This is not a typical post for me.
Usually, I’m going to focus more on personal health and feeling good before I’m going to focus on weight.
But lately, I’ve talked to a lot of people who want to lose weight – and that’s a valid desire to have.
Healthy weight loss is associated with lots of good things – more energy, greater self-confidence, and smaller risk of many chronic illnesses, to name just a few.
The problem is, I know a lot of people who keep their weight down in very, very unhealthy ways:
Eating nothing but fruits and vegetables
Over-exercising, especially in the summer heat
Maintaining extremely busy lifestyles as a method for avoiding food (I’ve done this myself, as a matter of fact)
Do you find yourself doing any of these things?
If so, ask yourself:
Are those few pounds worth the loss of my mental and emotional wellness?
Let me answer that one for you:
So, here’s the deal I’m going to strike with you.
You can lose weight and/or keep your weight down, if that’s what you desire.
And on TOP of that, you can also feel fulfilled, energized, and well, rather than deprived, tired, and helpless.
Sounds like a win-win to me!
So, to help you slim your waistline while gaining confidence this summer, here are my 5 favorite ways to lose weight & get well:
Guys, this one is SO easy and SO effective. My trick: Get a water bottle you like (hell-o, Tervis). Figure out how many ounces it holds. Take your weight and divide it by 2. This is how many ounces of water per day you should be drinking (at least!). Figure out how many water bottles you need to drink per day, and last but not least, drink that many (keep track on your phone if it helps you). Being well-hydrated does wonders for weight loss by maintaining your metabolism and fueling your energy through the day. Avoid sugary drinks like the plague – instead, try herbal tea!
Do Something First Thing in the Morning.
I avoided using the word “exercise” here, because I don’t want to scare you off. Remember that thing you learned in high school science – “An object in motion will remain in motion, and an object at rest will remain at rest, unless blah blah blah blah”? Well, it pertains to people, too!
Doing something (ANYTHING) first thing in the morning is a wonderful way to gain momentum for your day. Since I don’t love working out right after waking up (I’m just too dang sluggish), here are some of my faves: going for a walk, doing 20 minutes of light yoga, or stretching while watching an episode of 30 Rock on Netflix. Revolutionizing the first 15 minutes of your day will make a huge difference in the next 23.75 hours, I promise.
Eating to lose weight? Um, yeah, that’s a bandwagon I’m willing to ride for the rest of my life.
Basically, when your body goes a certain number of hours without food, your metabolism slows down. Think about it – in ancient days, cavemen & caveladies had to go days or sometimes weeks without eating (you know how it goes… those wooly mammoths can be DANG hard to catch). Their bodies adapted by slowing down their metabolism, which allowed that food to provide them energy during those “dry spells.”
We want to avoid those “dry spells” like the plague, know what I’m saying? By drinking water and eating small snacks between meals, we can manipulate our metabolisms into running running running like Forrest Gump. This keeps our energy up, keeps food moving through the body, and allows us to be able to eat more without storing extra food as fat.
Eat More Protein.
You might be noticing a trend here – I have a tendency to focus on adding things to the diet, rather than taking them away. I mean, what kind of life is it when you’re only focusing on the things you don’t get to enjoy? That’s a quick way to make yourself sad. Anyway, I digress.
Protein. It helps cells build & repair themselves. It helps to regulate enzymes and hormones. It provides the building blocks of life, quite literally. Great sources of protein include lean proteins, eggs, beans, nuts, & seeds. Get ’em in your belly!
You must be pretty excited by now, considering how non-threatening this list sounds.
But, honestly, listen: stress often causes weight gain, along with a huge number of illnesses. Illness itself also tends to cause weight gain. So, what I’m saying here is, stress = fat.
Back in the day, when we were hunting gazelles and running from lions (or maybe velociraptors?), our stressors were physical in nature. Our bodies would release a flood of hormones into the body to help us meet these physical demands (adrenaline, cortisol, etc.).
But what about 2015? Our stressors are primarily non-physical.
My boss needs this presentation by the end of the day.
I have to take the ACT tomorrow.
OMG, I have to find a prom dress, like, NOW!!!
So, we get stressed, and our bodies still release this primal slew of hormones. When we don’t do anything active, guess what happens? Our bodies store extra fat, in case we need to, you know, run from a large animal later.
What I’m really saying is, find a way to de-stress. Stop stress in its tracks, if you can. It’s not worth it! My favorite ways: 10 minutes of un-interrupted music listening, watching a funny movie, and taking 5 deep breaths.
So, here’s your challenge:
Think about these 5 simple things this week.
Try them on for size, you know?
If they make you feel good… keep it up!
What are your favorite simple ways to lose weight?