After a lifetime of struggling with her weight, Dr. Emi Hosoda said she used her training in holistic health and functional medicine to design herself a personalized health plan.
She said she considered everything from her genetics to her gut microbiome when designing her diet, and she eventually lost 100 pounds and managed to keep it off.
Hosoda, a board-certified doctor in her 50s, shared some tips from her weight loss journey in a recent TikTok video.
Track sugar, not calories
Consuming excess sugar not only causes the body to store it as fat, but also increases the risk of diabetes or prediabetes. About one in three American adults has chronically high blood sugar that puts them at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The amount of calories a person needs can vary greatly based on their activity level and metabolism, so Hosoda said she doesn’t set calorie goals or limits to keep off weight.
It’s also important to remember that not all calories are created equal, and a food’s calorie content doesn’t always reflect its nutritional value.
Drink enough water
When she was trying to lose weight, Hosoda said she learned not to mistake thirst for hunger.
She recommended that people drink between a half ounce and an ounce of water per pound of body weight. This also depends on personal activity level: someone who is active and sweating often should drink more water than an individual who is not as active.
The only exception to this rule is that people with heart failure, kidney disease, or low sodium should ask their doctors about how much water they should drink, Hosoda said.
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep
Many people struggle with sleep as they age, especially during menopause or the years leading up to it, and restricted or poor sleep has been linked to weight gain.
Hosoda said she takes magnesium supplements to help her sleep and resist sugar cravings, but only a few studies have investigated this link. In general, taking supplements is not a foolproof way to get sleep or reach your weight loss goals.
One review published in 2021 found that some adults in their 50s saw their sleep improve slightly with regular magnesium supplements, but the authors concluded that there was not enough evidence to recommend magnesium as a sleep aid.
Don’t shy away from strength training
Finally, Hosoda said she made sure to include strength training in her workouts.
She said a lot of people lean on aerobic exercise, or cardio, to keep off weight, but she found that building strength worked better for her.