Seven-day summer slim down
By Wendy M. Henrichs
Board certified chiropractic pediatrician and nutrition counselor
Has staying at home messed with your diet and exercise routines, adding inches to your waistline? Then it may be time to reboot and get yourself back on track. Being overweight or obese is one of the comorbidities associated with increased risk for hospitalization from COVID-19. Remember that your diet or what you eat contributes 80% to attaining and maintaining a healthy weight. Exercise is very important as well, but only 20% of the equation, when it comes to slimming down or being fit. Even when you exercise the recommended 150 minutes weekly, you cannot exercise away what you put on your fork. These slim down strategies will not only trim your waistline, but also reduce inflammation and lower your risk for illness and disease.
Beef up your metabolism with protein
Eating more protein is an easy way to increase your metabolism which means you will burn more fat. Protein is used for building and repairing muscle tissue, among other things and is not stored as fat. Protein also keeps you satisfied longer and helps in blood sugar regulation. Enjoy 4-6 servings of protein daily with EVERY meal and snack. Protein is found in fish, chicken, beef, pork, wild game, eggs and cheese. If you are vegan or vegetarian you can get adequate protein from legumes, nuts, and some high protein grains.
Hydrate, then repeat
If you are not drinking half of your bodyweight in ounces of water every day, then you are missing out on a fool proof way to increase your metabolism and rid yourself of fat. Water is an essential nutrient that makes up about 70% of our body weight. Start drinking water upon rising and continue throughout the day. You will have to take more bathroom breaks at first, but your body will adapt to the increase in water and you will not be running to the bathroom every hour. Add the juice of half a lemon to your first glass of water upon rising for an added benefit.
Sugar does not sweeten your waistline
Consuming added sugar will almost always be stored as fat. Not only that, but sugar is a significant contributor to inflammation which stresses your immune system. A way to avoid added sugar is to eat whole foods such as wild caught fish, organic chicken and meats, organic fruits, and vegetables, and avoid anything in a box or package. Remember to read the labels which will tell you how much added sugar is in the item. If you feel like something sweet try fruits such as apples, pears, watermelon, blueberries, raspberries or blackberries. A piece of extra dark chocolate can also satisfy a sweet craving.
Be voracious with veggies
Green leafy vegetables and veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, onions, turnips, radishes and leeks are non-starchy vegetables that support natural detoxification. These veggies and greens are low in calories and high in fiber which will help you lose fat and eliminate waste through your bowels. They will also support natural detoxification which will help your gut work more efficiently leading to an increased ability to burn fat. Improving gut function will also improve your immune function. Enjoy 7-10 half-cup servings of raw or steamed veggies every day to whittle your waist and boost immunity.
Go light on starch
Starchy foods such as rice, corn, potatoes, pasta, breads and cereals are readily converted to sugar. If we do not need to use those sugars for energy or to replenish our muscle glycogen after exercising, it will be stored as fat. Going starch free or measuring your starchy foods is a way to train your body to use stored fat as energy. A good rule of thumb is half-cup of rice, pasta or other grain, and potatoes. You will be surprised how little it is when you measure it. For cereals and granola, read the label as the serving size is usually one-quarter to one-third cup. If you want to trim down quickly, omit all starch for a week to 10 days. Another option is starch free four to five days out of seven. Whatever option you choose, opt for no more than one to two servings of starch daily to enjoy a slimmer you.
Banish the booze
If you are one who enjoys a glass of wine with dinner or an evening cocktail, this could be a contributor to extra inches on your waistline. The sugars from alcohol are typically stored as fat. Evening noshing often accompanies the cocktail or glass of wine and can lead to significant additional calorie intake. Your metabolism is at its lowest point in the evening so giving up alcohol for a short time and the snacking that may come with it could have a significant effect on your waistline. Avoiding alcohol will also remove an added stress on your body and improve your ability to fight infection and disease.
Brush away snacking
Brushing your teeth as a weight control strategy might sound a bit crazy, but it works. It will prevent you from eating and snacking after your evening meal when your metabolism is at its lowest point. Post-dinner snacking is a big contributor to sneaky weight gain. You will be surprised to see your waistline shrink just from eliminating this common source of stored fat.
There has never been a better time to make your health and wellbeing a priority. So, if staying at home has messed with your diet and exercise routines follow these slim down strategies for at least seven days and enjoy a healthier and slimmer you. Remember, it is never too late to make a shift in health.
Dr. Wendy Henrichs provides comprehensive chiropractic care at Timber Land Chiropractic in Rhinelander. For a complimentary chiropractic, nutrition or lifestyle counseling consultation, visit TimberlandChiropractic.com, Facebook, Instagram @drwendyhenrichs, LinkedIn, or call 715-362-4852.