Mon | Dec 11, 2023

Cracking the weight-loss code

Published:Wednesday | November 1, 2023 | 12:05 AMKeisha Hill/Senior Gleaner Writer

THERE ARE many ways you can lose weight – from making small changes to what you eat and drink to finding more support. If you are overweight, losing weight will give you more energy and help to reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Losing weight and keeping it off is a challenge and a long-term struggle for many people. According to Moses Chybar, health and wellness coach, it is no wonder quick-fix approaches and products are so alluring. But most people find lasting change, he said, from making mindful, sustainable changes to their lifestyle and eating habits.

“Losing weight and keeping it off is not just about what you are eating and how much. It is about striking a balance between healthy eating, exercise and lifestyle habits that keep you energised and well,” Chybar said.

In the pursuit of weight loss, it is easy to get caught up in the allure of extreme diets promising rapid results. However, the catch, he said, is that they are often unsustainable and can wreak havoc on your body.

“Our bodies thrive on balance, and extreme measures disrupt that harmony. When you restrict certain food groups or drastically cut your caloric intake, your body goes into survival mode, slowing down your metabolism and holding on to fat reserves,” Chybar said.

Hunger can often get in the way of even the best weight-loss plan, and that is normal. When you cut calories, your body cries out for more. To better satisfy your appetite, replace processed carbohydrates that your body burns through quickly with foods that provide longer-lasting energy.

“Moderation is like the compass that guides you towards lasting and sustainable weight loss. It is not about depriving yourself, but about making mindful choices that nourish your body and soul. Instead of banishing your favourite treats, enjoy them in moderation. This not only prevents feelings of deprivation, but also helps you maintain a healthy relationship with food,” Chybar said.

Dr Rivane Chybar Virgo, medical doctor and health and wellness coach, said the key to sustainable weight loss lies in making lifestyle changes that you can stick to in the long run.

“Extreme approaches may yield quick results, but they are rarely maintainable. By embracing moderation, you are setting yourself up for success beyond the scale. You can learn to navigate social events, holidays, and daily cravings without feeling deprived,” Dr Chybar Virgo said.

She said to achieve effective weight loss you can begin with small, specific goals that are realistic, then build on them.

“For instance, if you drink soda every day, a first step could be drinking it only every other day. Or if you are not active, start taking a 10- to 15-minute walk three times a week. Concentrate on the choices you make versus the pounds you lose. Allow yourself to feel good about each positive step you take, or small goal you achieve,” she said.

The good thing, she said, is that you do not have to go on your weight-loss journey alone. You can ask family members and friends for support, especially when you are feeling discouraged. If you have a friend with similar goals, try working together to help keep each other motivated and on track.

For more information on how to lose weight in a holistic way, contact: