Losing weight seems to be on many peoples’ mind, this time of year. It may be all the extra calories consumed during the holidays. It may be the thoughts of a New Year, and the possibility of a new start. Either way, weight loss is always a hot topic. I like to think more about lifestyle changes and better health, rather than losing weight and the next great diet. It’s not just about losing weight. I know a lot of people that has probably lost 500 lbs. in their life. The problem they didn’t keep it off. So, let’s think more about keeping off the weight that is lost, rather seeing how much we can lose. Anyone can go on a diet and lose weight. That’s the easy part!
I HATE the word diet. The word just makes me hungry. The first time you tell me I can’t eat a certain food, then that is exactly the food I crave. So, rather than listing all the things you can’t eat; let’s talk about what you can eat — and doing everything in moderation.
1) Slow and steady wins the race: I am not impressed when someone loses 10 pounds in a week. I am impressed when they lose 10 pounds and keep it off for a year. On average, you should have a goal of 1-2 pounds a week – anymore than that is either water – or you are losing too fast and doing it the wrong way.
2) How Many Calories Do You Need To Lose Weight: Take a moment and use this calculator to see how many calories you need to maintain your current weight.
Now, subtract 500 calories from that number – that is how many calories you need each day to sensibly lose weight.
3) Mix Things Up Every day: Don’t eat the same thing every day for every meal. Alot of people will eat cereal for breakfast, a salad for lunch and the same dinner each night. Your body is smart! It gets used to it, and knows that is the calories it will have to work with. Therefore, you quickly plateau and stop losing weight, even eating fewer calories than you should. I say do it different every day.
Not everyone will agree, but here is what I say – Sometimes I skip breakfast (I know we are told not too), then eat lunch and dinner. Sometimes I eat all three meals. Sometimes I eat 6 small meals… Some days I eat whatever I want. Some days I don’t eat until dinner (I know, I know). But this is my busy, crazy life. I am not a perfect weight and struggle constantly – but this keeps things interesting and I am most likely to eat better most days than being very rigid. Some days I may consume <1000 calories in a day, then others I eat what I want.
Changing up your eating, keeps your body guessing. You are less likely to hit plateaus, when you change what and when you eat.
4) A Whole Foods Diet: If you get really radical: cutting out all white products and processed sugars, and eating lots of fruit and vegetable – you can basically eat as much as you want and lose/maintain weight. White, processed foods are foreign to our bodies. They have been studied and show that they cause inflammation in our bodies. This inflammation increases joint and muscle pain, causes fatigue and lethargy, and adds to fat distribution in our abdomens.
5) Fiber, Fiber, Fiber: How much fiber do you need? On average we need about 25 -30 grams of fiber per day.
If you aren’t getting enough fiber each day, you may need to boost your intake. Good choices include:
- Grains and whole-grain products (I love Kashi Products)
- Fruits – Leave the skin on, if possible!
- Beans, peas and other legumes
- Nuts and seeds – These are good fats!
Refined or processed foods — such as canned fruits and vegetables and pulp-free juice, white bread and pasta, and non-whole-grain cereals — are lower in fiber content. The grain-refining process removes the outer coat (bran) from the grain, which lowers its fiber content. Similarly, removing the skin from fruits and vegetables decreases their fiber content. So, leave the skin on that apple when you eat it.
5) You’ve Gotta Move! We need about 30 mins of cardiovascular exercise 5-6 days a week. Do something that gets your heart pumping and blood moving. There are plenty of websites that will help track your progress. I will be honest; there is no way I can run 5-6 days a week. So, I try to run 3-4 days a week for about 1 hour. Are you interested in training for a 5K (3.1 miles), how about a half-marathon, or a whole marathon? Start with short term goals and work up. Couch to 5K is a great goal – take a look: http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml
Here is a great cheat sheet, when working out:
6) Drink Water! If you read my blog very long, you will quickly know how I feel about water. If you drink primarily high calories drinks and switch to water, you would lose 1.3 pounds a month, or 15.6 pounds each year. That is simply making one small change.
How much water do you need? 1/2 your calories in ounces per day.
7) Sleep More: You can always use a natural way to stay slim and not gain extra pounds. This is a healthy sleep. Authoritative scientific magazine Lancet writes that violation of sleep provokes obesity because it leads to a hormonal disbalance. Sleeplessness reduces the amount of Leptin, protein hormones that are responsible for appetite reduction and stimulation of physical activity. At the same time the amount of Neiropeptid Y increases and your body asks for more food. You can gain more pounds in one week in you don’t sleep enough. If it happens you must immediately go through a prophylactic procedure and sleep at least 8 hours every day.
Weight loss can be a hard, slow struggle. But ultimately, it is a simple equation. Calories in must be less than energy out. Sorry, it is not any more difficult. Eat good foods and exercise more. Happy New Year!
Do you have any tips or tricks for weight loss? I would love to hear them.
Interested in being a guest blogger on my website, send me an email. I would love to feature you!