Becoming and staying healthy seem to be such utterly complicated goals. There is a never ending stream of advice on the internet; not only that, but doesn’t it feel like there is always a contradiction to everything? I know I used to be frustrated and totally confused. I would make a change, be so happy with myself and then completely deflate when I read the next “what you should do” piece of advice because it told me what I was doing was not the right thing, or there was just something better.
I’m going to share some of my secrets with you--in order to start to incorporate some lifestyle changes for weight loss, we have to simplify. Go ahead and let that big sigh out. Awesome right? Let’s get on with it then!
Back To Basics
Making small changes are what lead to big results. Building on each success gets your momentum going and you stay motivated to stay on track. Here are my top 3 lifestyle changes for weight loss that are simple but extremely effective.
Stay Hydrated and Time It Right
I know we hear “drink water” all the time, but are you actually doing it? Coffee and alcohol don’t count; those simply dehydrate you more so you need to drink even more water every time you have one of those. Create a new habit and start your day with a tall glass of 16 oz of chilled water and you can boost your metabolism by 24%. That means before you eat anything, shower, or make breakfast your first task out of bed is to drink your water. You will read in many places that the water should be warm so as to not shock the system; the science showed that the water had to be cold to boost the metabolism for 90 minutes after consumption. The bottom line? Do it whichever way you find easier; some people like cold, others like warm! You can switch to cold water for the rest of the day as that has been shown to raise your resting metabolic rate. Sip warm water if you must during meals; when you have lots of water, (especially cold) during a meal, the enzymes breaking down your food drown and you harden the partially digested food on its way through your body. For optimal digestion and nutrient absorption, drink your water away from meals.
Cold or warm, as long as you hydrate you’re in good shape. For bonus points add the juice of half a lemon in the morning (NOT that ReaLemon crap!). A hydrated body works more efficiently, and an efficient body can burn maximum fat under the right conditions!
Eat Breakfast, and Make It Good
Studies show that people who skip breakfast “tend to weigh more and have other unhealthy habits…In addition, studies of young people found that breakfast-skippers consume 40 percent more sweets, 55 percent more soft drinks, 45 percent fewer vegetables and 30 percent less fruit than people who eat breakfast.”. We can’t have just any old breakfast either; eating a high glycemic breakfast (think bagels, fast food breakfast sandwiches, muffins, cinnamon buns, sugary coffees) spikes your blood sugar and when it drops back down, that hunger urge hits hard, and you’ll grab the first thing you see. Setting a solid foundation in the morning ensures a higher rate of success during the day. Eat within 1-2 hours of waking up, and make sure it has lots of protein, fiber, good fats and complex carbs.
Eat When You’re Hungry, and Don’t When You’re Not
We’ve conditioned ourselves to eat when we’re not even hungry - boredom, stress, social events all tend to give us a sense of eating for comfort. Needless to say when you eat more than you need, you won’t lose weight. If you have trouble distinguishing between physical hunger and emotional hunger, start paying attention every time you reach for food. This can be tough, and what helped me was USANA’s 5 Day RESET Jumpstart kit that has you eating low glycemic, nutritionally balanced shakes and bars plus veggies and fruit for 5 days. Since you can’t eat whatever you want for this time period, you are forced to distinguish between what physical hunger really feels like versus emotional hunger. I ate significantly less food afterwards, had fewer cravings without even trying and it was an amazing eye-opening experience that changed how I eat forever.
There are No Quick Fixes: Diets Don’t Work
You’re either in this for the long haul or you’re not. When working with clients, the ones who achieve success and maintain it are the ones that really want it. They are not the ones who want to look good in that outfit only for that special occasion or that want to drop years of weight gain as fast as possible. If you’re always looking for the next quick fix, you will continue to see minimal results that don’t last; that perpetuate the cycle of unhappiness that you feel with your health and body. But when you get to that place of wanting true health, I know you can do it…so let’s go!