The New Year is approaching and if you’re like most of us, you’re thinking of resolutions and how you want to improve in 2022. Weight management is often at the top of the list. This year, instead of giving up on your goals two weeks in, try implementing these study-proven strategies to help you stay on track and achieve weight management success.
- Snooze and Lose – In a 16-year Harvard study, scientists found that people who slept for 5 hours or less a night were 32 percent more likely to gain major pounds than those who slept a full 7 hours. Although “major” was defined as 33 pounds, the average increase was 2 pounds a year, a gain that can quickly add up over time.
- Walk the Weight Off – Don’t want to spend money joining a gym? Take over the family dog walking duties and you may see weight loss that rivals what you could achieve through a program. Walking 20 minutes per day, 5 days a week produced an average weight loss of 14 pounds for participants in a University of Missouri-Columbia study.
- Whey to Drop Weight – To lose weight, you need to cut back on certain foods—but not dairy. According to a Canadian study, milk and other dairy products can help people slim down and build muscle. The study found that heavy people who exercised every day and followed a high-protein, high-dairy (and calorie-restricted) diet for 16 weeks lost about 10 pounds of fat and gained 1 1/2 pounds of muscle. Researchers suggest milk may help regulate appetite, and whey protein can activate muscle growth.
- Cut the Carbs – Eating a diet that’s low in carbs, not fats, is one of the best ways to lose weight. In a United Arab Emirates study, people who followed a low-carb diet had lower body weights, insulin levels, and triglyceride levels than those who went with a low-fat diet. And a European study that tracked nearly 90,000 people for several years found that participants with a low fat intake had the same risk of being overweight as those who ate higher amounts of fat. But, if you boost your fat intake, make sure you adjust your calories and physical activity accordingly.
- Pack on Protein – Research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition confirms that people who follow high-protein diets may have more success losing weight than those who eat less protein and more carbohydrates. You may lose more weight on a high-protein diet because your body spends more energy processing dietary protein than it does carbohydrates. Protein also helps you feel full longer and helps stabilize your blood sugar so you don’t crave sweets.