Weight Loss Tips
So you’re overweight. Big whoop. I’m about to be 51 and could stand to release a few pounds. Like 20. Ok, maybe 30. But you know what? I am healthy. And it’s taken me about 50 years, but I’ve learned to LOVE my body. I accept my so-called imperfections.
Because most of them are someone else’s idea of what perfection should be.
I am healthy. Seriously. Healthy. And that is more important to me than how I look to others.
But, it’s how I look to myself that I have issues with. If you’re like me and would just absolutely love to release a few of those extra pounds, then read on.
- First tip – drink water. If you think you’re hungry, stop for a moment. Drink some water. Wait a few minutes. And then think about whether you are truly hungry. Has it been 45 minutes since your last meal? You’re probably not really hungry. Drink some water. Most Americans are chronically dehydrated. What I tell my health coaching clients is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water. Every day. Even mild dehydration changes our metabolism and wreaks havoc with our internal systems. Want to lose weight – drink a glass or two of water before every meal. You’ll eat less and you’ll feel fuller.
- Eat fats. Yes!! Eat healthy fats. Fat does not make you fat! Your body needs fat! Just choose healthy ones, like avocados, extra virgin olive oil, wild-caught salmon, nuts, etc. Our bodies use fats to keep our skin, hair and nails healthy. They help manage our mood. They keep us awake. And they help us control weight. Fats also help prevent certain diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and even depression. Did you know – the human brain is about 60 percent fat? Healthy fats are absolutely critical for proper brain functioning.
- Exercise! Both your mind and your body. Actually, when you exercise your body your mind benefits as well. It’s kind of a 2-for-1 deal. Exercise has been shown to reduce stress, release endorphins (which makes you feel happy), improve self-confidence, boost brain power, and sharpen memory. Physically, as you exercise you are strengthening your lungs while you are fighting flab. Exercise also helps strengthen your immune system, it makes your heart healthier and it helps add lean muscle – which boosts your metabolism. It doesn’t have to be an all-out effort. Take a 30-minute walk. Play with your children. Or grandchildren. Park a little farther away and walk. Take the stairs. Get a dog. Cuz, you know, dogs require walking 😉
- Yup. Studies have shown that when we sleep more, we weigh less. When we don’t sleep enough, our circadian rhythms are disrupted. This leads to whacky energy levels and messed-up metabolism. And, those hormones that tell you when you are full and to stop eating – well, they kind of go away when we have too little sleep. So guess what? We end up eating more because we don’t know we’re full!
- Cook at home. This is the best way to know for sure what you are putting in your body! When you cook at home – you know the quantity and quality of the ingredients you include. You’re also more likely to lessen your intake of sodium, fat and calories. You can use more herbs and spices for flavor and use the oven to bake or broil instead of frying. Experiment and have fun!
- So… What to eat? Along with the healthy fats mentioned above, things to focus on are: lean protein, real complex carbohydrates and breakfast. So what’s the deal with protein? Protein is necessary for growth. Once we stop growing, it’s still necessary so that we can repair and replenish worn-out cells. The truth is that proteins are fundamental in holding our bodies together. For the vegans and vegetarians out there, there are many quality plant-based sources of protein, including: beans, soy, nuts, whole grains like quinoa, leafy greens and seeds.
- And then there are carbs… When I say eat complex carbs, I do not mean donuts or bagels or cereal or even pasta. Sorry folks. By complex carbohydrates, I mean those carbs that come from vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes. Complex carbs have things like fiber, which is critical. Fiber helps things move along in your digestive tract and as a result, it helps prevent colon cancer. Bagels won’t do that for you. I could do an entire blog on fiber, but let’s move on. Complex carbs. Think brown rice instead of white, quinoa, oats, lentils, fruits and veggies.
- Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Who hasn’t heard this a thousand times? Personally, I feel that breakfast isn’t for everyone. It’s an individual thing. If your body works well with no breakfast, don’t force it. If you’re just not hungry in the morning, don’t eat. If you do require breakfast, then make it healthy. Experts will say that by eating breakfast you jump-start your metabolism. And it helps curb cravings. Some people that skip breakfast end up eating more during the day than if they had had breakfast. To eat or not to eat breakfast? Choose wisely.
Releasing a few pounds isn’t just about the ‘how I look’ factor. Of course, you will feel more attractive and have more self-confidence. But it’s what’s happening on the inside that’s truly amazing! Releasing weight – and I use the word release because if you ‘lose’ weight, you might actually find it again someday. And no one wants that!
So, releasing weight may lower your risk of getting cancer. It also lowers your risk of heart disease. It keeps your brain sharp; it protects vital organs; it lowers your risk for illness in general. It also improves your mood and who doesn’t want to be in a good mood!
Try these out and let me know how it works for you!! I know I will be paying much closer attention to these ideas over the next few months. And if anybody wants an accountability partner – let’s connect!