Instead of simply resolving to stop eating or overeating certain foods, find the root cause. "Most overeating is emotional eating," says Denise Lamothe, Psy.D, HHD, author of The Taming of the Chew, a holistic guide to stopping compulsive eating. The emotional-eating roller coaster starts with feeling bored, angry, depressed or otherwise uncomfortable.
Belly fat, or "visceral fat," that creates an apple-shaped body is more than aesthetically unappealing — it puts you at a higher risk for heart disease and metabolic illnesses such as diabetes. "All fat is problematic, but visceral fat wraps around internal organs like the heart," says Christopher Hobbs, Ph.D. candidate, acupuncturist, herbalist, author and teacher. "Even otherwise thin people can have a significant amount."
Losing weight goes hand-in-hand with watching your fat intake. But not all fat is bad. In fact, some fats play a secondary role in weight loss. "Omega-3s, for example, reduce inflammation and also help regulate insulin pathways," says Hobbs. Control over insulin and blood sugar may aid weight loss through better appetite control.
Revisit your goals. One way to get started: Instead of using the scale as a measure of progress, give yourself kudos for days you exercise, for example. "And track your feeling on days you exercise versus days you don't," suggests Cedric X. Bryant, Ph.D., chief science officer with the American Council on Exercise.
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