Remove Negative People from Your Life!
Negative people keep cortisol, your stress hormone, pumping wide open! Negative people are drama queens/kings and feed off of high-level stress. Look closely at their lives and state of health. Is that what you want for yourself and your loved ones? If not, cut them out with no explanation or excuse. Cortisol, which is produced in response to stress, is known to cause hunger and uncontrolled binge eating. Get as far away as possible from anything that increases cortisol production. Some people that you think are your friends, are not. If they hinder your commitment to healthy living, they are not your friends.
Decide What You Want Out of Life!
Until we make a decision about our goals, we will always do whatever is easiest. Once we set definite goals we can formulate a strategy to achieve those goals. We are more likely to make healthy choices when we keep those goals first and foremost in our minds. We can think that we want to get healthy or sculpted but until we set those goals as absolutes, we will not make progress towards them. Achieving health milestones takes hard work and establishing clear goals gives us a picture of ideal achievement.
Many of us live in countries where food is plentiful. Our cultures are built around food. We make occasions of getting, cooking and eating food. The first thing that we usually plan in any occasion is “What will we eat?!?” Since food is everywhere, unless we plan our meals and snacks, we will eat once a day, ALL DAY LONG and it won’t be healthy food.
Shop for Food FIRST!
I’ve had people tell me that they don’t buy groceries and cook because it costs too much. Mind you, they buy all of their food out. What they mean is that they are not willing to make healthy food a priority. They want to buy designer clothes, party and buy alcohol and cigarettes first and then eat whatever they can find at the drive-through, or manage to get free. If you prioritize healthy food first, the amount of money you spend for food will decrease drastically and you will find it much easier to lose weight.
Cooking is fast becoming a lost art. The proliferation of fast-food drive-through windows has been one of the most destructive developments in the last 50 years. A government study found that people who indulge in fast food regularly were 60-80% more likely to be obese. (1) Eating out is insanely expensive also! Cut your budget and your waistline by rekindling your romance with your stove. If you’ve never learned to cook, start simple. Look at recipes that are appealing and choose easy ones and just cook! Before long, you will get the hang of it. You can find instructions for cooking anything online. We have recipes for all kinds of healthy foods and desserts here in Loraine’s Kitchen.
Count Your Calories!
I have heard many people say that they don’t want to count calories. What that means is that they don’t want to be accountable, not even to themselves. Counting calories and being accountable is part of setting firm goals. You can’t set clear goals without implementing tools to achieve them. Use a pen and paper or an app, whatever you like, just COUNT THEM. You can find the calorie count for many foods here in our Calorie/Macronutrient Chart.
Exercise Any Way That Your Doctor Approves and You WILL DO!
I LOATHE yoga. I began the practice at age 13 and honestly thought that I would die from boredom. I have also done Pilates which affected me the same way. They are both good for you, but simply don’t engage my mind. I prefer weights or swimming, and choose weights for sculpting and overall strength. Swimming is not practical for me because it’s profoundly time-consuming. I have my weight pit at home so there’s no excuse to miss workouts. I have made my favorite exercise not only convenient but impossible to ignore. I have to walk through my pit, “The Dungeon”, several times a day. I also have a fan bike at home for cardio. My review of the XTERRA Air 350 is here. If you like an exercise and it’s convenient, you will do it. If you don’t like it, or it’s hard to work it into your life, you won’t. Exercise will help those stubborn pounds melt away.
Consider a Heart Rate Monitor!
I have never bought into the need for all of the electronic gadgets that so many people seem to need to get a workout. Because David and I are constantly looking for new ways to tweak our routines, I decided to buy a heart rate monitor that synchs to an app on my phone. While I am exercising, I can see if I am in the fat-burning zone. Because I know what it feels like, winded but able to talk, I didn’t think I needed one. I am convinced that the Polar H10 Heart Rate Monitor helps me get a better workout. I am in control of the level of intensity because I can constantly see it on my phone. If I fall below the fat-burning zone, I know to pick up my pace. If I am in the Fitness Zone, which strengthens the heart but doesn’t burn much fat, I might slow down a bit. It’s helping me adjust my workouts to suit my needs.
Remove Empty Calories from Your Diet!
Eat only foods that will provide dense nutrition. Empty calories come from foods that provide little to no nutrition. A bowl of steaming oats with nuts or seeds is nutritionally dense. A bowl of high-sugar, cold, children’s cereal is not. That high sugar, cold cereal provides little more than empty calories. Make every calorie count and nourish your body. You will seldom be hungry or have cravings eating this way. AVOID ADDED SUGARS. You can read the nutrition label to see “ADDED SUGAR”. If it’s in there, don’t eat that food.
Eat Enough Protein!
Protein boosts your metabolism and keeps you full especially well when coupled with fiber-rich, complex carbohydrates. It reduces your hunger hormone, ghrelin and boosts hormones that reduce your appetite. Since you are not as hungry when you eat enough protein, you will find it much easier to lose weight. David has an excellent article on protein here.
Small positive changes are known to greatly improve health over time.
The time will pass anyway.
Make it work in your favor.