Top 10 Tips For Weight Control

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I’ll never be on the “The Biggest Loser”. I’ll never be able to tell you my inspiring weight loss story.  That’s because during the 30 years of my adult life, I’ve been a weight maintainer. No, I’m not one of those people who can eat whatever I want and stay thin and fit. I work hard at it, just like many of you.  Over the various stages of my life, I’ve had to adjust.  I like to say that If I was a car, I had to make the switch from “regular” gas to “high octane” at about 21.  All of a sudden, the teenage “eat what you want” diet didn’t work anymore and I was slowly, but surely gaining weight. Then in my 30’s I had to adjust again to “post baby body” and up my exercise to more than just a brisk walk around the neighborhood with the stroller or a wagon full of daughters. And at 47, it was time to add some serious resistance training to combat the muscle loss of aging.  Now I’m working to tweak my diet again to find what works best post menopause. I’ve pulled the best information I have gathered over the years into my top ten 10 for weight control.  If you are struggling to lose weight and get in shape, these tips will help you with your journey.

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Top 10 Weight Control

 

    1. Keep track:  I know some experts will tell you not to weigh yourself.  They are right if you are the kind of person who goes into deep depression if you gain a pound from one day to the next.  You DO need to keep track of where you are at, however. Otherwise weight can creep up on you when you don’t realize it.  You’ll need to find a way that works best for you.  Take your measurements each week.  Put on your favorite pair of jeans once a week and take note of how they fit. Here’s what works for me.  I have a “weight window” of 10 pounds, with a low end and a high end.  I weigh myself each day.  As long as I am “in the window” it’s all good.  If I go too low, time to eat some more nutrient dense, healthy food (not junk).  If I go above the window, I know it’s time to create a negative calorie balance by cutting some calories and adding some more activity.
    2. Keep moving: This is one of the biggest problems Americans have.  We sit too much! We sit at work, we sit at home.  You will still get hungry, even if you don’t expend calories and then you gain weight.  No movement means muscle atrophy (they go away).  Muscle tissue burns more calories than body fat, which leads to a vicious weight gaining cycle. Make yourself move.  Park and walk, take the stairs, take a break from your desk.
    3. Drink water: Your body craves it, but you consistently do not give it enough.  It can’t function properly if you don’t hydrate it.  Sugary drinks (can you say frappucino?) give you absolutely nothing except excess sugar and calories. A soda should be a treat, not a staple of your regular diet.
    4. Eat breakfast:  I can’t stress this one enough. Breakfast jump starts your metabolism for the day.  If you don’t eat breakfast, by 10:30 your starved and shoving anything into your mouth that will fill your belly.  You don’t make good decisions eating that way.
    5. Cut your sugar intake: Sugar is linked to diseases like diabetes and cancer. Processed sugar is nothing but empty calories.  It’s in  A LOT of the foods we eat that you don’t think of as a sugary food, like bread and spaghetti sauce.  Read the food labels and make wise choices.
    6. Stick to complex carbs: These are things like brown rice, 100% whole wheat breads, sweet potatoes and quinoa. Refined carbs pack on the pounds.  Think of the color white (white bread, white rice, white flour, white sugar) and highly processed foods (crackers, cookies, chips, donuts, etc.).  They fill your belly, but they are low on nutrients.  They spike your insulin level and then when it dips later, you crash.  You’re tired and hungry and guess what your body will crave? More refined carbs.
    7. Eat Clean Foods:  What are clean foods? These are foods in their most natural state.  An orange, an apple, a carrot. These are clean because they come straight from the tree or the ground. Lean meats and whole grains are minimally processed.  Things that come in boxes, bags and cans are more processed.  Foods that have the word “refined” in the ingredients label are highly processed. Fill your diet with clean foods and cut back on highly processed foods.
    8. Resistance Train: It doesn’t HAVE to be weightlifting, but you will lose muscle as you age unless you work at keeping what you’ve got.  That means your muscles need to get a workout on a regular basis. Body weight,  resistance bands, medicine balls, dumbbells, kettlebells and weight machines are all ways you can resistance train. More muscles mean more of a calorie burn.  You will also look leaner, even if you weigh a little more.
    9. Do what you like when it comes to exercise: Find activities you enjoy.  You won’t stick with it if you don’t like it.  If you get tired of something, change it up! Variety is the spice of life, so take part in several activities you like. Right now, I’m into walking, cycling, pickleball, and kettlebell workouts.  I also love to kayak when I get the chance!
    10. Get an accountability partner:  You need a workout buddy!  It should be someone who will encourage you on the days you don’t feel like doing anything.  It should also be someone who will celebrate your accomplishments with you and be understanding when you have a setback WITHOUT letting you give up.

