Weight wobbles are a sign of the season for the genetically compromised ones among us! We intuitively feel the urge to be warm and protected, hence the cravings for comfort food, hot drinks and other survival tools that build fat as protection against the cold. If we happen to be in a snowstorm, the built-in pantry of fat will protect us and provide fuel to endure the cold. This is an ancient human survival response.
However, the chances of ending up in a blizzard for days are extremely slim, and we end the winter with additional muffin tops and comfort padding in places we neither want, nor need them! The accumulated fat also puts our health at risk, which is why now is the time to melt the fat away before it becomes a permanent fixture! And with summer fast approaching, there will be no more hiding away behind layers of clothing.
Losing weight, especially fat weight, is not only about a better-looking body, but more importantly, about managing the health risks that can pose a serious threat to your health and wellbeing.
Lifestyle changes that include healthier eating habits; regular, moderate, enjoyable physical activity; and losing as little as 5% – 10% body fat, have shown phenomenal health benefits – much more effective than any medication can ever be. Losing fat weight can prevent and even reverse existing diabetes; lower blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels; and improve sleep apnoea and other sleep problems — along with helping you feel better about yourself, and increasing your energy levels. In fact, 90% of diabetes, 80% of heart disease and 60% of cancers are preventable with healthier lifestyles and maintaining normal body weight.
“We have seen a consistent pattern in our weight loss studies: when patients lose 5% – 10% of their body weight, they lower blood pressure, reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol, improve glucose tolerance (insulin resistance), and in general, lower the risk for cardiovascular disease,” according to Catherine Champagne, a researcher with Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center.
Doctors consistently report that they successfully take patients off blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol-lowering medications after the patients have lost as little as 5 kg of fat.
Losing even a little weight can be especially beneficial for people who store their excess weight around their abdomen (apple shape), rather than their hips (pear shape). Fat stored around the waist and in the liver, is more metabolically active, which makes it a high-risk trigger for heart disease, but fortunately it is also easier to lose.
Ways to prevent winter weight wobbles
- Snack on a handful of healthy nuts (almonds are lowest in kilojoules) once or twice a day if you feel peckish. It tastes good, will fill you up and is a healthier option than the sweet stuff.
- Make your own healthy, wholesome vegetable soup for a warm meal (make enough to last a few days). To make it easier, you can buy freshly-cut vegetables, and a barley, bean and lentil soup mix.
- To curb winter appetite and sweet cravings, use a herbal appetite suppressant with the herbs Hoodia gordonii and Garcinia cambogia. Hoodia has been used by ancient hunters like the San, for generations, to curb their appetite on long hunting trips.
- Legitimate hot chocolate: Dissolve 1 – 2 teaspoons pure cocoa powder in hot water, top up with hot milk (cow, almond or coconut milk), add one teaspoon of raw honey (with healing properties and some healthy sweetness) or xylitol/stevia to taste.
- Prepare a hot toddy to prevent winter weight gain, while supporting your immune system to prevent winter infections, and for symptom support for fever, colds, sinus drip and sore muscles: add a pinch or a teaspoon each of dry or fresh cinnamon, turmeric and ginger to a small glass, adding hot water (or warm coconut milk) and enjoy, adding a little raw honey or xylitol/stevia to taste.
- Kickstart your day with a metabolism-boosting drink: hot water, with apple cider vinegar, fresh ginger and the juice of half a lemon. Food cravings are often a confused body signal for more water.
- Carb swop: instead of using a normal pizza base, use a cauliflower wrap and enjoy your guilt-free pizza! You can either buy it, or even better, make it yourself.
- Too cold to exercise? Put on your favourite song and move to the music in the comfort of your own home. If it’s too cold to start, first warm your clothes in the tumble dryer.
- Daily deep relaxation practice to unblock and release all the hidden cell memories that cause the stress of ‘cold’ emotions (e.g. guilt and negative self-talk) that retain the fat as a holding pattern.
Important medical screening tests are recommended for men and women with 8 – 10 kg or more excess fat weight and/or fat accumulation around the waist area (men >102cm, women >88cm) to assess whether you have metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, or other health risks. These iclude:
- Fasting blood glucose
- Fasting insulin
- Waist circumference (WHR)
- Body fat percentage and fat weight
- Body mass index (BMI)
- Blood pressure
- Lipid profile incl. total, HDL- and LDL-cholesterol, triglycerides
- HbA1C when glucose has been elevated for a longer period
- Genetic screening to assess how your genes predict potential future disease and which eating program will work best for you
- C-reactive protein to assess inflammation risk
Our passion is health education and to help others reach their health goals. For many of us this means losing fat weight to reduce inflammation and to decrease health risks associated with chronic lifestyle diseases, including heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, depression and more.
Come and visit us for a comprehensive health screening and to learn the skills, tips and techniques required to lose fat and keep it off. To support you, we have a 3-month special in celebration of women, and our first anniversary of the Weight Control Clinic in Hermanus. Our many success stories will inspire you!