Make these small changes for a healthier you, with slimming benefits for that stubborn weight!
- Not knowing why you want to lose weight.
A lot of people like to dive right in, skip the planning, the why, and lose weight quick. It could be for an event, summer, or just because they are tired of not loving the body they’ve got.
But, seeing true weight loss success and keeping it off takes planning, determination, and staying motivated. Not only that, but your “why” for doing it has to be better than “because I want to wow everybody at the wedding in March with my hot new bod.” That can definitely be a reason, but most of the time reasons like those don’t provide long lasting results. When I was able to finally see changes, it was because I decided I wanted to change my lifestyle. I was tired of feeling sick, not looking how I wanted, and not feeling my best. I wanted more than to look good at an event or for summer and those hot beach days. I wanted to do it for me. Yes, it would be nice to lose 10lbs in a week, but it isn’t realistic or healthy for that matter. So, I needed to get in the right mindset, take the time to plan, write down my goals(keeping them realistic), and stay motivated.
Another thing, when you aren’t sure of your why and just want to dive into a fad diet, you might end up worse off. Spiraling into a binge because you are trying out the military diet, failing/starving and eating 3x as much as you would have if you were eating a steady diet that was right for you from the beginning.
From what I have noticed, most people aren’t aware of the daily recommendation of added sugars (6-9 tsp/24-36 grams) and on top of that how useless sweeteners are to our bodies. The average American consumes 77 grams of added sugars a day, these aren’t the sugars that we consume through fruit, this is the coca cola, candy, and cookies we can’t seem to get enough of. What a lot of us don’t realize is that the way our bodies process these types of sugars is very poor.
We take in these added sweeteners, they are digested with zero nutritional value and what results is a lack of satiety and a much larger intake of food than we would have consumed had we eaten a well rounded meal consisting of REAL food (i.e. fruits, veggies, whole grains). Added sweetener calories (not from whole foods like fruit) don’t produce real “fullness”, so we eat more thus leading to the “why am I not losing any weight?” question and now we both know it’s because sugary junk foods don’t fill you up, leading to eating more, leading to a larger calorie intake. All this is BAD BAD BAD, skip the added sugar, eat real food, and always order water. You have no idea how this little tidbit of info can improve your health/diet.
- Cutting entire food groups
Some diets recommend completely cutting out carbs probably because we tend to associate our failure to lose weight with the pizza, pasta and cookies (bad carbs) we eat more often than we care to admit… and don’t get me wrong that is definitely going to get in your way. But, to completely deem carbohydrates unnecessary and try to cut them from our diets can cost us important nutrients we get from the good carbs (i.e. whole grains, fruits, beans, etc.).Whole grains and beans are probably the most satisfying, filling food you can consume a lot of and get so many nutrients from without getting that ugly full feeling and regretting those darn carbs. Do NOT try to cut those two, you can still lose weight, what you need to lose are the unhealthy food choices you make (i.e. pizza, cheesy bleached flour pastas, cookies, etc.) and your body will thank you for giving it whole health-filled foods, that taste just as good, without the regret.
- Eating out/Fast food
We all love going to restaurants and trying new foods. We also love the convenience of a drive-thru and getting food in our hands within minutes. BUT, if eating out is a regular thing and you’re going multiple times a week to your favorite Thai place… you might want to invest that $10.99 into some veggies and brown rice you can prepare at home.When we eat out we can’t see what exactly goes into our foods. For instance, how much sodium or oils get used, making it harder for us to keep track of how much of those less desired ingredients are contributing to our overall calorie intake for the day. In our minds it just gets added in as a meal hopefully consisting of around 600 calories (but most likely over 1,000) and we eat on with our day. Try to be aware of what you order, find out if you can see the nutrition facts for the meal, is it healthy? I personally love eating out, but I like to make sure it’s something reasonably good for my body, provides me with good nutrients, while also satisfying my hunger for food I didn’t cook. Being aware of what you eat when eating out can be so beneficial to your weight loss success. This is a lifestyle you gotta work for it!
When it comes to drive-thru’s and fast-food, I think we all already know it isn’t good for us. “But Marti, it’s so convenient and I only go like once a week.” Well, this post is about why you can’t lose the weight, and let me tell you… It’s not going anywhere if you’re not going to give up that convenience. I know time is of the essence but we make time for things that aren’t really beneficial all the time, (like leaving for work 10 minutes early to grab a chai latte on the way) why can’t we make the time for our bodies and well-being? Wake up 20 minutes earlier and get that butt in the kitchen to fix up a quick meal, your body will thank you and watch that scale move the way you want it.
