Fight temptation with these stay slim tactics

As we age, it can be harder to lose weight. We all know to fill up on greens and go easy on comfort foods like cake and cookes, but if you tend to pack on the pounds over winter, naturopathic doctor Sherry Torkos, author of Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine has fresh tips for avoiding winter weight gain.

Choose Well

  • Have a full glass of water before your meal. It fills the stomach briefly and makes you feel fuller, so you stop eating sooner.
  • Eat slowly. Give your stomach a chance to send a message to your brain that you are full.
  • Choose sweet potatoes over mashed potatoes. They are higher in fibre and have a lower glycemic index.
  • Drink green tea after dinner. It aids digestion, boosts metabolism and is a good source of antioxidants. Green tea is calorie-free (although some green tea products may have added calories).

Use Supplements

  • Fibre- most of us don’t get enough in our diet. Look for a “weight management” supplement that contains a blend of soluble fibres, which, like most dietary fibre, will help you feel full so that you are less likely to overeat. Soluble fibre stabilizes blood sugar levels, important for controlling hunger and appetite. Weight Management by feMED and ChiaNutra by Webber Naturals are good sources of soluble fibre. Both are available at supermarkets and drugstores.
  • Fish oil supplements are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help fight fat by increasing fat oxidation.

Feed Your Brain

  • A little sunshine will encourage the release of serotonin in our brains, which may help calm food cravings. Studies have found that our emotional state can have a direct effect on our weight. A quick walk can also boost mood and help with weight loss.

Stay Active

  • Don’t hibernate. Take a brisk walk outdoors.
  • Stair climbing and mall walking are great for those days when it is just too cold.
  • To build the lean muscle important for overall health as we age, try this indoor workout that requires no equipment: march on the spot for 10 minutes; follow with 20 leg lunges, 20 push-ups and 20 squats; and then repeat this sequence twice (15 minutes). These exercises work multiple muscle groups so you can make the most of your efforts.
  • Spend five minutes stretching from top to bottom. This will also ease the stress and tension in your muscles.

Sleep Enough

  • According to Torkos, eight hours of sleep is optimal. “Getting less than that can seriously put you at risk of weight gain but also increases risk of heart disease,” she adds. Lack of sleep can increase levels of a hormone called ghrelin, which increases appetite. Levels of another hormone called leptin, which helps signal when we are full, are lowered when we are sleep-deprived. Metabolism also slows when you go without adequate sleep. “The feelings of fatigue and hunger are similar and can be confused – we tend to eat when we’re actually sleepy because we think fatigue is a sign of hunger,” she says. Leaving only five or six hours for sleep may make you feel stressed and interfere with your ability to fall asleep.