I've decided to start with a list of 7 but I plan to edit the number in this title quite often to include lots and lots more tips of various changes you can make to lose weight. Here's the deal, don't pick one and think that this is going to change your life. Okay, pick one today, but pick another in a few days. You didn't gain weight with one meal, one missed night's sleep, etc. So why in the world would you think you will lose all the weight with one supplement, one exercise program, etc?
1. Sleep! Sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep, SLEEP!!!! If you stay up half the night, you're not going to lose weight effectively. Period, bottom line, no butts about it. Get yo butt in bed!
2. Small, frequent meals....or 3 meals with no snacks....seems like a contradiction? Well, not quite. I always preach on how every person is different and has different needs. Try both of these styles and see which works for you. My personal and professional observations have led me to believe that for MOST overweight people (especially those who have been significantly overweight for a number of years), small, frequent meals will work best. They keep you from getting too hungry, they don't squirt out massive amounts of insulin into your blood stream like a big meal could.
3. Find a good balance of macronutrients that works for you. I went through a small stage where I believed that calorie counting and balancing macronutrients (protein/fat/carbs) didn't matter....I was wrong. Our bodies are different and they thrive on different amounts of calories and macronutrient ratios. Mine (which I hesitate to share because I don't want anyone to just mimick it then declare "nope! that didn't work"), is about 40% fat, 30% protein, 30% carbs. When I eat less fat than this I get cravings and brain fog. When I eat more fat than this, I get queasy. When I eat less carbs than this I get cranky, when I eat more carbs, I get cravings and fatigue. Fiber is also an important component. It will keep you full. PLEASE do not get your fiber from FiberOne bars. Total crap. Seriously. Horrible.
4. Eliminate unnatural foods from your diet. Nothing will screw up your metabolism faster than (aside from massive amounts of sugar) toxic chemicals that your body has no idea what to do with. Well, actually, your body knows exactly what to do with these toxic ingredients. STORE THEM IN YOUR FAT CELLS! Learn about GMOs and avoid all ingredients that you can't pronounce. Better yet? Only eat foods that don't have ingredient lists! When I want some kind of yummy not so perfect treats, I opt for soy free, organic chocolate bars or some organic corn tortilla chips. Not perfect or health food by any stretch but my body is like "oh yeah, corn, chocolate, sugar, I know what to do with this stuff."
5. Exercise! I'm not going to go too in depth with this one because I have a ton of blog posts on the importance of exercise. Here is the one thing I'll say. It's not about calories burned, it is about changing your body on a biological and hormonal level.
6. Speaking of hormones....get yours checked! Hormonal imbalances can cause everything from depression to cravings to weight gain for no apparent reason. Both men and women should start by getting their testosterone levels checked. Yes, women too! Especially if you're over 30.
7. Chill out dude! Find ways to reduce stress. Meditation or prayer, exercise, A BETTER NIGHT'S SLEEP, doing things you love, take 3 deep, mindful breaths. Elevated cortisol (stress hormone) levels cause cravings and encourage your body to go into a fat storing mode.
....stay tuned for lots more suggestions as I have time. And, I would love to receive any suggestions that have helped you (in a healthy manner) lose weight yourself!
Bringing Your Body Into Balance
My 100+ pound weight loss is what grabs people's attention. However, my weight loss was merely a side effect of finally taking my health and happiness into my own hands and finding that perfect balance. Body, mind, spirit. It all matters.