- Skipping breakfast
Alright, I’m sure you’ve heard it about a million times already, but breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You just slept for 8 hours (on a good night), and your body needs fuel to get your day going! Skipping out not only causes your body to think it’s starving and store more fat when you do eventually eat, but it can’t get your metabolism going when there is nothing in it either. Your body burns more calories when it’s digesting foods. Try to get something in, it doesn’t have to be big either. A quick slice of whole wheat and grain toast with avocado, pesto, tomato and a sprinkle of turmeric (my favorite) isn’t too heavy but gets your body started with great nutrients.The goal is to lose weight AND be healthy, you need to eat good, nutritious foods throughout your day. Get started early and get that metabolism going, we need to be mindful of what we consume. If you really want to see a difference, you need to develop healthy habits that will set you up for success and having breakfast is one of the first things we can do every morning to get it started.
- Vitamin D
Maybe you know, maybe you don’t, but a lot of people are lacking in Vitamin D, which is an important and beneficial vitamin we can get through direct sunlight. With vitamin D our bodies are able to absorb calcium better, but with a lack of calcium our bodies produce more enzymes that convert calories into fat.There are also receptors in our brains that use Vitamin D to tell us if we are full and satiated, as well as help us curb cravings. Lacking in it means then, that we are less able to feel full leading to eating more, and are more likely to lack in self-control for those cravings we get for insanely, unhealthy foods.Get outside and soak up the sun for 15 minutes a day, but for the cold and cloudy months and in places where the sun don’t shine, a healthy alternative is through fortified milks and cereals. Don’t forget you’re trying to live a healthy lifestyle and making steps towards a body that represents that, opt for almond or soy milks and look for cereals that don’t have more than 8 grams of sugar per serving. Always think about what you are putting into your body, it deserves it.
Y’all gotta sleep. I know it’s a damper on all your plans but sleep is soooooo important and beneficial to many aspects of our bodies, including weight loss. Without a proper night’s rest, we end up first of all, waking up not feeling rested or ready to kick the day’s ass, but more importantly for this posts’ topic, our metabolism is affected. It is slowed and when comparing two people who are consuming the same calorie diet created for weight loss, the one who sleeps is 55% more likely to see results. Be that 55% percent and close those pretty eyes.
What has really helped me is creating a sort of schedule, it’s not super strict but I try to go by it most nights. I have a dedicated bedtime around 11 pm (you can set this up on your iPhone in the alarm settings… Android users I’m not sure about) and a wake up around 7 am. I’ve been doing this for about a month with most days going accordingly and it’s honestly made such a difference. I feel more energetic, but also more structured if that makes sense… making sure I get the sleep my body needs keeps me on track and avoiding the lethargic lull that my sleep deprived days used to bring.
- Fad diets
They promise fast results and a lot of people seem to vouch for them. Not only is losing a bunch of weight in two weeks unrealistic, but it is also a false claim. People see results and lose weight on the diet but as soon as it’s over and your back to your sporadic, unorganized diet, the weight resurfaces. That’s because a two week quick fix isn’t going to solve the problem.Take a second to think about what you eat during one of these diets. Can you maintain it? Most likely no, and if yes, you’ll reach a plateau. I’m all for thinking about health and truly feeding our bodies great food. What comes with that is a natural decline in weight, if you aren’t giving yourself bad stuff or overindulging all the time, you can expect results. Don’t be mindless, this is you we are talking about, you’re important and deserve a healthy lifestyle, which in the end will provide the best and long-lasting results for your body.
- Over-sized cheat meal
Sometimes diets will allow a cheat meal, or you want to reward yourself with one because you worked out all week, ate clean, and feel like you ought to treat yo’ self. It seems like a good idea, get the cravings out of your system and what not. BUT, and I think we’ve all been there, in our excitement and ready to chow down our “meal”, a lot of us end up eating way more… probably closer to what two adults and a child would eat.Being too restricting on yourself can lead to a large caloric intake during your cheat meal, which sets you back more than you might think. Then, you’re playing catch up the next few days instead of making more progress, and the whole thing repeats itself and you aren’t seeing any changes. Not only that, but it could lead you down a spiral from cheat meal to cheat day.So, to avoid this, it might help to have small indulgences here and there. That doesn’t mean ice cream one day, doughnuts the next, you want to create healthy habits here. Be mindful, enjoy the indulgence, and don’t let it take control. My goal is to live a healthy lifestyle, something that can be maintained, so 95% of the time I want to fuel my body with amazing foods, and when I really feel like I “need” it, I’ll eat a little treat.
We all knew this one was coming I’m sure. So… I love going out, and I love having a good time (with a few drinks), but when you aren’t seeing any progress on your journey to a healthy you, it might be smart to consider how much you’re drinking weekly. Cocktails and beer sneak in a lot of sugar-filled calories, lead to drunchies (drunk munchies), and a morning filled with hangover-curing breakfasts foods. Don’t let a night out set you back, opt for light alcohols mixed with seltzer water and lime, and if that fails skip the late night munchies and try not to be a hash-brown eating monster in the morning to minimize damage. Be mindful of what you’re putting into your body, you can still have fun but if a healthier you is desired and successful weight loss, it will take some self-discipline.