Move. Leading a sedentary lifestyle leads to weight gain, hinders weight loss and is responsible for many chronic diseases. Get up and move. An easy way to start out is to walk out ten minutes and walk back. If you do that every weekday, you’ll add 100 minutes of exercise to your week. Increase to 15 minutes each direction and you’re at the recommended minimum of 150 minutes a week!
Track. It sounds worse than it is. I recommend MyFitnessPal. You can use it as an app on your phone and/or on your computer. Wherever you use it … Use it! Studies repeatedly show that people who track their food lose more than those who don’t. Trust me, it’s can be an eye-opener!
Drink. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Not only does being hydrated keep your skin silky, it helps your digestion and with flushing toxins (including fat) out of your system. Each person has to find the right amount for them. Some days you’ll need more than others. Set a reminder to have 16 ounces every two and a half hours from 10AM to 5:30PM.
Unplug. Having your face in your phone or tablet all day and night gives you the sense of being busy but in reality you are sitting, disconnected from family, nature and pets. Putting down the devices typically means you’ll move more, interact face-to-face more, read and be more peaceful. Learn to check social media and email on a regular, but less constant basis. Your friends might be annoyed to start, but they’ll soon adjust to your new schedule. Also, the blue light emitted from device screens signals your brain that daylight is coming. Uh-oh, it’s 9PM and your brain thinks daylight is coming. You’ll sleep better if you put it down!
Sleep. Experts agree that when your sleep is disrupted it can be challenging to lose weight. Not only does your fat-storing hormone, cortisol, kick into high gear, but you are less able to handle stress and not being well-rested causes errors in job performance which causes stress which causes cortisol to rise which … You get my drift. Sleep.
Add. Add in good, whole, healthy foods. Greens, veggies, beans, whole grains and fruits. Your body will love you! (Just make sure you track them in MyFitnessPal.)
Subtract. Reduce, with the goal of eliminating, processed, prepackaged foods. That even means those frozen meals you can buy that pretend to be home-cooked. They’re not home cooked. Make a plan to cook at home more often. It’s not too bad if you create a plan.
Play. Have fun. Schedule it. What does fun look like to you? Is it girl’s night out? Date night? Do you like wine and paint parties? Paintball? Playing with your dog? Taking your kids (or your nieces/nephews) to the park? Don’t have kids in your family? Why not become a big brother or sister? It’s fun to go to the park and just watch the kids play. They are so joyous! … Just don’t look creepy.
Connect. Spend time with family and friends. Go to church, join a community center, or find clubs or MeetUp groups with members who enjoy similar interests. Again, research shows that connection is a factor in living a healthy lifestyle. It’s not always easy to make connections, but it is worth it in the long run.
Weigh. Record your progress. Some people say weigh daily, others say weekly or even monthly. You have to find what works best for you. I like to weigh every day because I get to know what causes the fluctuations. If I got on the scale once a week and saw no progress or even gain, I’d be discouraged and it might have been caused by the extra salt I had the day before. When I weigh daily, a small gain doesn’t signal the end because chances are it will go the other direction the next day. I get used to the high/low range and I watch that to know if I’m headed in the right direction.
So, ten things that you can implement right now to lose weight. Can’t do the all this week? Pick three this week, three the next and four the next … done!
Want a bonus? Only eat meat at one meal a day and make it lean, organic and/or grass-fed. If you choose fish, buy wild caught. Your body will be happy and so will your wallet!
Nancy Oglesby, the Practical Health Coach
Simplifying Healthy Lifestyle Choices™