How to slim down and shape up this summer

Hong Kong’s renowned weight loss specialist shares her top tips to help you lose weight this summer. Plus, the “Be Your Best” weight management programme to ditch stubborn weight.

It’s all over the news: excess weight increases the risk of Covid-19 hospitalisation. But long before the pandemic shook the world, researchers warned of the severe health risks linked to excess weight and obesity: diabetes, heart disease, depression and more.

Over the past few months, stress, sedentary lifestyles, solitude and the human tendency to seek solace in comfort food may have understandably added on a few extra unwanted pounds. But with the summer staycation upon us, now’s your chance to prioritise your health and ditch excess weight.

Here, Dr Ardyce Yik, IMI Naturopathic Physician and weight loss specialist, shares her top ten tips to help you achieve and sustain a healthy weight this summer and beyond.

Tip 1: Write it up; break it down
Research shows that setting specific heath goals is useful. People who write down their goals are ten times more likely to reach them than people who don’t.

Tip 2: Take micro-steps toward success
Small changes make a big difference. Rather than forcing yourself to change your entire lifestyle from the beginning, take micro-steps by adopting small changes every week. Try this, for example: for the first week, switch to sparkling water (no more soft drinks or alcohol!); for the second week, add an extra 20-minute brisk walk to your daily routine, and build a healthy routine from there.

Tip 3: Intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting is an effective way to reduce overall calories. The most common approach is the 16/8 intermittent fasting, which involves eating only during an 8-hour window and fasting for the remaining 16 hours. During the 8-hour period, eat a healthy diet and drink calorie-free beverages like water or unsweetened teas and coffee.

Tip 4: Avoid keeping junk food at home (or at your desk)
Out of sight, out of mind. With all the time that we’ve spent at home, it’s too easy to reach for junk food. If you fancy a snack, opt for fruits, nuts and bright, colourful raw vegetables. You can team up with your favourite type of nut butter or hummus for a quick and healthy snack that will nourish your body and mind.

Tip 5: Eat the rainbow
Vegetables and fruits are not only rich in nutrients and antioxidants, but they are also high in fibre and water, which can give you a feeling of fullness, prevent constipation and aid digestion. Eat a variety of fruit and veg but, if weight loss is your goal, cut down on bananas. Although highly nutritious, they contain more calories compared to other fruits.

Tip 6: Be aware of portion sizes
Restaurants tend to supersize portions so when dining out, split restaurant servings in half. Slowly enjoy your food and check in with yourself before going for the second half. If you’re full, you know it’s time to stop. Use salad or appetizer plates and smaller glasses to downsize servings. Take snacks out of the container so you can eyeball how much you’re consuming instead of eating them directly from the container.

Tip 7: Drink smart
Alcoholic drinks are relatively high in calories (alcohol = 7 calories per gram, in comparison, carbohydrates = 4 calories per gram, protein = 4 calories per gram, fat = 9 calories per gram). Try drinking water between alcoholic drinks to reduce the total caloric intake in one sitting. You can also choose a lighter alcohol alternative such as a spritzer using carbonated water or cut back on the alcohol altogether.

Tip 8: Ensure adequate sleep
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body under-produces the hormone leptin, which tells you when you’re full, and overproduces the hormone ghrelin, which stimulates appetite. Getting enough sleep will help you feel rested and full, so practice good sleep hygiene and address any factors affecting your zzz.

Tip 9: Make time for aerobic (cardio) exercise
If weight loss is your goal, cardio is the go-to exercise. Aerobic exercise is an excellent way to burn calories and is particularly effective for losing abdominal/ belly fat – the unhealthy fat that tends to cause metabolic disease. Aim for 45-minute sessions, 3 to 5 times a week.

Tip 10: Ask for help
Research confirms that having a specific accountability partner increases your chance of success to 95%. If losing weight is an uphill battle for you, we can help. The IMI ‘Be Your Best’ programme is a proven weight loss approach that surpasses other weight-loss diets and diet plans on the market. Medically supervised by Dr Ardyce Yik herself, this one-month programme includes a daily menu plan and clinically proven dietary supplements to help you control appetite and minimise food cravings. Working hand-in-hand with you, Dr Yik will help to identify and address the underlying health conditions preventing your weight loss, coach you throughout the programme, and help you tackle stubborn fat.

Find out more about the “Be Your Best” weight management programme here.

About Dr Ardyce Yik

Dr Ardyce Yik is a registered naturopathic doctor who has helped countless people manage their weight and reach optimal health by addressing the root causes of weight gain. Whole patient wellness and disease prevention form the core of her practice. A respected health practitioner, she writes for various media and has appeared as a naturopathic medical expert on Bloomberg Television.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Ardyce Yik (ND), please call 2523 7121 or connect here.

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