In the environments in which I work,and also in my general life outside of work, I often come across people talking about the diets they are on, or what “healthy” food they are eating, or what tricks they are employing to lose weight. I don’t like to shove my advice at people unless its requested, so I usually keep my mouth shut in these situations and listen to them talk about switching to diet soda and following a low-carb diet, or using meal replacements. While some of these methods may help someone to lose weight initially, these aren’t generally long-term changes that are going to make someone seriously healthier or thinner.
As someone who is fascinated by the human body and how we can take care of it and enable it to last a very long time and work at its maximum capacity, I have learned a few things about how to be a healthy person and how to lose weight and keep it off. Here are a few of those small, easy ways you can make changes in your life to immediately drop some weight and feel greatly better:
Duh. Well, it seems like this should be the super obvious one, but the fact is that most people just don’t drink nearly enough. Most people drink sodas, flavored juices, sweetened colored liquids, but not enough water. I carry around a Nalgene bottle (BPA free!) that holds 32 ounces, which is half the recommended 64 ounces, or 8 glasses, that one should drink daily. So I’ll fill it up once in the morning, then again in the afternoon, and I’m good. Drink before you eat, drink first thing in the morning, and drink during your meals. As you eat, take sips of water between bites. Which leads me to….
Now this is one that many people would just pass over, but its very important. When you chew your food, really chew it long and well, until it is like mush in your mouth. That aids in digestion and allows your body to process the food better. Plus you will be able to absorb more nutrients. Also, the time you take to eat your food is important because it gives your body a chance to process how much food its taking in, thus giving you a more accurate feeling of how full you are, so you won’t overeat.
This includes diet sodas, which have been proven to be actually worse for your body then regular sodas, and are loaded with sodium. The false sugars in them actually can make you gain weight and have been linked to all sorts of illnesses. Plus its a disgusting, unnatural chemical you are filling your body with. Also, ditch the flavored, sweetened teas and the “juices” that are filled with dye. If you are having tea, have it unsweetened, otherwise it will just make you thirstier plus add to weight gain. Same goes for sweetened fruit drinks. If you are going to grab a juice, get one that is 100% juice. Anything else is just glorified sugar water, and will again, make you fat. Switch out all of these drinks for water and unsweetened tea!
Studies have proven that daily stretching, even light stretching for just 5 minutes a day, can lead to better sleep and increased energy, both of which contribute to more weight loss and an overall healthier body. So hit up a yoga session or just stretch those calves in the morning when you first wake up and again right before you hit the sack at night.
Right – smile? Now thats the lamest weight-loss tip I’ve ever heard! No, actually its true! By increasing your daily smiling, you increase your endorphins, which adds to increased happiness and energy, both of which motivate you to be more active and make healthier decisions. Get your grin on!
eat foods in the wholest, purest forms
Stop buying health bars, diet bars, diet foods, reduced carb crap, low-sugar processed foods – any foods that are processed! If it has more than 10 ingredients on the label, you should be concerned. Do not buy anything with ingredients in it that you cannot pronounce or do not recognize what they are. When you eat grains, try to eat TRUE WHOLE grains, like brown rice, barley, sprouted wheat and quinoa. When you consume fruits and vegetables, eat them raw or lightly steamed and with as little added fat and sugar as possible. Food is best for you in its most natural state. Switch out those “energy” bars for nature’s perfect energy source – a beautiful piece of fruit that provides you with fiber (fills you up), natural sugar (gives you energy), and vitamins (for your immunity and skin and many other purposes). Ditch the low-carb processed foods for whole grains, and eat them in one or two of your meals for the day. Use nuts for a quick and healthy protein source rather than a protein bar that’s loaded with sugar and processed ingredients.
These may seem like simple, obvious tips, but they are things we easily overlook and forget to do. The biggest rules in long term weight loss and improved health are to take fats, sugars, salts and processed foods in moderation, and to simply take care of yourself. As easy as that seems, its often not. So please, take care of yourself.