Whether your motivation is a New Year’s resolution, planning a special outfit for an event or aiming for a Summer bod -- fitness, diet and weight loss are top on the self-care hit list. Am I right? We prioritize health and wellness and “finally losing the weight” at times when we feel most motivated. Here’s the thing: if all it took was motivation, we’d be there! And if it was about going to the gym or dieting, everyone would be getting results. The bottom line is that it takes more than motivation and the standard strategies. For results, we need to SHIFT from our notion of motivation, willpower and drastic action to a plan that focuses on simple, do-able, daily steps designed to SUPPORT your body’s innate wisdom. Keep reading to learn the top 5 things to put on your daily action plan so you can ditch diets and stressful strategies and get closer to your goals, starting now.
1. Break a Sweat: Go for a short hike with friends, or a brisk walk or become a Wogger, like me – I’m a proud Walking Jogger. I walk a bit, jog a bit; wash, rinse, repeat. Then, at least once a day, have a dance break. I double-dog dare you to pop on some rockin’ tunes and dance around. Grab a YouTube yoga video or something cardio (I love the Fitness Marshall videos – popular, fun music and cardio dance combined). Why not the gym, you ask? 2 reasons: #1, People fail to go to the gym due to lack of motivation. There’s always something better to do and driving to the gym becomes a low priority. And, #2, gym workouts can put so much stress on your body that you produce more cortisol and halt weight loss. If the gym is your zen zone, by all means keep doing your thing, but if it’s not, know that you are allowed to find your own rhythm… you don’t have to train insane in the gym. You do have to break a sweat, activate your muscles and get your heart rate up a little doing something that you enjoy.
2. Drink Water: I know you read this all the time and it sounds like the simplest advice. Drink at least 8 ounces of water a day… blah…blah..blah! Gorgeous, I am telling you right now that without enough water that’s exactly how you feel (and you may not even know it). Even as a Health Coach, I didn’t really believe it. I used to get maybe 4-6 glasses of water every day in the lineup with a couple cups of coffee and some tea. I figured all was well, all things considered. But, I was way wrong, and you likely are too! Especially in the summer and especially on sweaty days or days with higher activity, our bodies need more water. Eight (8), eight-ounce glasses of fresh, clean, no frills added W-A-T-E-R is what’s on tap, for real. Not only is it something your body has a critical need for (for basic metabolic functions and pretty much every bodily function), but it also keeps you out of the trap of sugary drinks with lots of empty calories. Ditch everything else for a week and switch to plain water. This step alone can result in a few pounds of weight loss, better sleep, improved skin tone, better focus and more energy.
3. Mock Me: Alcohol contains sugar, stresses the liver and sets off insulin resistance – all of which can result in weight gain. So, if you are looking to lose some weight, take a break from alcohol and opt for the mock! Not only are mocktails super refreshing and fun but they allow you to feel festive and engaged at social events without sabotaging your health! Many mocktail recipes can be found with a simple Google search, but you can also join me for a Mocktail or Kombucha Class for hands on tasting fun!
4. Prioritize Produce: When people look to lose weight fast it’s often at the expense of proper nutrition. Short term “solutions” can add up to long-term weight gain because of the negative impact on metabolism and digestion. Instead of doing something drastic, shift your approach and prioritize produce. Summertime means greater access to fresh fruits and vegetables. If you are looking to burn some calories this summer, you need to eat well. Eat Clean. Ditch processed foods. Eat the rainbow daily. Your body will respond with slow, even weight loss while you enjoy the bounty of summer gardening!
5. Sleep: You’re not alone if you’re wondering what sleep has to do with weight loss. What’s wild is that improving sleep almost always improves weight balance and overall health! Studies show that insufficient sleep affects appetite and satiety hormones. It also impacts the ability of our fat cells to respond to insulin (if you’ve heard of “insulin resistance” this is it). Without enough sleep or enough good sleep, we experience increased levels of a hunger hormone called ghrelin and decreased levels of the satiety/fullness hormone called leptin. Sleep deprived study participants consumed about 300 calories a day more than when they are well-rested, with the calories coming from higher-fat and higher carbohydrate foods. Long story short -- Don’t compromise on your sleep.
Cause I love ya, I can't wait to connect with you some more. Reach out on Facebook, tag me on Instagram or email me -- firstname.lastname@example.org . I want to hear about your summer savvy weight loss wins, your warms and wonders about everyday health.