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The top five weight loss tips everyone should know

There's no doubt that losing weight can be a difficult journey. Weight Loss Specialist Dr. Sandy Van is here to share 5 tips to help you lose weight that you probably didn't think about. 

Lose the scale

If you're focusing on the scale alone, it makes long term weight loss extremely difficult. Focusing on other measurable outcomes like mood, body image satisfaction, energy, sleep quality, day to day function, and repairing her relationship with food are helpful areas to gauge. Also take the time to focus on your improvement!

Sleep

Getting 7-8 hours of quality sleep is key. Research shows that anything less than 6 hours can increase hunger hormones, stress hormones and make cravings more difficult to control. Simple tips include getting soft lighting, activating blue light filters on screens, using blue light filter glasses in the evening, or avoiding screen time all together 1-2 hours before bedtime.

Tracking food intake

Start tracking your food intake. Are more calories sneaking back in? It’s also nice to have a solid meal prep list to fall back on for a reset phase. If you have trouble eating impulsively, write down what you value about being leaner and reminding yourself that you shouldn't be doing it. Creating a Pinterest board or using a mini whiteboard to remind yourself is good too. 

TV time

This is an easy way to start impulse eating. Assess the setting of when you’re most vulnerable to eating impulsively - for many, this means nighttime television watching. Time and time again, one might have paired television, nighttime, the couch with tasty foods. These foods are so reinforcing that the brain starts to the environment as a predictor for tasty treats. Try changing up the high risk environment; in the case of the evening ritual - early bedtime, reading, going for a walk, doing a puzzle etc.

Create a supportive food environment 

Your brain is always making connections about the environment you’re in when you have tasty food as a way for it to predict when to nudge you to have that food again. Therefore, making the home or work a place that you associate with hyperpalatable food can be risky. Reserve hyper palatable food for outside occasions, making you less vulnerable to overeating day to day.