If you’re like all the other crazy dieters out there, chances are you’ve started and stopped several diet programs without success. The first week is easy. You are full of enthusiasm. You say that “this time is different.” The second week is ok, a bit ‘more difficult than the first, but you’re still staying with it. And then what happens? You bend the rules a little ‘and begin to fall back into old habits. Why is this happening? Why go through the vicious circle? I’ll tell you why. We are focusing on the wrong target. For some reason, we understand our weight loss goal to be only “fairly important” to reach. So what could be “important enough” to contain the new habits of eating healthy? God bless you! Nothing in this world is more important than your health. Think about how your health affects everything in your life. When our health is in danger, it will automatically change the habits of our lives. Look at some of our past Presidents.
It’s not until we have the basic fear of health that we really change our eating habits and exercise. Do not wait until your entire body is at a breaking point before deciding to take care of yourself. If you feel bad, everything you do today is lousy. Similarly, if you feel great, everything you do that day is great. So this year, do not just focus on losing a few pounds, let’s focus on health, the number one thing in our lives.
Ask yourself: “How important is health to me, and how will I live the rest of my life? Sick and having horrible sensations, or feeling healthy and vibrant?” Do I want to play golf and tennis when I retire, or do I want to sit in a hospital? The answer to these questions will ultimately dictate your weight and your health goals in the future. All the lifestyle ways that have positive effects on health will automatically cause you to lose weight or maintain a good healthy weight.
Follow this checklist for health and the weight will drop automatically.
Take time to focus on health.
The number reason people do not eat healthy or exercise is because they “do not have time.” But why is it that when we are sick, have a heart attack, diagnosed with heart disease, diabetes or cancer, we suddenly have the time? This makes no sense. We allow our bodies to become so bad before taking steps to correct them. This corresponds to never getting an oil change or doing any vehicle maintenance, and then having the vehicle break down completely before doing anything to maintain it. Put your day into perspective. What could be more important than health? Our children? Yes, I agree. But guess what? If something happens to you, who’s there for your children? I know it sounds terrible, but it’s true. How many times have we heard stories of a child’s loss of a parent in the cases of heart attacks and strokes? Choose health, not only for yourself but your children.Prioritizing your day to make choices for healthy meals and exercise must come first.
Take a long hard look at what you’re putting into your body.
For one week, read all the ingredients of all foods you eat. This could be a daunting experience. Some ingredient labels of packaged foods sound more like reading college chemistry than sounding like anything we should eat. As a golden rule if you can not say it, the chances are you should not eat it. Most foods you should eat should not even have a label of ingredients. They should be vegetables, fruits, raw nuts, chicken, fish, eggs, meat. If you make 90% of your diet fresh produce, I guarantee you’ll substantially change your weight and health. No time to make fresh food? (Refer to # 1). Cook more at one time when you do cook, so there is always more healthy choices in the refrigerator. You can always have leftovers for lunch the day after. Cook several portions of a meal and freeze. A good example of this is healthy soup or chili with turkey. Put a serving of chili in a small Tupperware and freeze.
Now you can have it in a hurry for lunch or dinner.
How do you eat?
In the United States we experience portion distortion. Restaurant portions are about three times what you should eat in one sitting. If we get used to seeing this amount of food on our plates in restaurants, we tend to do the same when we are home and serving ourselves. According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women eat 300 more calories per day and men 168 calories more than 20 years in the past. All it takes is 100 extra calories a day to gain 10 pounds a year.
Take one week to reduce the amount for lunch and dinner. There is no need to “eat the last bite”. Most of the time, what we put on our plate is double what we should eat anyway. If you feel a little hungry in the afternoon, add a small handful of nuts first, or an apple snack. Your body will quickly get used to smaller portions and you will finally not be able to eat so much at one time as you did before. Remember that you can eat plenty of food each day. You do not need to eat it all at once.
Dehydration has been directly associated with several types of diseases including colon cancer, hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. Many people also mistake thirst for hunger. So it may be that while you think you’re hungry all day, you may just be thirsty and dehydrated. In due time dehydration causes a progressive weight gain from overeating as a direct result of the confusion of sensations of thirst and hunger.
Take a look at what you drink each day.
Coffee or soft drinks (including diet ones)? Caffeine is a further dehydrator and you’ll be hungry during the day.
Diet drinks and sodas? The artificial sweetener actually enhances appetite and increases food intake.
Orange juice and other fruit juices? Sugar and calories can add up to 10 teaspoons of sugar per cup, which can be anywhere from 150 to 200 calories. Not to mention the fact that sugar makes you want sugar even more.
Everyone should drink half their body weight in ounces of water every day. So if you weigh 150 pounds you should drink 75 ounces of water each day. If you drink coffee or other drinks containing caffeine during the day, the amount of water that’s necessary increases .
How do you move each day?
Your body is designed to travel! Your heart is a muscle and is worked like any other muscle in your body. No need to join a gym , only to challenge your body and muscles to move every day. The two best options for exercises to save time, I always suggest to clients are:
Go for a walk. You can walk anywhere and anytime. No time to? Please refer to Rule # 1
Prepare your home with free weights and an exercise ball. You will be amazed how many exercises you can do with only your body, some weights and a stability ball. If you do not know how, hire a trainer to show you or get a good book. Step into the routine of planning your exercise time each day. No ifs, ands, or buts. Make your exercise time more important than phone calls, clothes shopping, or lunch dates.
Make a promise to yourself that this time is for your health, not quick weight loss for the short term. Really evaluate how you treat your body daily. Is it the same way you would with high valued, expensive equipment? Because that is what your body can be compared to. There is no money in the world that can buy another, so take good care of it!
Start your fat loss and health goals now, plan simple and easy healthy meals.