Losing weight is easier said than done; however, there are steps we can take every day to move closer to our ideal body weight. I swear, whenever I am trying to cut weight, it seems like every weekend is a holiday. Eating healthy and avoiding eating copious amounts of food at parties is a true test of will power. Maureen brought her famous buffalo chicken dip, Dave brought wings, Karen brought those sugary mixed drinks that you will never admit you love, you get it. It is ok to indulge and reward yourself sometimes, but the main key is to avoid overeating. This is the first step to losing weight.
No More Overeating
Even “unhealthy” foods can be enjoyed occasionally but never to excess. You need to have the mindset that you’ll eventually have to work these calories off. The main thing is to see what works best for you. Some people like to eat a lot of small meals throughout the day and others like to eat two or three large meals. Find whatever works better for your body type and schedule by trying out different meal plans. In addition, the next step is one that cannot be overstated.
Drink! Drink! Drink! … Water
Drinking water not only the easiest step toward a healthier lifestyle, it is one of the most important steps. Drinking 9-12 cups of water a day can drastically change your life. Benefits of drinking water include:
- Increases Brain Power and Provides Energy
- Promotes Healthy Weight Management and Weight Loss
- Flush Out Toxins
- Improves Your Complexion
- Boosts Immune System
- Prevents Headaches
- Prevents Cramps and Sprains.
I could go on and on about the benefits of water but all I recommend is that you always have water with you, or you stop at a water fountain and take a sip every chance you get.
Chill with the Sugar
One easy way to avoid sugar is to stay away from soda and other sugary drinks. Gatorade is promoted so heavily by advertisements and you see athletes drinking it in game all the time. However, the key word is in game. Gatorade and other sports drinks are more for pre and post workout. Drinking Gatorade just for taste and flavor can be unhealthy. A 20-ounce serving of Gatorade contains 36 grams of sugar. To put that in perspective. For those who are more visual learners, that is close to three or four large tablespoons of sugar. A Gatorade, Powerade, and/or any other sports drink is a great pre/post workout drink but the key to all of this is to workout.
Here is the my most important spiel about exercise. Quality always outweighs quantity. If you work out at a high intensity while using good form and technique for an hour-long workout, you will always get more out of that than a two-hour workout where you are just lazily going through the motions. Go into the gym with a plan of what you are working on and working towards. Everything we do in life should be done with purpose and high effort. What is the point of showing up somewhere if we are going to sell ourselves short and not take advantage of the opportunity? It is in our best interest and in the best interest of those we love to attack each gym session and all things we do with confidence and purpose. Once we learn to stop underestimating ourselves and the heights we can reach, then we can take on the day and use every bit of potential we have stored away for too long.
Catch Some Z’s
Not that we have eaten right and not to excess, drank plenty of water, passed on the Pepsi, and put in a solid hour and a half workout, it is time to tie the bow on it all. Slip your shoes off, lay back, close your eyes and go nap nap. It is so crucial to get the proper amount of sleep. If we are not getting the proper amount of sleep, we are losing most of the work we just put in for steps one through four. When you sleep, all the behind the scenes action is taking place.
The recommended amount of sleep is seven to eight hours. In those hours, processes that improved our brain functioning, physical health, and emotional wellbeing are being carried out. When we sleep, we refuel our bodies, burn fat, and hit the refresh button in our heads. When we do not get the proper amount of sleep, we miss out on potential gains from exercise. Additionally, we cheat ourselves of energy for the next day. Lack of sleep can also affect your appetite and cause you to have cravings throughout the day. Overall, it is important to hit pause on Netflix and other distractions in life and just head to bed to assure yourself an awesome night of sleep.
Time for Action
The knowledge has been provided, the lessons have been preached, now it is time to apply these steps in your everyday life. To make this work, you just need to be consistent. Once you make a routine of practicing good habits every day, this will be as easy as breathing. You will not even think twice about these steps because they will become a part of your everyday routine. The hardest step is the physical first step. Once you start doing the right things, you are on your way to a more prosperous and fulfilling life.