- Ensure that you get at least 8 hours sleep per night – Sleep is the time for your body to rest an recover. When we don’t get enough sleep we increase our Cortisol levels, which is a hormone that is triggered by stress. Cortisol prevents the body from recovering fully, from repairing completely and slows your fat burning down. So not getting enough quality sleep means that if you exercised during that day, your body will be sorer the next day that is should be because your body has not repaired and recovered adequately.It also means that you will not be burning the amount of fat that you should be and so won’t see the weight loss results you deserve for all the hard work you put in!
- Ensure that you drink plenty of water – Water not only helps keep the body hydrated but also helps the body flush out toxins and enables blood flow. It helps keep you regular and helps with the ‘ease’ in which you are regular. If you find that you drink plenty of water but are still thirsty, or find that you get a stitch during exercise, your body might be lacking in salt which means it won’t be hydrating properly. To test this, check your clothing and see if you are getting a white patch around the sweaty areas, or go for the taste test; if your sweat tastes salty, then you are a salty sweater which means you need to have more salt in your diet to maintain hydration. Another issue might be that you are in fact getting enough salt, but tend to perspire more than the ‘norm’ and so need to increase your fluid intake to accommodate for the loss.
- Avoid having more than 2 serves of fruit per day – any more than that, increases your sugar intake too much and so contributes to the prevention of weight loss. The exception to this rule is if you are going to eat other sugar products throughout the day. It is better to cut those out and enjoy an extra serve of fruit, if you really must have something sweet. At least the fruit also comes with a stack of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, micro-nutrients and macro-nutrients.
- Avoid sugary foods – sugar is the number 1 contributor to weight gain. The body stores it as fat around the abdominal area and cannot burn this during exercise. It is stored as Visceral Fat which is the fat that sits inside the abdominal cavity. This will only reduce with good nutrition. so no matter how many sit ups you do, that tummy will not flatten whilst you are enjoying sugary treats. The other problems is that whilst you have sugar in your blood stream you elevate your insulin levels (the hormone that removes sugar from the blood), and whilst Insulin is high, your body cannot burn fat effectively.
- Avoid Low Fat Food – Low fat food is laden with sugar. Refer to the previous point as to why sugar is so bad for weight loss.
- Eat Good Fat – examples of these are unheated Olive Oil, Omega 3s, Coconut Oil, Raw Nuts like Almonds, Walnuts, Cashews (not peanuts), Avocados, Eggs, Organic Butter, Lard, and Flaxseed Oil. Fat promotes fat burning in the body, it makes you fuller for longer, burn more calories during the digestion process, enhances the skin, makes hair healthy, improves cell membranes which reduces risk of tumors, and is stored as Subcutaneous Fat which is burned during exercise.
- Avoid Processed Carbohydrates – these include breads, cereals, muesli bars, porridge, muesli, pasta, biscuits, cakes, etc Processed Carbohydrates are dealt with in the same way as sugar is (sugar is a form of carbohydrate) so refer to point 4 for details.
- Eat foods rich in Protein, Fiber and Fat – these foods make you fuller for longer so prevent you from over eating and consuming excess calories. They do not trigger as high an insulin response, so do not limit the fat burning capacity. And since they do not trigger as much insulin they do not trigger the Ghrelin hormone (which is the hormone that tells your body it is hungry,) but they do turn on the Leptin hormone (which tells the body it is full) and so you once again limit the amount of calories you consume! They burn heaps during digestions so you don’t store anywhere near as much fat. And let’s face it, they taste better!
- Avoid emotional eating – Hold a food and mood diary. List everything that you consume over a 3 day period together with how you are feeling on that day (e.g. bored, excited, nervous, sad, happy, anxious, scared, angry). From this you will be able to make a connection between what you are eating during a particular mood. This will help you identify whether you are in fact hungry or just emotional eating. Once you have identified the cause you will be able to control the problem better. You can put other strategies in place like, going for a walk, pumping up some music, having a cup of herbal tea, calling a friend, exercising, holding a journal, reading a book etc. You might also identify that you eat certain foods when you are around certain people or at particular functions. For example, if you associate Gran with fresh home made bread, then you may be inclined to eat loads of bread when visiting Gran. Or you might associate eating birthday cake at a party and so cannot resist. Or you might associate popcorn with going to the movies, and so can’t resist this.
- Be active for at least half an hour every single day – this might include the traditional form of exercise, walking, jogging, Boot Camp etc, or it could be house work like vacuuming. You may enjoy gardening, painting, taking dog for a walk, going shopping or anything else that means you raise your heart rate above your resting rate and increase your breathing to huffy puffy.
We hope this helps you identify 10 things you can do to improve your weight loss goals, that suit your lifestyle and are simple to implement. In the comments section below, let us know how you are going…