5 lifestyle changes necessary to lose weight and keep it off.
Let’s be honest. We are all striving for perfection, how can we not with the models and actors and new celebrity moms who lose their baby weight in what seems like impossibly short amount of time everywhere we turn? We all have a part of us that wants to flatten our tummy, tighten our arms, (or for us ladies, get that perfect hourglass shape in time for Spring Break).
These are my top 5 behaviors to change this Spring:
1) DRINKING YOUR CALORIES- By far my number one “no no” is alcohol. Essentially poisoning your body with liquor for a few hours of fun. Alcohol deserves it own article but that is for another day. When I say stop drinking your calories I also mean anything with calories except maybe an all whey protein shake post workout. I am juices & smoothies (EVEN THOSE ORGANIC ONES!!) which are still full of sugar, even if it is naturally occurring. But more importantly they still have CALORIES, calories which we have precious few to eat and must therefore choose them wisely. Nix the lattes, energy drinks and basically drinking anything liquid but water if you are serious about getting results.
2) SKIMPING OR SKIPPING VITAMINS- I could write a whole book on this one. Not taking your vitamins (at the very least a multivitamin, calcium, vitamin D & fish oil) is one of the single worst things you can do. Your body is a machine. How can you expect perfection from it without fueling it with all the necessary nutrition that it requires to perform at the highest level. We need to stop underestimating the power of simplistic remedies which leads me to the next no-no.
3) IGNORING YOUR BODY- We are blessed with one and only one body in this lifetime. You can’t live the life you want, get the promotion you desire or find the happiness you crave without your health. Your health should be on your mind and in your consciousness with everything you do and don’t do. From the stress at work, to your sleeping habits, to what you put in your body and what you avoid. YOU NEED TO LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. Really, really, really pay attention and the longer you do and the better you take care of yourself the more loud and clear the signals will become.
Your body is constantly signaling you. Knee sore after a workout? Might be time to deload for a week rather than “pushing through the pain”. A headache should not make you want to pop some asprin, it should make you think: Am I dehydrated? Drink more water. Am I hungry? (I mean really hungry) Eat a smart snack to boost your metabolism. Am I exhausted? Prioritize getting a great night’s sleep and waking up rested and re-energized instead of going to the gym to only waste time doing a half-hearted workout. Am I stressed out at work? Take a 10 minute break to clear your thoughts and center yourself instead of white-knuckling it.
4) “DIET FOOD” By this I mean processed, canned, frozen or packaged goods that have a shelf life longer than some pets. I mean eating those 100 carlorie prepackaged snacks that are tempting to buy when you are kick-starting a diet. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for portion control, easy handy snacks to grab so you keep your metabolism burning rather than starving yourself thinking you will lose weight. But these are not, not, not the way to do it. So here it is, instead of eating prepackaged processed foods, eat what grows out the ground, what you could hunt or fish (aka the caveman’s diet). Think vegetables, fruit, nuts, fish, grass fed meat. Think making baggies of baby carrots (way less than 100 calories) or grapes or berries. You want to curb your hunger without wasting calories and consuming preservatives (which have next to no health benefits and numerous studies link to weight gain as a quick Google search will show).
5) CHEATING. Not being honest with yourself in what you eat and how much and how often you eat it. In your exercise and the intensity of your workouts. Most people give in way too easily, way too often. Make excuses instead of solutions. Sneak around and have a cocktail here, a piece of chocolate there, and let it slide without adding those calories to your daily allotment. The majority of us don’t have enough discipline to count calories for a day much less a week or a month or 90 days (the time it takes to see results). If we can’t journal our diets honestly and be accountable to ourselves in the short term then how do we expect to make the changes necessary to be healthy for the longterm.