Weight loss is one of the most common goals for people who want to be healthier — and with good reason. Carrying extra fat keeps you from feeling your best, and it can contribute to heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, strokes, and even some forms of cancer. Our society is set up to encourage the kind of eating habits that tend to cause weight gain, so you have to make changes to be able to see weight loss.
Here are ten tips that will make the change you want to see possible.
#1- Eliminate processed foods and refined sugar
Stop eating processed food, fast food, and sweets, except dark chocolate with 70% cocoa in moderation (more on that later). Check the labels on any food you purchase for added sugars and make your choices based on your goals.
#2 – Cut the sugary drinks and alcohol
Limit or cut out alcohol and sugary drinks of all kinds. This includes fruit juice.
Try not to substitute with sugar-free sodas etc. Increase your water intake. If plain water is not your choice of beverage, try adding lemons or lemon juice/lime juice/cucumbers/mint/cilantro or any herbs you find appealing. Water is key here too. Water will really help flush out toxins and curb hunger. Sometimes when we think we are hungry, we just need water! So try experimenting with it and see if you notice a difference.
#3 – Choose protein, good carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables
There are many diet fads out there to help you lose weight, which they can, but usually once you’re off the diet the pounds creep back on. Learning to eat healthy protein and carbs is something you can forever do without gaining weight. Yes, we all know we should be eating our vegetables and fruits, but proteins are the building blocks of our muscles and provide some energy and carbs are also for fuel. And a healthy brain requires 35 percent of our calories from healthy omega 3 fats so don’t forget those as well!
#4 – Eat the rainbow
Choose your foods from a variety of colors and try to vary what you are eating for a balanced diet. Remember, whatever you consume is feeding your brain, heart and all your other vital organs. Don’t you want to fuel yourself the best way you can? Everyone has a different eating style. If you don’t know yours yet, try noticing how and when you eat. What works for you is important so you can stick with it.
#5 – Cook your food
Get back in the kitchen if you’ve let your knives and pots and pans sit neglected in the cupboards. Finding time to cook your own food is rewarding, healthier, cost efficient and can bring the family together. And if you don’t sit down to eat, try getting into the ritual of having dinner at the table maybe with friends and family. Leave the cell phones and TV off. Have a conversation. You’ll be surprised at how “fun” it is if you aren’t already doing this. And if you’re flying solo, how about setting a nice table place for yourself and enjoy your own food and company!
#6 – Exercise
Get daily cardio exercise of a minimum of 30 minutes. Losing weight is basically burning more calories than you consume so exercise is a critical element in the equation. It is great for burning calories but also mentally helpful. Exercise increases endorphins which make us feel good and help fight depression. If you have a difficult time getting out there alone, buddy up with a friend, join a gym or club, or reach out to a health coach to get you motivated so you can gain momentum in your weight loss journey.
#7 – Vanquish emotional eating
Who amongst us has never eaten more than a “normal” amount of cookies, cake or ice cream? Probably no one. Some of us have this experience on occasion and knowingly acquiesce to the moment. Some of us have a habit of eating out of control where we can’t stop once we start. If this is you, exploring the whys behind your behavior could bring about change helping to also release negative feelings around the behavior and possibly yourself. Having a strong craving? This is normal. Before you give into it, try to feel the uncomfortableness of that moment, and find something else to distract you. Try journaling. Call a friend or your coach if you have one. EE is a common behavior and a common road block to weight loss. But you can beat it!
#8 – Use imagery
How do you see yourself? How would you like to see yourself? Is it realistic? Attainable? How will you get there? Why is this important? Asking yourself these questions and possibly keeping a journal on your food journey is an excellent way to explore your feelings as well as a great way to create your goals to refer back to, especially at points when you may wonder if it is worth your effort. It is also a rewarding experience to return to after some time. The growth you will most likely experience if you’re committed will only make you feel like a million bucks! What a confidence builder. What’s next to tackle on your list?
#9 – Commit to self care
This can be a tough one for some of us, especially those with busy lives or busy households. Carving time out for you will only benefit yourself and those around you. A relaxed you carries forward to everyone around you.
#10 – Sleep
Sleep can also be hard for some of us but if you get a good night’s sleep, you’ll be less tempted to find energy through food or beverage choices you might not otherwise make. If you are someone with sleep issues, seeing a specialist to help may be worth your while.