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Lifestyle Changes for Long-Term Weight Loss

By Griffin Hospital on 8/2/2016

For most people, losing weight is hard enough - and keeping it off is even harder. Griffin Hospital offers a variety of weight loss programs - from physician support to bariatric surgery - to help guide and support you through the weight management and weight loss process.

Here are a few tips to help you manage your weight, and keep the pounds off in the long run.

  1. Keep track of what you eat. While it’s time consuming to measure portions (and, better yet, keep a diary of what you eat each day), this habit helps you manage how much you eat and when. It also allows you to reflect on what you ate each day and address bad habits.
  2. Take stock of your prescriptions. Certain prescriptions, like steroids (which as commonly used to treat asthma and other inflammatory conditions) and antidepressants, can make you gain weight or make it difficult to lose weight. If you are concerned about weight gain related to prescription medications, talk to your doctor about ways to manage your weight while on medication.
  3. Exercise. This may seem obvious, but exercise plays an important role in weight management. When you’re exercising regularly, you will feel better and be less tempted to cheat. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. Make sure you incorporate strength training along with aerobic exercise (walking, swimming, running), as it boosts body metabolism for longer periods of time following exercise.
  4. Don’t skip breakfast. Breakfast jump-starts your metabolism every day, so it’s important to eat within an hour of waking up. Studies have linked eating breakfast to good health, including better memory and concentration, lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, and lower chances of getting diabetes, heart disease, and being overweight. Choose options with protein, such as eggs, yogurt and lean meats, to sustain your energy levels throughout the morning.
  5. Limit alcohol. While there’s nothing wrong with an occasional drink, habitual alcohol consumption can cause you to consume more calories than you think each week. For example, a 5-ounce glass of wine contains about 120 calories, while a cocktail could have up to 400. If you do drink, choose low-calorie options such as champagne, wine spritzer or vodka with seltzer and lime.
  6. Sleep. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation can lead to increased levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that can stimulate the appetite. Most people need about seven hours a sleep a night to feel well-rested and combat this reaction.

For more information about weight loss and other health information, contact your primary care physician. If you don’t have a physician, contact Griffin Faculty Physicians at (203) 732-7325 and we would be happy to find you a primary care physicians that meets your needs.

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