5 steps for improving your diet and health Dr Samira Yousefi   Individuals have their reasons for becoming and remaining overweight or obese. The first step is to understand the reasons for gaining weight; including any medical reason as well as behavioural and lifestyle contributors. Therefore, my approach is creating a personalised plan based on the individual’s physical, nutritional and behavioural characteristics.   A detailed history and investigation, like a blood test, will uncover underlying medical reasons that can contribute to weight gain, which may discover A detailed history and investigation, like a blood test, will uncover underlying medical reasons that can contribute to weight gain, which may discover: Underactive hypothyroid Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Medications such as steroids Stress and anxiety Low mood and depression Sleep problems Vitamin D deficiency   Keeping a detailed food diary will help to pinpoint the behavioural factors. It involves keeping track of not only what you eat but when, where, and with whom you eat and how you feel at the time. By monitoring it, a pattern will emerge and you will be aware of the relationship between certain situations, feelings or people that trigger eating. The next step is the ‘Change phase’. Contrary to common belief that “eat less and exercise more” is the way, weight management requires more than merely balancing energy in and out. The physical environment and social circle, and healthy sleep hygiene must also be considered. You don’t need the willpower to resist temptation; you [...]

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