13 Simple Ways to Start Losing Weight + Keep It Off!
It's summer time, you're baring more skin and you're more aware of your body now than you were when you were covered in layers and just trying to survive the snow. It's common for most of us to get motivated to exercise when it's warm out, and make better eating choices with the abundance of fruits and veggies in season. But weight-loss is not successful if it yo-yos with the seasons, the changes that need to be made must be more permanent!
Plus it takes more than an active lifestyle to change our body composition. I often get asked if I can just eat whatever I want since I am professional fitness guru, and the answer is: "No, not all of the time!"
So you've done all the fad diets, and you've restricted this and that and it hasn't worked. I can understand if the prospect of making dramatic changes scares you, you need not worry, your body (as well as your life) is a journey. So be patient and stay positive, these simple changes can have a lasting affect when applied long-term.
1. Get Honest: First, you need to decide if you want to change the way you eat. Maybe you've been eating pasta since you were a child, and it's a huge part of being with your family. Making shifts in your eating when it's part of your culture or family routine can be difficult. The good thing is that your family loves you and although they may have a hard time understanding, their love for you goes beyond a bowl of pasta. Perhaps, the changes you suggest will help them become more healthy as well.
If you find that you don't want to change the way you eat, then you need not read further. You simply need to learn to love the body you are in, and enjoy the life you have. As a woman, I believe it's important to find our own self, and not let advertising dictate what we should look like.
2. Save Up Your Patience: Remember piggy banks? Whenever I found or was gifted some money as a kid, I was so excited to put in my piggy bank. Later at a store I would find something and would just want to splurge my whole piggy bank on it, but didn't have enough for the item. So I learned patience, I had to save. The same applies to your body & eating habits. You need to invest in the changes you seek, and stick to it!
3. Booze Beware: Let's be honest, in NYC most of us drink and if there was a contest, most of us would win! But booze is empty calories, so if sobriety is too extreme (it is for me) then it's about a trade out. I recently traded out wine (Famega Vino Verde) for beer (Narragansett Lager). I find I drink less because beer is so filling. And when it comes to liquor, the higher the proof, the more calories you're going to consume, plus the mixers just add on even more (unless it's water). In addition, hangovers aren't great at motivating us to be active. All in all, booze is a huge roadblock for weight-loss, start to ease yourself out of drinking as much.
4. Liquify A Meal: Ease up on your digestion by making one meal juiced or blended. I'm a huge fan of blended, because the fiber remains, so you feel fuller. Make sure there's protein and greens (spinach is my fav - no flavor change), no added sugars (like agave) or grains (like cereal or rice milk). Easing up on digestion equals less bloating, giving you a sense of what your tummy's capacity really is.
5. Drink Water First: Most of the time we can feel hungry when we are actually just thirsty. Try drinking so water to find out if you are in fact hungry before eating a snack or going for seconds.
6. Eat Greens At Every Meal: The darker and leafier the better! I typically try to do a smoothie in the morning with greens, either cooked or raw veggies as a side with lunch, and a big salad for dinner, with snacks as needed throughout the day. If you just make sure you're seeing green at every meal, then you are doing a great job!
7. Accept a Cheat Moment (not day): Often we bait ourselves into making these healthy shifts, if we get one day to just eat whatever. The problem with doing that is the junk food hangover you get the next day, that often spirals you into yet another day of it! So if I am going to brunch, I allow myself the indulgence of pancakes and possibly a mimosa, and then lunch and dinner are super healthy.
8. Don't Starve Yourself: Sometimes we don't do it intentionally, we just merely are involved in a project or caught up with friends that we forget to feed ourselves until our tummies voraciously hungry. The next thing you know, you're ordering a burger and fries because you're on empty. Have a snack with you at all times. You don't even need to eat the whole thing if you know you want a full meal soon.
9. Eat Slowly: I usually find myself wolfing down the burger and fries I just got because I was starving and waited to long to attend to my hunger. Doing so sends you into the over-eating zone, and then you end up feeling even worse afterwards. You get really sleepy cause your belly is on over-drive, your bloated and hating yourself for caving. Just STOP, and eat slowly; distract yourself between each bite if you need to. Chewing and breaking down your food in your mouth several times before it hits your belly helps to fight the bloat and ease digestion. You will also know when you are full, as it takes a few minutes before the belly and mind connect.
10. Stop Eating Late at Night: This was definitely my weak spot for the longest time. Food was the ultimate comfort at the end of the day; where I could just sit back, let it all go and nurture my exhaustion and stress before having to do it all over again the next day. I found myself having a harder time waking up in the morning, and feeling sluggish because my body was still trying to finish processing all the food from the night before. Giving your belly "digestion breaks" or assistance is your best bet to getting a sense of the true size of your stomach and how to keep it happy.
11. Stay Busy: Do you eat out of boredom? I certainly have done so in the past, and the next thing I knew, I had spent the entire afternoon snacking! if you need to rest, mellow out or recharge, try to do it away from your kitchen. Go to the park/beach or take a walk. If you know you could do some home improvement or organize something, that's another way to stay busy but without having to leave your home.
12. Ditch Stress: Stress is the worst! Maybe you've heard about cortisol, a hormone that increases in our body when we are stressed out. It basically tells our body to save up for the long haul adding inches to your waistline. It's not easy being breezy in NYC! Trust me I know, I have to work at carving out time for my sanity and calm every single day. Whether I read some affirmations for the day, get on my mat and have a self love stretch session, meditate or prepare a meal without rushing. You will see your eating habits change when you tackle your stress head-on and work at letting go.
13. Get Rest: This is a great beautifier in so many ways! You're digestion will be more at ease, your stress levels will go down, you will look and feel more rested and energized. So make sure you are scheduling your sleep, at least 7-8 hours. If I get less, I struggle a bit more, and if that happens every night, I tend to ditch all composure, eat whatever I want, and then snowballing into several other bad habits.
Your body really is a temple; all the bad stuff will really catch up with you...if it hasn't already. Your journey back to finding it will be more difficult. BUT FEAR NOT! You will reach your goals and you will feel at ease when all your hard work has paid of. Start integrating these simple changes today, and keep us posted on how it's working for you, in the comments section below.
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