms opened up than ever before, we still are a very sedentary society. So get outside, get active, especially when it’s cold out. Get outside and get active. It helps you burn a lot of calories.
If you’re already an exerciser and you’re exercising five, six, seven days a week and you’re struggling with body fat, you have an underlying metabolic problem. I would recommend two things, seek out a functional medicine practitioner like myself to uncover what that underlying metabolic condition is, and two, work with somebody who understands physical activity and exercise. I see a lot of people who exercise 60, 70 minutes on a treadmill every day but can’t lose weight. And one of the things is they may be doing incorrectly is doing their cardio training at a heart rate that isn’t conducive to fat loss.
Work with somebody who really understands physical activity and exercise like a personal trainer who’s educated in this stuff to help you with your workout program. But if you’re not exercising, make a commitment to yourself to increase your physical activity and shoot for maybe 20% increased physical activity and exercise over the coming months. So I recommend that you do something physical 20 to 30 minutes at a minimum, every day to help maintain health and vitality. So if you’re not doing that already, start getting that done.
2) Time Restricted Eating
Now, when people ask me what should they eat to lose weight, I always say the best thing to do is eat whole food, real food, as often as possible. Decrease the amount of processed foods. If it comes in a bag, if it comes in a box, it’s got more than three or four ingredients, maybe skip that and go for something that’s as close to its natural state, as close to the way it came out of the ground, off the tree, off the plant, out of the water, or how it walked the earth. Eat more whole food, eat less processed food.
But for today’s tip, the key thing is to try time-restricted eating. Shorten your eating window to about six to eight hours per day. So you eat your first meal, the next meal, and your last meal of the day within a six to eight hour window. Then you’ve got this big period of time where your body is not taking in food. It’s a fasted state. And what’s going to happen is your body’s going to start to have to burn off some of those fat stores that you have for energy. Now, this isn’t the same as dieting necessarily or intermittent fasting. Time restricted eating is a little bit different. Time-restricted eating means we’re eating in a tight window, and then we have a long period of fast. And so this is probably the number-one tip that I tell people to start focusing on because I just think we eat too much and too often, and that creates a problem.
3) Improve Your Sleep
And I know this sounds like how’s that going to help me with fat loss? But quality and quantity of sleep is critically important for proper thyroid physiology and proper metabolism, so protect your sleep. Shoot for about seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. If you have problems with getting to sleep or staying asleep, see a functional medicine practitioner to help you uncover what’s causing your disrupted sleep. If you’re just a person who varies their sleep cycles, some days you go to bed at 1:00 in the morning, some days you go to bed at 11:00 pm, set a sleep schedule. Every night go to bed at 10:00, every night you go to bed at 11:00, whatever it is, set that schedule, and protect it. Then, get up in the same time every day. Get used to a set schedule of sleep. Black your eyes out with an eye cover. Black the room out, make it cool, make it cold, so that you have a chance of having a better quality of sleep.
One of the last tips to improve sleep; try mouth taping. I know it sounds funny but a piece of tape over your mouth can help encourage your mouth to stay shut. It improves nasal breathing, which means it improves oxygenation to your brain, and this can help you lose body fat. When you mouth breathe through the night, it creates a state of hypoxia, it disrupts sleeping. It creates a danger signal in your brain. It causes downregulation of your thyroid hormone, it disrupts your sleep. This is one of the most simple tips to improve your sleep quality and to feel more energy, more recharged, and stimulate proper metabolism.