Sherry Torkos, B.Sc.Phm., R.Ph., holistic pharmacist, former fitness instructor and author of, “The GI Made Simple: The Proven Way To Lose Weight, Boost Energy & Cut Your Risk of Disease,” says we need to reframe our approach to exercise and eating in order to counter our shelter-at-home physiques. The pandemic has certainly caused a lot of change in our lifestyles, including a big one: Not moving as much and indulging in at-home comfort foods. Working from home, limiting travel and simply not having very many places to go or people to see has made weight management a much harder hurdle to clear even for the relatively healthy person.
Sherry Torkos shares with us four ways to reverse this sedentary trend in our current “slower paced” lifestyle with:
1) Quick exercise routines for sedentary days
Chair Triceps Dips: Scoot to the front of a stationary chair, with both hands facing forward. Place palms flat on the chair, bend your elbows straight back, and lower yourself straight down several inches, keeping your back as close to the chair as possible. Then straighten your arms to rise back to start.
Desk Push Ups: Make sure your desk is sturdy enough to support your body weight, then, take a few steps back, so you can place your hands flat on your desk, a little wider than shoulder-width. Lower yourself down toward your desk, keeping your core tight. Then push back up until arms are straight but not locked.
Chair Squats: Try to bust these out between meetings or during long phone calls. All you have to do is stand up from your chair, lower your body back down, stopping right before you sit back down. (Keep your weight in your heels to work those glutes). Then stand back up again.
Calf Raises: These are great because they can be done multiple times throughout the workday! Stand up behind your chair and hold on for support. Raise your heels off the floor until you are standing on your toes. Slowly lower yourself back to the floor.
Eagle Stretch: This is a great stretch for your shoulders and upper back. While sitting, reach your arms straight out in front of you. Bend the left arm upward and sweep the right arm under it. Wrap your right arm around the left until you are able to grab the outside edge of the left arm or until you are able to clasp your palms together. Lift the elbows away toward the ceiling and pull your hands away from your face. Turn your head side-to-side.
2) Adding a prebiotic to your probiotic to suppress appetite and reduced abdomen fat
Using a prebiotic/probiotic synbiotic can also enhance satiety and reduce body and abdomen fat weight.
A synbiotic is a mixture of probiotics and prebiotics that improves the survival and activity of beneficial microorganisms in the gut.
People with obesity tend to have less diverse gut bacteria than lean people. What’s more, those with obesity who have less diverse gut bacteria tend to gain more weight than people with obesity who have more diverse gut bacteria.
Probiotics may help release the appetite-reducing hormones. Increased levels of these hormones may help you burn calories and fat.
Probiotics may reduce the number of calories you absorb from food. They also affect levels of hormones and proteins related to appetite and fat storage, as well as potentially reduce inflammation, which can drive obesity.
Several strains of probiotics in both the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium family have been shown to reduce weight and belly fat. Lactobacillus gasseri appears to be one of the most effective.
Prebiotics are the dietary fiber that nourish probiotics. Essentially, they’re food for good bacteria.
High-fiber foods like whole grains, bananas, green onions, garlic, soybeans and artichokes contain prebiotics. However, most people don’t eat enough of them to realize their benefits.
Research backs the benefits of prebiotics, including healthy weight management, supporting reg- ular bowel movements and improving the bioavailability of minerals.
3) Using the Glycemic Index when making menus
Eating low glycemic helps to control hunger and cravings by stabilizing blood sugar levels.
When planning meals choose high fiber/low sugar carbs.
Adding protein and healthy fats will slow the rate of digestion of carbohydrates, resulting in a lower glycemic response.
Eating protein-rich foods also help to raise metabolism so you burn more calories.
4) Gaining more sleep to lose more weight
Sleep is critical for the body to repair, regenerate and produce vital hormones that regulate many body processes.
Lack of sleep creates a hormonal environment that leads to weight gain.
Lack of sleep increases the level of a hormone called ghrelin, which is involved in appetite regulation. Increased ghrelin levels can increase appetite.
Levels of human growth hormone are reduced when we don’t get enough sleep. HGH is involved in regulating metabolism, so when levels are lowered, this can reduce metabolism.
In one study, participants who slept five hours per night were 73% more likely to become obese than those getting seven to nine nightly hours of sleep. So for better appetite and weight control, don’t skimp on sleep.
Lack of sleep also affects our ability to make good dietary decisions…snacking on unhealthy foods and binging.
Listen to Sherry and Mark here: