So, since it's a new year, I know lots of people are planning to lose some weight. In fact, CNN.com is doing a poll today; it simply asked if you are planning to lose weight this year. When I checked, 77% of the responders said yes. That's a big number. And I suspect some folks don't even know where to start or may feel overwhelmed. So I thought I'd try to break down some basics here.
To lose a few pounds and get healthier, one must commit to themselves that they really want it. With a little hard work and dedication, you can lose the weight. No matter your perceived obstacle, it can be done.
Here are some changes you can make starting today so that you can lose the weight you're hoping for.
1) Eat enough. Yes, you read that right. You must feed your metabolism. If you're eating 2 meals a day, you're not eating enough. Even if they're big meals, its not enough. When you go more than a few hours without eating, your blood sugar crashes and your metabolism slows. Try eating every 2-3 hours. And DONT skip breakfast. None of these meals have to be big. You may feel like you just can't eat because you're not hungry. That's a sign that you've sloooowed your metabolism! If you don't feel hungry in the morning, try drinking a glass of water when you wake up, then about 30 minutes later, eat a scrambled egg. For me, that's not enough, but for getting yourself used to eating again, you may need to start there. Eventually, there's no reason why you shouldn't be eating a couple of eggs and a piece of whole wheat toast. Your snacks can be just as small. A handful of pistachios or a few wheat crackers with cheese, things of that sort.
2) Eat at least one fruit per day, use it as one of your snacks. Eat vegetables with every meal. No excuses. Your body needs and craves it. AND it'll fill you up without excessive calories. And weight loss boils down to that....calories in vs. calories out.
3) Drink water, cut out sodas. Yes, even diet sodas. Regular sodas are horrendous for you, with an insane amount of sugar. Truly. Insane. Diet sodas cut out the sugar and calories of course, but they've been shown to make your body crave sugar. So you're more likely to eat more later or indulge more with sugary sweets than you normally would. If you must have soda with something (For instance, I simply MUST have soda when I'm having a burger) then drink part of a diet soda. And make that all the soda for the day. Drink water all day long, starting when you first wake up.
4) Walk for 30 minutes every day. Yes, every day. It's only a walk, not a run or weights, you can do this every day, and to get the calorie burn you need to lose some weight, you need to be consistent with this. If you truly do not have 30 minutes to walk each day, then split it up, 15 minutes in the morning before work and 15 minutes either on your lunch break or after work. Do not skip this step. It's key, and it will give you results. And, if you choose to push further later, it will set you up for success if you decide to start a more intense workout program.
5) Sleep. Do not underestimate the power of sleep. When you do not sleep enough hours, your metabolism will slow, and your stress hormones will signal your body to store fat.
So those are the basics as I see it. If you already do all of these things and you're still wanting to lose some weight, you should consider a more intense workout. This does not mean you have to run marathons. There are fabulous, safe, fun workouts that will do the trick. Your body will get used to one activity. So after walking every day for a month, you very well may plateau, that's when you'll want to mix up your routine. Right now, I've stopped running and I'm doing resistance training, Chalean Extreme. I'm soooo excited I'm doing it, because I'm already seeing the results I was hoping for. Long, lean muscles! Hooray! Don't be afraid of weights, and don't be afraid to start an actual program. They're effective and people love them for a reason!
As always, I'm here to help... comment below or email me if you'd like more specific advice on losing weight, getting fit, nutrition, or whatever!
~To Your Health~