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Weight Management & Nutrition: Is it as complicated as it seems?

by Maria Kirmanidou, Dietitian & Sport Nutritionist

23 May 2024 • 0 min read

What do you think? Is weight management so complex and multifactorial that it seems like a huge challenge and scares you? Yes, it is depended by many factors - you can't imagine how many factors ultimately influence what and how much we eat - but it's not so complicated, as we might think. Let's unravel the mystery together!

Nutritional habits and weight loss

Our food choices determine our eating habits, which in the long run affect our weight. What does this mean? That a single food or meal never "slims" or "fatten" us. Our eating habits, i.e. what we tend to eat in total over a reasonable X amount of time is what will take over and show the X number on the scale.

The 5 most important factors for weight loss

We want you to emphasize the sentence that we have highlighted because that is where the multifactorial nature of weight management begins. So the factors that influence our food choices and therefore our eating habits are many. A key pillar of a person's effort in his/her successful weight loss journey is for the individual to be in an energy deficit, under the guidance of a qualified dietitian. In other words, the total caloric intake throughout the day and thus in the following months should be less than what the intake that would maintain their weight. During this effort, there are factors that play an important role in the weight loss rate, either through dietary intake or through other biochemical "pathways".

  • Sleep. 7-9 hours of daily good quality sleep is an integral part of successful weight loss. Research has demonstrated the important effect of sleep on weight loss, as it appears that inadequate and poor quality sleep increases our cravings for foods high in sugar, fat and salt. In addition, if we sleep late we don't give our metabolism the opportunity to "rest", which in the long run can become an obstacle to our weight loss goal.
  • Stress. A person trying to lose weight has to deal with the day-to-day problems of life as well as the potential stress that this effort creates. Intense stress - if not regulated - can lead to frequent expression and release through overeating, which can be a trigger for the onset of an eating disorder. If not regulated, intense anxiety becomes an obstacle to maintaining our motivation to strive and to choosing the quality and quantity of our meals.
  • Exercise. Successful weight loss is characterized by important prerequisite, which is called: exercise. Incorporating exercise - in the form that we do enjoy - is an integral part of weight maintenance and weight loss, as it boosts our metabolism by increasing daily energy expenditure, "training" the body to "burn" more calories, even at rest.
  • Nutritional deficiencies. We cannot begin our weight loss journey, until we have "scanned" if everything in our body is working in our favor. A check up, then, is essential to correct any nutritional deficiencies to further help our bodies function at their best to achieve our goal.
  • Healthy gastrointestinal function. A key foundation to - voluntary - weight loss is to have our digestive system functioning properly, so that the digestive process prepares food to pass into metabolic function, in a healthy manner. Pathological and functional conditions of the GI tract, such as reflux, ulcers, gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome, etc. are conditions that are very common among population and their symptoms should be treated in time so that they do not become an obstacle to achieving weight loss.

Sleep, stress, exercise, healthy gastrointestinal function, as well as the available free time, working conditions, as well as the relationship we develop with food, are all factors that have an impact on whether we will lose the X number of kilos we want to lose, as they can affect our appetite, the amount and type of food we want to consume, but also biochemical pathways.

The dietary supplements, sports supplements and foods that will affect your weight

Holland & Barrett is once again on your side, keeping in mind all the factors that can affect your weight, helping every aspect of your goal. The core of our philosophy is to offer holistic solutions for every need, as we know that wellness - like weight management - is multi-factorial. That’s why, we offer:

  • A huge variety of foods and snacks, rich in fibre and protein, two of the most important nutrients that will keep you full, reducing the likelihood of frequent snacking. Delicious, nutrient-rich, low-calorie snack options are waiting for you to fill your day with nutrition without hindering your weight loss goal.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar (APV) supplementation, which can help manage appetite more effectively through its hypoglycemic action, especially when taken just before or during a meal. Research has noted improved blood sugar response in obese individuals and people with Diabetes Mellitus II following APV supplementation.

Extra tip: In case of esophageal and stomach pathological or functional conditions, avoid APV use.

  • Supplements for better stress and sleep management. Supplements such as magnesium supplementation and herbs such as Ashwagandha and Rhodiola are great alternatives we can try for our mental health, as taking care of our mental health is an ally to achieving our weight loss goal.
  • Protein supplements, which are a very useful tool in weight management, as protein is of paramount important for achieving fullness in our snacks and meals. Whether you exercise or not, whether you are a vegetarian or not, there are protein supplement options that you can include in your daily balanced diet plan.

Achieving any weight loss goal could be a challenge, but through proper guidance and management of all factors, success is on your way. In any case, we don't want you to forget that the X number on the scale does not represent your worth... It’s just a number!

Scientific References

Geiker, N. R. W., Astrup, A., Hjorth, M. F., Sjödin, A., Pijls, L., & Markus, C. R. (2018). Does stress influence sleep patterns, food intake, weight gain, abdominal obesity and weight loss interventions and vice versa?. Obesity reviews, 19(1), 81-97.

Hadi, A., Pourmasoumi, M., Najafgholizadeh, A., Clark, C. C., & Esmaillzadeh, A. (2021). The effect of apple cider vinegar on lipid profiles and glycemic parameters: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. BMC complementary medicine and therapies, 21(1), 179.

Morgan, J., & Mosawy, S. (2016). The potential of apple cider vinegar in the management of type 2 diabetes. International Journal of Diabetes Research, 5(6), 129-34.

Papatriantafyllou, E., Efthymiou, D., Zoumbaneas, E., Popescu, C. A., & Vassilopoulou, E. (2022). Sleep deprivation: effects on weight loss and weight loss maintenance. Nutrients, 14(8), 1549.