Simple Weightloss Switcheroos

Healthy people have healthy habits. 

It's not good genes (at least this isn't the ONLY factor) and it's not luck. It's not perfect metabolism that makes Michelle Obama and Jennifer Aniston skinnier than you. It's their choices.

Yes, having loads of money certainly helps: you could afford to hire a personal trainer and pay for multiple gym memberships and organic kale smoothies. But plenty of lower-income folks also make healthy choices and reap the same benefits.

For sustained weight loss and/or maintenance of said weight loss, there are several significant habits which will propel you toward success:

1) Drink water. This is the simplest switch you can make in order to jumpstart your weight loss. If you currently drink 4 beverages per day which contain calories, try switching just ONE of those to water. BAM! You just eliminated 25% of your daily calories from drinks. Keep in mind, water is practically (and often literally) FREE. You can also save money by switching from beverages you need to BUY to water from the tap. Water is the stuff of life--it helps lubricate your joints, improves your skin, hydrates all your organs, makes your blood easier to pump thereby easing strain on your heart, and decreases your appetite so you end up eating less. All this from one simple switch.

2) Walk. Get up and move your body. Yes, going to the gym once a week is a great start, but your body needs to move much more than that. If you have a desk job, get in the habit of walking during your breaks. You can stretch and even practice some seated yoga poses at your desk. If you normally park as close as possible to your destination, try the opposite: park as far away as you can. If your building has stairs, use them! Frequently! When you meet a friend or partner for a date, schedule a walk or a hike. Or go out dancing. Movement is to your joints like flossing is to your gums: you need to do this every day.

3) Breathe. Slow down, pause, stop for a moment. Close your eyes. Then just take a few deep belly breaths. You can call it meditation if you want. Or you can just call it breathing. Stress is our worst enemy. Stress hormones wreak havoc with our sleep, causing us to crave sugar and overeat. If you're trying to lose weight, keeping stress under control will make a huge difference. If you buy yourself junkfood in order to soothe your stressed-out emotions, try taking ten deep breaths before diving into that bag of Doritos. Maybe you CAN eat just one?

4) Eat slowly. Even if this is the only tip you follow, you will still lose weight. Studies have shown that just slowing down, taking smaller bites, putting your fork down between bites, chewing each mouthful of food thoroughly, will automatically mean you eat less. This simple switch works with whatever food you happen to be eating, but I recommend it in particular when you give yourself a special treat. Eat your cupcake or your brownie with a fork instead of shoving the entire thing straight into your mouth. Savor each small bite. This method will vastly increase your enjoyment factor, and at the same time, help you learn to be satisfied with less.

5) Exchange one drink. Alcohol is yet another form of empty calories. Practically everyone enjoys a drink now and then, but the problem is that alcohol decreases the production of hormones you need to help you build muscle and lose weight. An easy switch is to substitute a calorie-free beverage for just ONE alcoholic drink. If you have several drinks per day, switch out just one. If you only have one drink per day, choose one day to abstain from alcohol. Keep in mind, this is just a starting place. Weaning yourself off alcohol might take time, support, perhaps even professional help. I like to substitute decaf green tea, but you might prefer an herbal tea, sparkling water, or decaf coffee.

The switches listed above are just a few examples of choices you can make to increase your weight loss while simultaneously improving your overall health and fitness. If you are looking for more specific ways to lose weight, and would like some support, please contact me. I work with clients one on one, in person or long-distance, to facilitate weight loss and fitness goals. Let me know if you need help!