6 Small Diet & Lifestyle Changes For Greater
Weight Loss Results
One of the common mistakes I see with people trying to lose weight is….trying to do it all at once.
‘I’m going to meal prep, eat clean, exercise 7 days a week, no sugar, lots of water, and I’ll reach my goal by this time next month.’
That’s great if you have a nutritionist, chef, personal trainer (and motivator), work from home, and have hired someone to smack the cookie out of your hand every time you’re feeling weak.
But for the rest of us, that’s a big wish on top of our already busy lives. You may do great for the first week, heck maybe even 2, but most commonly by the 3rd week, motivation tends to lack and you’re back to your post-dinner popcorn and cookies.
When you try to take on many things at once, not only are you setting yourself up for failure, you’re also doing damage to your motivation and drive. Not to mention, the lack of consistency within your diet and exercise can wreak havoc on your metabolism and fat burning ability.
Because I’ve seen this cycle over and over again with anyone wanting to lose weight (especially after the holidays) I’ve created an incredibly simple list of 6 things you can do to keep your weight loss going steadily in the right direction.
You won’t feel deprived, wanting to binge, left out or overwhelmed. None of these steps take a huge amount of time and you already have the tools. I’m just going to teach you how to make them work for you.
Make 2019 your year! The year you’ve never felt SO good!
1. Up your gut health
Gut health is number 1! The state of your gut health determines more than your digestion. Did you know it can affect your mood too? Energy? How often you’re sick? And your ability to lose or gain weight for long term results?
Unfortunately alcohol, irregular and lack of sleep and sugar all play a role in throwing off the balance of healthy gut bacteria. All of which we tend to overdue during the holidays. So a balance is what we must aim for!
3 easy things you can to do balance your gut bacteria include supplementing with probiotics, beginning your day with a large glass of lemon water, and including prebiotic foods such as lentils, chickpeas, beans, garlic, asparagus, oats, bananas, onion, and nuts into your diet.
Again, keeping it simple. When you wake up, turn the tap to warm, squeeze in half a lemon and take your probiotic with your breakfast. When planning dinner, pick 1 prebiotic food to include. Easy peasy!
2. Not eating until stuffed
Such an easy, common way to sabotage your goals. It is all too familiar to eat in front of a TV or a computer. Have you ever sat down to a movie with your meal and next thing you knew, your plate was empty and you hadn’t even acknowledged it? Most likely, getting up to retrieve seconds only to feel like the Pillsbury dough boy 15 minutes later.
We are meant to enjoy our food. When we focus on the meal in front of us, it is so much easier to tune into our bodies needs, fully enjoying our meal and not needing to go back for more. This doesn’t have to take long. 10-15 minutes. Less time then it takes to go back and eat your second helping followed by a sluggish afternoon due to eating too much.
If completely stuffed, Thanksgiving dinner type full is a 10/10 and so famished you could pass out is a 0, you should be eating to about a 6-7. Could probably eat more, but also feeling satiated. At first, this may feel foreign. A tad uncomfortable if you’re used to overeating, but don’t worry, you’ll quickly get used to it. Even more than that, you’ll love the energy that comes when eating for your needs.
If you’ve had a very active day and are still feeling hungry after your meal, set your timer for 20 minutes. If you’re still feeling hungry, you can opt for a smaller second helping. The important thing is listening to your body.
3. Keep it simple
This is where keeping it simple really comes into play. You know when it feels like you have a thousand things to do, it becomes so overwhelming that it’s taking everything in you just to begin so instead you plop down on the couch and choose to not do it at all?
When it comes to eating clean and exercising, there are many components often making it seem like it such a big task, you aren’t exactly sure where to begin.
We’ve all been there.
So here’s what you’re going to do.
Pick 3 things each day you’d like to accomplish every couple of days. For example Monday-Wednesday it’s to increase your water intake, move your body for 15 minutes and cut the post-dinner snack out.
Thursday-Saturday it’s a 20+ workout, green smoothie for breakfast and no TV or computer at least 20 mins before bedtime.
Sunday-Monday: Meal prep your breakfast lunches for the week from clean recipes you’ve found on this blog!
