First and foremost, appreciate your body now and what your body has done for you. From the stretch marks, to your belly and thighs, to the crow’s feet by your eyes, your body has been with you since day one, and be thankful it hasn’t given up on you. Our bodies are so resilient. The problem is we demand so much from them yet we don’t nurture them as we should.
Are you working out like a crazy person? Or have you drastically cut calories but find yourself starving and then eating too much? Or are you just so tired you don’t even think about exercising unless you see a lady running down the street then you think, “I should be doing that,” and moments later that thought of exercising is gone because you have too much to do and no energy?
This happens when we don’t look at the many little habits (good and bad) we perform each day. Then when we want to lose weight, we tend to only look at adding exercise and cutting calories, which can be triggering. We start to feel stress, deprivation, and guilt because of our lack of “perfection,” and past “failures.”. I am here to tell you a healthy body weight is accomplished beyond just food and movement, yes, they are both very important but there is more to the equation.
Let me tell you a little bit about me. I used to work out like a mad person, running 5–15 miles a day and I even had a very active job. I found myself staying the same weight even though I was exercising and eating healthy. I even would count calories and cut calories from time to time to see if I could lose just 5 pounds… but nope! After doing this for a couple weeks I would feel so deprived and exhausted, so I would eat more, increase my caffeine, try to get more sleep but the stress of all this was not helping. The problem was I was missing the seven tips below.
Just power walk! I was so focused on high mileage and high intensity I was actually creating more internal stress on myself. We forget that a simple brisk walk can help with anxiety, lower our stress hormones, increase our brain function, and we can go for a walk anywhere. No excuses not to do this. Try 30–60 minutes of brisk walking 6–7 days a week. Yes, you deserve to do this daily!
Eat more veggies and fiber! Stop stressing about how many calories you are eating and focus on eating veggies at every meal and getting 25–35 grams of fiber every day through food (not supplements). The key is to eat veggies raw, baked, or steamed. Also, play with adding herbs to your dishes. You can check out a blog I wrote about fiber intake in this blog section of HappyWholeYou.com
Get your finances in order! Yikes, what does this have to do with your weight? A lot! You may not even realize that having a sense of where your money is going, what you are spending your money on and how much you are saving is very important. You may say, “Well, I have enough money to do whatever I really want,” or you may say, “I am in debt and that’s just how it is going to be for a while!” I am here to tell you to get control. Once you can sort through where you are financially and where you are going, this can help bring clarity and a sense of empowerment to you. All good for stress management and weight loss.
Do the little things to add movement and increase your heart rate during the day! You see, many people think to “workout” they have to hit the gym. It is great to go to the gym and get in a workout but it is also great to add a little burst of movement throughout your day. I call these little pick-me-ups!
- Park in the farthest parking spot
- Use the stairs
- Do 20 squats when you feel tired
- Listen to upbeat positive music
- Walk to get the mail
- Just drop and do 5 push-ups
- Don’t email a co-worker walk over and speak to them
- Dance with your kids to one song just because
Be around people that make you smile or call someone that makes you smile. Do this every day! You must have daily positive conversation and laugh every day. If you reflect and feel you need more of this in your life, go out and get it. Laughing reduces inflammation in the body and produces feel-good hormones, so laugh it up!
Drink water throughout the day! Many people will drink a big glass of water at a time but it is better to sip throughout the whole day. Our stomachs can only absorb about 4-6 oz of water at a time so sip-sip! Shoot for 70 oz a day to start and see how you feel.
Stop Snacking! If you are in an office setting this can really get you. For example, someone brings in donuts, so you grab a little one. Then later you are chatting with a coworker and on her desk is a bowl of chocolates—yup—you grab one. Then at lunchtime, someone sets out some cookies and you chow down one of those too. Not to mention the little mints you keep on your desk and before you know it you have had a donut, chocolate, a cookie, and a mint all in one day. That adds up! Be mindful of all the little snacks by writing them down if you have one and ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” An extra 300 calories a day = 30 minutes of running or 60 minutes of power walking just to burn it off.
Let me know how these tips work for you!