1. Food quantity matters. Just because you're eating healthy, doesn't mean you can eat endlessly. You still have to watch your portion size. Liquid calories are easier for your body to metabolize. That still doesn't mean you can drink endless smoothies or vast quantities of fruit juice. Experts suggest that you "examine the quantity of healthy food you’re consuming and the ratio of liquid versus whole foods. Try to record what you’re eating every few weeks to keep yourself honest and educated. If your schedule is too hectic, you can take pictures of what you eat during the day, and then calculate the calorie equivalents in the evenings or during the weekend."
2. Don't rush through your meals...and don't skip them! Believe it or not, how and when you eat your meals is critical to maintaining a healthy weight. Research shows that people who skip breakfast tend to be more overweight than those who eat it. "Rushing through meals can cause you to eat more than you planned. Chew deliberately during your meal and drink water between bites to slow down your typical eating pace."
3. Keep your metabolism moving. Humans need an hour of exercise every day even if they eat healthily. This doesn’t have to be a heart-pounding cardio workout; a simple walk is a good start. Those new-fangled stand-up desks are also a good investment. "You can alternate between sitting and standing every hour or so at work. The more physical activity and active muscles you have, the more you’ll increase your metabolism. "You can alternate between sitting and standing every hour or so at work. The more physical activity and active muscles you have, the more you’ll increase your metabolism."
4. Seek out hormonal balance. Sometimes our body works against us, despite our best efforts. If you have a family or personal history of endocrine problems such as hypothyroidism, Cushing’s, polycystic ovarian syndrome, general aging, etc. "You may want to have your doctor check that your hormones are in balance. Hormonal imbalances can make it difficult to lose weight, and in some cases, can cause you to add on pounds."
5. Check your gut. Human bodies "are hosts to many organisms that can both help or hurt us. The bacteria in our gut, which research has shown can have an impact on our weight, can be affected by a variety of factors such as how we were born (c-section vs. vaginal), use of antibiotics, and what we eat. Make sure you’re consuming good pre- and probiotics (especially after being on antibiotics) to keep the right kind of gut bacteria to help your metabolism and overall health."
6. Get abundant, restful sleep. The quality and quantity of your sleep are just as important as the kind of food you eat. You may want a doctor to assess the quality of your sleep if you wake up with a dry mouth or headache or are tired, even after a 7- to 8-hour rest. "Studies have shown those who do not feel well rested after sleep have increased cravings for carbohydrate-rich foods as well as altered hormones that can increase blood pressure, glucose, and weight."
7. Review your medications. "Certain medications can also increase your weight. Talk to your doctor to find out if the medications you’re taking are making it difficult to maintain a healthy weight and adjust them if possible. If it’s not possible to reduce or change them then you will have to be all the more strict with diet and exercise to help counteract their effects on your weight. Examples of medications that can contribute to weight gain are steroids (such as prednisone, hydrocortisone, cortef, and kenalog in topical, inhaled, injection, or oral forms), diabetes medications like insulin and some medications that treat depression, migraines, seizures, and high blood pressure."
8. Keep stress levels low. I know...easier said than done. "In this fast-paced society, it’s easy to lose track of your own internal state. Pumping out cortisol and other stress hormones hour-after-hour can take a toll on your health; stress hormones can increase blood pressure, heart rate, glucose and create more visceral (around the internal organs) fat over the long-term. The work deadline you’re so stressed about can hasten your biological deadline."
It is important to keep a positive attitude. Every day is a new day and a new opportunity to work toward your weight-loss goals. De diligent but don't beat yourself up if you slide back every now and then. I find it easier to knot think of it as weight-loss or dieting, but as adopting a new and better lifestyle. And who doesn't like new and better?
Have a great week! I invite you back here again tomorrow for a look at a few commonly misspelled words and tricks for remembering how to spell them right. Until then,
I wish you PEACE.