Make your goals attainable and clear. Soon, all these goals will become natural habits and you’ll be spending your lunch hour shopping for new bikinis to show off your hot bod’!
4. Staying on top of your goals
A huge part of accomplishing our goals is simply to remember them! We take in A LOT of information on a daily basis, so it’s easy to forget the goals we’ve intended for the day.
How do we fix it?
Little reminders. Setting alarms or reminders on your phone giving you a little nudge to remember to drink more water, skip out on post-lunch sweets, and to stay positive and stay focused.
A personal favorite is using Post It’s! You better believe there’s one on my fridge asking me the question ‘are you hungry or just bored? Drink a large glass of water and get back to work’ or one on my mirror that says ‘smile. You are worth achieving your goals’.
Write down your goals and post them in a visible place at home and/or at work. Somewhere you’ll see them throughout your day. Even writing them is said to increase your efforts in achieving them. If you’re not on board with Post It’s, try writing your daily goals in a notebook and set at least 2 reminders in your phone stating your goals. One reminder for mid-morning and one for mid-afternoon.
5. Schedule rest days and cheat meals
Believe it or not, saying you’ll never ever have dessert or pizza date night again is not your answer to reaching your weight loss goals. Cheat meals are an important part of the journey. For one, they are good for the metabolism.
“One way cheat meals can boost the metabolism is by increasing levels of leptin, the “anti-starvation” hormone responsible for sending hunger messages to the body. When your body senses a calorie deficit, leptin levels drop, prompting the metabolism to slow down and conserve energy.”
Secondly, when you schedule your cheat meal, it’s much easier to say no to the daily binge or unfavorable snack. Have a friends birthday this weekend or a social event? Focus on that being your cheat meal so come the event, you can kick back relax and enjoy your hamburger with friends.
Also, notice how I said ‘cheat meal’ and not ‘cheat day’? You’ve put in the effort all week to stay on top of your clean eating habits, don’t allow your lack of inhibition and temptation for a boozy brunch followed by Thai takeout to throw that all away when a lazy Sunday comes along. If you really want it, you will allow your dedication to be greater than your cravings.
6. Give your sleep priority to your phone and tv
We all know the importance of good quality sleep…but do we really know??
First off, what is ‘good quality’ sleep?
According to the National Sleep Foundation (yeah, that’s a real thing) when you wake up in the morning bright and bushy tailed, you’ve had a sleep that included: falling asleep within the first 30 minutes of being in bed, waking up no more then once for 10 minutes or less falling asleep shortly after, and being asleep for at least 85% of the time spent in bed.
Why is sleep important and how does it benefit our health, fitness and weight loss results?
When you’ve had a good sleep, you are much more inclined to make better decisions throughout your day. This means being able to say no to mid-morning snacks, staying focused at work, and have a more energized workout. Why? Your body is rested and you are in your right mind. Sleep deprivation lowers your inhibitions. It has also been linked to depression, lower immune system, increased inflammation, and weight gain.
Have you ever noticed when you’re tired you tend to be more snacky? Particularly carbs? This is because of 2 reasons. 1) Your body is searching for a quick source of energy aka carbs. 3) Lack of sleep can increase the secretion of cortisol which is a hormone that plays a role in regulating appetite. In this case, increasing it. Cortisol is also said to be one of the sources that stores lower belly fat. If that doesn’t scare you into a deep sleep….
Some of the top reasons why we aren’t getting a deep enough sleep is due to stress and overexposure of blue lights emitted from our computers, phones, and televisions. Blue light is said to repress the secretion of melatonin, the hormone that signals the body to sleep. If you work a high-stress job and then sit in front of your screen 30-40 minutes before bedtime, your quality of sleep could be taking a dive.
Opt for reading a book, writing in your journal, get crafty, practice yoga, deep breathing or meditation before you hit the hay. If this is new to you, it may seem a bit odd or perhaps boring, but give it some time. When you start to notice the amount of energy you have through the day and your ability to focus, it will be a no brainer.
And there you have it! 6 easy tips you can apply to your lifestyle today! If this list seems overwhelming, refer back to number 3 and take it one at a time. You have the power and tools to get where you want to go. Now stay focused, work hard, and make it happen baby!