6. Skipping Meals and Skipping Eating is No Way to GO!
Crash diets, juice fasts, skipping meals, and even skipping an entire day of eating, a la Chris Martin of Coldplay’s way of eating, does not belong on your to do list for gaining a healthy lifestyle. The problem with an extreme sort of diet or way of eating is that while you may get really fast results, you are not learning how to eat in a healthy way. You aren’t teaching or re-teaching yourself how to live in the real world with real foods and real portion sizes. Furthermore, when you restrict your foods and calories you are really not serving your body. Your body ends up looking for energy to burn and usually has to resort to burning muscle for energy and we know we do NOT want to lose muscle.
If you are trying to lose weight, cutting calories realistically (500 – 1000 with diet and exercise) and reducing portion sizes will help you see results and be more motivated to make healthy choices that can turn into healthy habits.
7. Scales Actually Work
I know I’ve talked about not using scales. Not becoming a slave to the number on the scale. Not weighing yourself every hour on the hour and especially not letting the number on the scale determine your mindset and your day. However, the scale, used responsibly can be your friend. Weighing yourself once a week, on the same day of the week, at the same time, wearing (or not wearing) the very same thing can show the number going down or up. That can be very motivating for some folks.
8. Sleep Matters
When I began this post I said I looked at weight loss and health in a holistic manner. There is so much more involved in losing and maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle. One of the main contributing factors is the amount of sleep a person gets each night. Lack of sleep does a number of harmful things to your body that results in weight gain. When you are tired and sleep deprived your hormone gherlin which tells you whether you are hungry shoots up while the hormone leptin which tells you that you are full, drops. You can see the picture now. You are going to want to eat and eat and likely eat some more. And since you are tired, you will want something sugary or full of starchy carbs. That is not a good way to set yourself up for making healthy choices. Our mothers were absolutely correct when they told us we needed our sleep. And we still do. Do all you can to get at least seven hours or more a night. Make it a rule, a priority, a must.
9. Eat Mindfully
This has really been a game changer for me. I have really tried to focus on what I am eating when I am eating. It may sound silly, but how often do you scarf something down and then look at the empty plate and not even realize you had eaten everything already. I have said before that I love food. I do. So, why would I want to take the enjoyment out of it by eating while watching TV, typing on the computer, scrolling through FB, or what other distractions that I can find to do. I have finally found the key to eating and enjoying whatever it is I am eating. I have found I do not eat as much. My food tastes better. Also, sometimes if I know I have to actually sit down to enjoy it, I find I must not really be hungry because maybe I had rather do something else. Try it. It is a really good habit.
10. At some point your body will give the halt signal.
If you have lost weight or maybe do not have much weight to lose, at some point your body will require less calories. Your body gets more efficient at burning calories and your brain will begin to tell you that you need more food than you actually do. If you have been losing weight and seem to stall, this is normal. It is called a plateau and it happens to everyone. It even happens to the Biggest Loser folks.
This is where those little changes can really add up to big results. Try a new workout that will use different muscles and trick your body. Add extra weight to your weight training routine. Try to get in more steps throughout the day. Really take a look at what you are eating. Where are the empty calories that you really don’t need? You likely do not need as much as you think you do. Make sure you are really hydrating and drinking enough water every single day. Take a good look at your habits and see what little changes you can make to your food and exercise routine. Patience and consistency is the key here.
Alternatively, maybe your body is giving you the halt signal because you are right where you need to be. You have reached or have maintained your happy, healthy weight. Your new or refreshed healthy habits and healthy lifestyle will help you keep it there. And if and when you feel your jeans get a little snug, you will know exactly what to do.
These are 10 doable, realistic, ways to help begin or continue on your health journey and steer you toward your healthy lifestyle.
What do you think of this list? Ever used any of them? What works for you? What doesn’t work?
Enjoy Your Day!