Weight loss is no easy feat. Even when using weight loss aids such as Saxenda, it’s important to watch what you eat and exercise regularly.
Saxenda works by slowing the rate at which glucose, that our bodies use for energy, is absorbed through our intestines. It also causes a feeling of fullness and suppresses your hunger, so you feel less inclined to eat large quantities of food.
But Saxenda is not a magic bullet and won’t help you lose weight on its own. You need to eat a low-calorie diet and exercise regularly in order to support your weight loss journey.
We look into overeating affects your treatment with Saxenda, provide tips on preventing overeating, and what to do if you do break your diet.
Simply put, eating a high calorie diet while taking Saxenda will not help you lose weight. In fact, eating more calories than you should, even while taking Saxenda, can cause you to inadvertently gain weight. This is because Saxenda has no effect on how your body processes calories.
While it’s absolutely fine to have a treat every now and again, frequently overeating or consuming sugary or fatty foods can impact your weight loss efforts, regardless of whether you are using a weight loss aid.
The bottom line is that any weight loss effort requires a calorie deficit. You can easily think of this as eating less and moving more. Whether you choose to cut out foods high in sugar and saturated fats or eat smaller portions, you will be reducing the overall amount of calories you will be consuming, which promotes weight loss.
According to the NHS, men should consume around 2,500 calories per day, while women should aim for a daily intake of 2,000 calories. To lose weight at a steady pace, the NHS recommend reducing your calorie intake to 1,900 calories for men and 1,400 calories for women.
You can work out how many calories your body needs based on your BMI and your level of exercise. These calculations are used to work out how many calories your body burns at rest. From here, you can work out more accurately how many calories you can knock off your intake in order to safely lose weight.
Before making any drastic changes to your diet, it’s important to speak to your doctor or a professional in diet and nutrition, such as a dietitian or nutritionist. A fitness instructor/personal trainer may be able to offer help and advice on adjusting your diet to achieve your ideal weight at a safe and steady pace.
If you eat more calories than you should, or indulge in a treat, you don’t need to adjust your Saxenda dosage. Continue to take your Saxenda as you normally would. Using more Saxenda than you should won’t make you lose weight faster, but may increase your risk of side effects, such as nausea or vomiting.
Saxenda only helps to treat the physical act of overeating, by suppressing your hunger and making you feel fuller for longer. But obesity is a disease that also affects you psychologically. Changing your attitudes towards food and eating can be beneficial in achieving your weight loss goals.
When, how and where you eat can positively or negatively impact your relationship with food. Eating meals in front of the TV, for example, makes you more likely to overeat. Due to the delay in the release of hormones that send signals to our brains telling us our stomach is full, eating food quickly can cause you to eat more. When you eat food slowly, your body has time to send the signals to your brain to say when you are full, so you stop eating.
Make sure to eat regularly throughout the day to provide your body with a steady amount of energy.
Start by looking at what you eat in a day. Keeping a food diary to track what you eat can be useful for both yourself and your doctor. Note down how you prepare and cook your meals, too. For example, if you had toast for breakfast, note down whether you used white or wholemeal bread, and what you put on your toast.
Identify areas in your current diet where you can make healthier substitutions. Continuing with our toast example, you can use wholemeal bread and add a light spread on top to reduce the fat content.
You don’t need to cut out certain food groups - you should simply look for ways you can improve their nutritional value. Simply eating less food overall can also contribute towards a calorie deficit and help you lose weight.
You can remove temptations of eating unhealthy food by removing it from your home. Instead of buying biscuits, crisps and other salty or sugary snacks, buy plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Celery and carrot sticks are great substitutes for crisps, and taste great with a sprinkle of salt or a low fat dip. Dates, grapes, plain nuts and berries (fresh or dried) are delicious replacements for chocolate and sweets. Check the labels when shopping to compare the fat, salt and sugar content.
Surround yourself with positive thinking people who encourage your weight loss efforts. If you get people involved in your weight loss journey, they can motivate you to make healthier choices. Pass your own health changes on to the rest of your family - it’s never too early or too late to get your family eating healthier.
For some people, eating is a coping mechanism for personal traumatic experiences, grief, depression or other psychological issue. It’s very important to speak to someone if you are struggling with a mental health problem - especially if it is manifesting in unhealthy eating habits or eating disorders. Your doctor will be able to help you find the support you need. There are charities and organisations in the UK, such as BEAT, who can help you if you have an eating disorder.
Eating too much, regardless of whether you are using a weight loss aid, can cause weight gain and thus increase your risk of health problems including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It’s important to adjust your lifestyle to counter the effects of overeating. Reduce your portion sizes, choose healthy alternatives, consume less sugar and exercise more.
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