BY CHERYL BIGUS APRIL 6, 2013
It’s easy to lose weight (and maintain a healthy weight!) with a few consistent habits. Here they are.
1. Keep a food journal.
This is a tedious task (I know!) but it will give you clues to which foods you should keep eating and which ones might not be suited for your body.
Here’s what to include in your food journal:
- What you eat
- What you drink and how much
- When you eat
- How you felt while eating, and how you felt an hour later (include any changes in how you feel physically and emotionally).
2. Drink a LOT of water.
Good, clean water is the foundation of good health. It flushes toxins, maintains our body temperature, and lubricates and cushions our organs.
3. Plan your meals ahead of time.
Planning what you’ll eat (and when) decreases the likelihood of eating whatever is around because you’re famished. It also takes the stress out of feeding yourself. You save money and waste less food as well as increase the success of meeting your weight loss goals.
4. Watch your portion sizes.
Here is a fast and simple way to look at portions:
- oils, fats, butter, cheese, condiments and dressings = size of your thumb
- nuts and other healthy snacks = handful
- protein, meat, yogurt = size of your palm
- whole grain, starchy vegetables, vegetables and fruit = size of your fist
A few years ago, I was trying to lose a few of the extra pounds that had snuck up on me. Once I started to pay attention to portion sizes, something surprising happened: I realized that my body really didn’t need all the food I’d been eating and that I was actually much more comfortable with a little less.
5. Don’t diet.
When you live in a restrictive way, your body perceives this lack of nutrients as starvation and it starts to store excess body fat. What you need to do is change your eating habits and your lifestyle—not go on a diet.
6. Ditch the negative self-talk and the naysayers.
You are where you. As long as you keep taking action and treating yourself with kindness, your anxiety and stress levels about your excess weight will diminish. There will be naysayers in everything you say, do, and believe in your life. Learning to accept that they are entitled to their opinions but they have no bearing on your life is the only way you’ll reach your goals.
7. Carve time to de-stress and relax.
Stress is the biggest saboteur of weight loss. When you are under excess stress, your body kicks into emergency mode and releases cortisol, the stress hormone. You body thinks it has to fight or run, but then you do nothing but sit there and stew in your stress. This depletes your adrenals and your energy level as well as hinders proper digestion and your immune system.
8. Sleep at least 7 hours a night.
When you don’t have long enough quality sleep, your body again releases excess cortisol into your bloodstream. This derails all the efforts that you make in the day to eat healthy and lose weight. Plus, since you’re tired, you’re more likely during the day to reach for something sugary or caffeinated.
9. Move yo’ body.
Sorry to give you a reality check on this one! You will be infinitely more successful in ALL your efforts if you stop sitting all day. Find something that you like to do that is physical and do it, frequently and consistently.
10. Be consistent in all your efforts.
This is the #1 factor that will get you to any goal—small, consistent actions.We tend to treat everyone else better than we treat ourselves and our bodies. The biggest impact you can have on achieving your weight goals is to commit to yourself and be consistent.