How to Control Weight

control weight

Getting to and maintaining a healthy weight reduces the risk of diseases such as heart disease and high blood pressure. Changing habits can help with control of weight, including eating healthful foods, exercise, sleep and stress management.

Eating healthfully involves changing your food choices and portion sizes. Choosing fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean proteins.


When people don’t get enough sleep, they tend to eat more calories. Studies show that a lack of sleep alters the neuroendocrine appetite control mechanism, which leads to reduced leptin and increased ghrelin levels, which promote satiety and hunger. A cross-sectional study conducted by Calvin and colleagues found that participants ate 1178 to 2501 kcal more per day when they were sleep restricted than when they were well-rested.

In another study, a group of overweight adults who slept six-and-a-half hours a night for eight weeks lost more weight than a control group that slept the same amount. The researchers attribute the better weight loss to the fact that longer sleep boosted satiety hormones and inhibited energy intake. Additionally, the longer-sleep group exhibited greater inter-hemispheric modulation of slow wave activity (SWA), which reduces frontal cortex activity during sleep and may promote the perception of satiety.

Stress Management

Stress is natural, but when it becomes chronic, it can cause physical and emotional symptoms and unhealthy behaviors such as poor diet, sleep disturbances, alcohol use, smoking and low levels of physical activity. This combination can lead to weight gain and make it harder to reach your weight loss goals.

High levels of the hormone cortisol can increase appetite, cause you to crave foods that are high in sugar and fat, and encourage fat accumulation in your belly. Stress management techniques can help to regulate your cortisol levels, improve sleep, promote healthy eating habits and support the overall health of your body.

Many people cite work and family responsibilities as major sources of stress, but other factors may also contribute to your level of stress including discrimination, financial issues and lack of social supports. Practicing relaxation and self-care, seeking a therapist, and using strategies that work best for you to manage your stress levels can improve your ability to lose weight and maintain it over the long term.

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