6 weight loss rules to live by
“You look so good! How’d you do it?” No one wants to hear the words in response, “diet” and exercise”. That’s boring. The results come too far down the road and it takes a lot of willpower, self-discipline and determination to transform yourself.
But diet and exercise are only two parts of the equation. Long lasting weight loss comes from an overall healthy lifestyle. Changes that are made gradually are more effective, efficient and sustainable. It may take months or even years to shift your mindset! The real question is: “Are you willing to follow a few rules to better your life?”
It’s how you lose weight that really matters.
Hydration - Drinking enough water is made easy these days! There are tracker apps that help you be more aware of how much water you’re consuming and refillable water bottles to bring with you everywhere. Our recommendation is to drink about half of your body’s weight in ounces of water per day. Here’s where the baby steps thing comes into play. Start by adding a few more ounces than you drink now. Once that becomes habitual, add more until you’ve reached your goal! Another way to track your hydration levels is to look at urine color. If you have very dark urine, you’re probably dehydrated. If your pee is clear, you may be drinking too much water. Pale yellow is what you should be aiming for.
Stress Reduction - You typically associate stress and cortisol with weight gain, right? Let’s break that down. Cortisol does a lot for you. It affects every cell in the body; cortisol helps break down protein, raise glucose levels and is involved in your immune response. So why do you think of this hormone as a bad thing? In simple terms, chronic stress can lead to elevated levels of cortisol. This can cause a breakdown of muscle tissue (remember that protein), help fat stick around your midsection and decrease the white blood cells that play a major part in your immune system. The bottom line: Stress is okay. But too much stress can sabotage your fat loss goals, and wellbeing. Simple things to help your body cope with stress is to breathe deep more often, find something healthy that helps turn your brain off and spend time socializing with loved ones.
Sleep - A huge part of the weight loss equation is good sleep hygiene. Not only does the amount of hours per night matter (6-10, depending on your age), but so does keeping a consistent sleep schedule. At first, going to bed and waking up at the same time every day is really difficult. The weekends are for sleeping in, right? Wrong! The snooze button is not your friend. Now, don’t get us wrong, if your body is begging you for more sleep on the weekend, it’s okay to give in sometimes. But if this tends to happen every Saturday and Sunday of the month, you should be addressing your slumber problems at a deeper level. Start by trying to get the same amount of hours asleep every night. After that is accomplished, set your alarm for the same exact time every morning. Finally, get to bed at the same time every night. This is the true test. Can you resist that extra episode on Netflix? Are you ready to stop making lists in your head for the next day? Fix some of your issues with sleep or you’ll keep leaving results on the table.
Watch the Fat - Who is in agreement that fat is the best and the most tasty macronutrient there is!? Bacon, avocados, peanut butter, egg yolks and cheese. I mean, come on! Fat has about 9 calories per gram, compared to protein and carbohydrates that have only about 4 calories per gram. This sad fact is why it’s so easy to overdo the fat in your diet. We suggest that women eat 7-12 grams of fat per meal and men 15-25. If you’re going to measure anything, measure your fats.
Calories and Diet - This rule is a major part in a successful weight loss journey. How you eat, what you eat and how much you eat all matters. If you eat fast or on-the-go, you aren’t giving your body the chance to catch up or process your food. This can also go back to rule number 2 regarding stress. Eating during a very stressful time can impact digestion. Here’s what to do: Take a few deep belly breaths. Mindfully chew your food and eat slowly. Your body will recognize you’re becoming full and tell you! Stop eating when you’re 80% full, meaning you feel satisfied but not stuffed. Next topic is food quality. Can you find the food you’re eating in nature or is it packaged? You want the majority of your diet to be from whole foods, not processed ones. Slowly introduce more vegetables, fruits, lean meats and other nutritious eats into the mix. You’ll not only look better, you’ll feel better too. It’s a win-win situation.
Movement - Last but certainly not least, you need to move well and move often. If there’s something stopping you from exercising, do something about it! See a trusted professional if you’re in pain. Assess your schedule and make time fit in workouts. Find a gym that has expert coaching with you and your goals in mind.
It can feel overwhelming at first to make changes to your lifestyle and that’s okay! Taking a moment to pause and reflect doesn’t mean stop completely. Keep pushing forward. Make small good choices everyday and watch them stack up to weight loss and improved health.