- Eat Regularly. Although it may be counter intuitive, restricting your diet to only a few small meals per day can actually inhibit weight loss. If you haven’t eaten in a long time, your brain actually begins to believe you are starving, and will send you cravings for fast burning fuel (think high fat and high sugar foods, like a snickers bar). Eating regularly actually promotes blood sugar balance, and can result in much healthier meal choices in the long run. Aim to have at least a small healthy snack every 3-4 hours for the best results.
- Plan Ahead. Being caught unprepared can be a recipe for disaster. It’s all too easy to be caught in a truly inconvenient place when hunger strikes, causing you to resort to a vending machine, a drive thru or a costly cravings-driven grocery run. Plan your meals simply and in bulk, such as whipping up a batch of Overnight Oats the night before a morning breakfast or prepping all the fixings for your favorite salads in the fridge for an instant salad when hunger strikes. If you’re out and about, keep a box of raisins on hand, or some baby carrots and a mini-guacamole pack. Even a low-sugar protein bar can do the trick in a pinch. Plan ahead and your waistline (and your wallet) will thank you.
- Keep Moving. It’s important to fit exercise in wherever we can manage. If you have a step tracker, aim for 10,000 steps per day and chart your progress. If not, that’s okay too- a 30 minute walk is an average of 4,000 steps for most folks, just about 2,000 steps per mile. To add in more activity, consider parking farther from the grocery store (and actually return the cart to the door!!). Other ways to add steps include taking extra trips from the car to the kitchen (you know instead of being a one-load wonder), perhaps even one or two bags per load, or add extra walking during housecleaning by taking only one or two items to the room they belong at a time, and walking around coffee tables or kitchen islands 2-3 times per pass through the room. Get creative and the pounds will begin to melt off in no time.
- Breathe Deeply. Studies show a strong correlation between deep breathing and blood detoxification. Since fat cells can store an incredible amount of chemical toxins, deep breathing helps cleanse our systems and calm our minds. Slow, deep abdominal breathing can also help reduce anxiety and help clear the mind for more rational thinking. So, the next time you feel yourself frustrated or overwhelmed, pause for a moment and take ten, long, slow, deep breaths in and out before returning to your task. Aim to inhale for 5 seconds and exhale for 7 seconds or longer. The prolonged exhale keeps your blood’s pH balance healthy and can even slow your heart rate- it’s a truly marvelous thing!
- Stay Rested. Sleep plays an integral part in weight loss. If your body is not allowed to rest fully and deeply during the night, you may run out of energy during the day. This forces your brain to command cravings for quick burning fuel (think that high fat, high sugar Snickers bar we mentioned earlier) to fill in the energy gaps. Sleeping less than 6 hours per night has been shown to affect memory as well as hinder weight loss. Consider covering your windows with blackout curtains, keeping your bedroom a cool 65-68 degrees and keep the screentime to a minimum. Aim to be free of ALL screens (iPads, iPhones, laptops, TVs, Kindles, you name it) at least one hour before bedtime for the best results. Keep your bedroom dark, cool and quiet. Your body and your closet will thank you!
I hope you enjoyed my tips on finding your ideal weight. Remember, the way your clothes fit is a better measure of your ideal weight than your scale. Focus on how you feel, your energy levels and your mood more than the scale number. You truly deserve to be healthy and happy and you CAN do it! I’m cheering you on!
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