Simple Lifestyle Changes for Weight Loss
Stay Hydrated – Drinking plenty of fluids is not only an essential part of any successful diet; it’s an essential part of life. Every organ, cell, tissue, and muscle in your body depends on water. If you’re trying to lose weight, but fear gaining “water weight”, your body actually retains more water when it is dehydrated. This can cause uncomfortable bloating. Staying hydrated can also help you feel full in between meals. Drink a glass of water every hour and right before a meal to avoid over-snacking and overeating. If you do not like the taste of plain water, try adding lemon, lime, mint, cucumber, or another fruit or herb of your liking. Have fun with it.
Get Colorful – A diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables can decrease your blood pressure, and risk of heart disease, and digestive issues among many other positive benefits. Dark leafy greens have been shown to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease in those who ate five or more servings a day. Of course, it’s not always easy to eat your daily servings of fruits and vegetables, but have you tried drinking them? Smoothies are a fun, quick, and easy way to pack in your daily nutrients. Find a recipe you will love online.
Fiber – Fiber is an important part of an overall healthy diet and is easy to incorporate into every meal. Found in fruits, nuts, whole grains, and vegetables, getting your daily fiber is much easier than you might think. Fiber helps regulate bowel movements, moderate blood sugar, keeps you full in between meals, and lower blood pressure. If you struggle to get the necessary amount of daily fiber, try a fiber supplement. Whether you choose a pill or a dissolvable powder, it’s imperative that you incorporate fiber daily.
Protein – Protein is the building block of hair, muscle, bone, and skin; so if you want to be beautiful outside, you have to get healthy on the inside. Protein is commonly known for being found in beef, chicken, and fish. Leafy greens, nuts, beans, and legumes are all great sources of protein as well and do not contain the same fatty cholesterol as animal protein. If you are trying to watch your weight or blood pressure you can supplement your protein with these meat alternatives. Look for lean cuts of beef or switch out your beef for a delicious cut of red snapper or salmon. Protein, like fiber, will keep you feeling full longer and leave you feeling overall more satisfied after a meal.
Get Active – Whether you like to sweat it out on the treadmill, find your center at yoga, or hike a trail, your body will thank you for staying active. It can be tough getting started, but once you find a routine and activity that you like you will come to enjoy it. Ever heard of runners high? When you are active, your body releases endorphins, which make you feel good. When you feel good, you look good. In the words of Elle Woods, “exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.”
Cut Back on Alcohol – You do not have to skip out on happy hour forever, but reducing your alcohol intake can have a positive effect on your overall mood, productivity, and health. When there is an excess of fat buildup in the liver, you will see an increase in weight gain and your chances of liver disease go up as well. You don’t have to say goodbye to alcohol or happy hour forever. Choosing to take 1-2 nights off a week from drinking can make your liver and your waistline happy. If you do choose to drink, switch to a heart healthy beverage like red wine. Be weary of tannins, though, as they have a tendency to upset the stomach.
Sleep – Getting 8 hours of sleep can be tough. Between work, family, friends, and other life obligations 5 hours can seem like a treat. However, sleep is the most important time for your body. Sleep is when your body repairs muscle and processes and files new information from the day. Poor sleeping habits can lead to feelings of increased hunger, which can lead to excess snacking and overeating during meal times. Make a commitment to yourself to get at least 8 hours a night. Turn off all electronics and let the sandman take you away sweetly.