Friday, January 9, 2015
#1 Don't Count Calories
Do yourself a favor and forget the stress of counting calories. It will only make you crazy. Besides not all calories are alike—50 calories of sugar is a whole lot different than 50 calories of veggies. It's not the calories that count—it's the content of the calories.
Instead, take a serious look at the food you want to eat and ask, "Is this something that will give my body good health?" You know you shouldn't be eating a candy bar when you're hungry. It's full of artificial and GMO ingredients and sugar (corn syrup most likely). You might be satisfied, but you won't feel good.
#2 Don't Skip Breakfast
Breakfast is still the most important meal of the day. You've been sleeping for 7 - 9 hours (hopefully—otherwise you need to read Sleep—Needed for Optimum Wellness). Your body needs a nutrition kick-start to the day. When you skip breakfast you set yourself up to eat too much the rest of the day. Plus your body settles into survival mode and stores food as fat to compensate for those periods of starvation—not eating breakfast.
Don't be one of those people who claim you can't stomach food in the morning. That's a very bad habit and damaging self-talk. That's one habit you need to lose. It may take some time to get your body to respond to eating breakfast, but you better get started.
Instead of grabbing a bagel, cook an organic egg in a bit of coconut oil and eat it with some Kimchi and half-a-piece of whole-grain bread. Or my favorite breakfast is eating steel cut oatmeal, quinoa, or millet with trail mix, almond milk and maple syrup. Whatever you choose for breakfast avoid sugar and a lot of bread (which converts quickly to sugar).
#3 Eat More Veggies
If you want to lose weight quickly and never go hungry, start eating lots of veggies. You can never eat too many. Eat them whole. Put them in a smoothie. Juice them to concentrate the nutrients. You cannot go wrong. You could lose 10 pounds the first week (not guaranteed, but you will feel better).
If you're going from eating junk to eating these health-inducing, earth-grown, power houses of nutrition, you might experience a day or so feeling lousy because your body will be detoxing—a good thing. It will dump all the toxins that have built up in your body from the horrible nonfood you've been eating.
Ahhhhhh! Prepare to feel great!
#4 Reduce Sugar and Bread
Sugar and bread are the primary culprits that make you fat—whether it's that belly you can't seem to shed or you're just fat or even obese. Ugh! That is not a condition you need to accept. There is a healthy, happy, terrific feeling individual under all that and you have the power to uncover him/her. Yay!
Check the ingredients list of everything before you buy. If it has sugar, don't buy it! If it's not in your house, you can't eat it. I would not buy cookies or my favorite candy (before I cut out all sugar) because I knew if I had it in the house, I'd eat it.
Once you get off the sugar and lose the cravings, you'll feel so much better.
#5 Don't Over Exercise
If you add exercise to lose weight, take it easy and build up gradually. Studies have shown that even small amounts of exercise contribute to better health, longer life and weight lose. Add that to diet changes and you'll really see results.
Besides doing some exercise that gets your heart going, don't forget to add a little weight training. Working with weights will add muscle. Why is that important? Because muscle burns fat even when you're sitting still. Famous fitness author, Covert Bailey, called it being a better butter burner.
If you over exercise you'll be too sore and become discouraged—it may cause you to quit. You don't want that! When I got back into running, I walked most of the time with a few minutes of running and gradually built up until I was running more than walking. After 11 years of running, I can run 2.5 to 3 miles without walking in the middle of my run even after I've taken a week off.
#6 Make a Lifestyle Change
Really the most important tip is to set your mind to change. Being healthy, feeling full of energy and being slim is a lifestyle choice you make about the things you eat, the exercise you accomplish, the sleep you get and the spin you put on life. Make it all count and you will change your lifestyle to one that is healthy.
It's not about will power—staying away from certain bad habits. It's about purpose—focusing on who you want to be. Purpose provides the motivating power to change your lifestyle. It's about permanent change not a temporary journey—not a detour in your path, but a whole new direction.
Go ahead. Change your world. You have the power.
Any questions or perhaps you have some tips of your own? Please share.