Want help planning healthy meals that meet your calorie and nutrient goals?  Click Here for details

Want workouts that will start at absolute beginner and progress you to being in great shape?  Click here for details

Find Your WHY to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolution

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Are you one of the millions of people who are resolving to lose weight and get in shape in 2016? Do you know that over 90% of people who make this resolution will be back to their old habits within one month? How will you make sure you are not one of them?

WHY do you want to lose weight and get in shape? Have you ever really dug deep and thought about why it’s important to you? Well it’s time. If you can come up with your compelling why to change your behavior, you have a much better chance of sticking with it over the long haul.

Here’s and example: On September 11, 2001, I sat on the floor of the Art room in the high school where I taught, watching in horror as the twin towers came crashing down into the New York streets below. I saw people running (some shoeless), literally for their lives. I asked myself if I was in the kind of shape that would be required to run from danger if I needed to and my answer was NO. That’s when I decided I needed to up my fitness game and get into the kind of shape necessary to run from danger and to help others get away if they needed my help, and I have kept in that kind of shape ever since.

1. Your why has to connect you emotionally to the reason you want to change your behavior.

2. Your why has to be compelling enough, that every time you want to quit, you can think back to it and get motivated all over again.

To find your why, you have to dig deep. There’s a reason you want to do this that’s beyond the ordinary. What is it? Why is it really important to you?

Get a piece of paper and start writing. Keep digging and don’t let yourself off the hook until you figure it out. When you find it, you will know! Once you do, you will be ready to make changes and never look back!

For a little more motivation, watch the Periscope broadcast on this subject below.

Are the pounds creeping up over the holidays? Download the free “Back to Healthy” 5 day Challenge.  Then grab a friend and get healthy with workouts, printable workout tracking sheets and healthy breakfasts, lunches, snacks and dinners.  You will be feeling like your healthy self in no time.

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9 Weight Loss Tips for Regular Folks

 

 

 

 

Are you like Jared?  Did you go on an all Subway diet and lose a ton of weight?  Are you like the biggest loser contestants who spend weeks at “the ranch” with nasty personal trainers, medical supervision and all day exercise?  Maybe you have special food delivered to your door every day that is perfectly balanced in calories for scientific weight loss.  No?  Didn’t think so..  not me either.

I’m not even like the Beachbody success stories who pick a workout program and 90 days later have gone from fat and flabby to ripped.  Throughout my adult life, I have been about the same size  (give or take 10 to 15 pounds).  At certain times in my life, I find myself needing to lose a few pounds. I’m guessing maybe there are more people like me out there. I am never going to win one of those contests or be on TV because I have always tried to eat healthy, exercise and live a balanced life.

Before 2003

If you are one of those people (or would like to be one), I’ll share what I do to maintain my weight and lose it when I need to.  My rule of thumb is “take care of little problems before they become big problems.”

1.  Weigh yourself frequently.  You don’t have to be obsessive about it.  Pick one day each week and weigh yourself.  Have a ten pound window, five pounds below and five pounds above your ideal weight.  If your weight is outside the window on              either end, it’s time for you to get to work..

2.  I use Lose It to keep track of calories and exercise.  I try to keep calories in and calories out balanced.  It’s not a diet. It’s a lifestyle.

3.  I eat three meals a day and two or three snacks a day.  I eat very little bread, pasta, or wheat based foods.  I mainly eat lean meats along with fresh or frozen fruits and veggies.  I’m not a fanatic about “no wheat” or “no grain” in my diet, but I try to keep it to a minimum.

4.  You will hardly ever find me in McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts, Burger King or Starbucks.  You will seldom find me in the middle isles of the grocery store. Processed foods are not really foods to me.  They are full of all the things you should avoid.  You won’t find me buying lunch in the cafeteria of the school where I teach, but that’s another story…

5.  I almost always drink water.  I have a water bottle with me at work each day and I carry one to my workouts.  I will drink ice tea or hot tea. I can’t remember the last time I had a soda. If I want one (or a piece of cake, or a cookie etc., etc.) I will have it, but it’s a treat, not an everyday habit.

6.  I work out at least six days a week.  Two or three days of weight training and two or three days of cardio. On these days, I get my heart rate up and work up a good sweat. The other days are lighter workouts or “recreational” workouts.  These are things like yoga or stretching, a walk or a hike in the woods, a bike ride or ballroom dancing.  This is a habit and a regular part of every day.  If I am not feeling well, injured, or I am too busy to work out, I skip it, but it’s not ever an excuse to quit.  I just pick it up where I left off the next day.

7. I try to get a good night’s sleep every night.  I don’t always get the seven hours my body needs per night, but I try.  On weeknights I head to bed a 10:30 p.m. On the weekends I try to be there by 11:30 p.m.

After 2012

8.  I try to meditate at least once a week, read books of a religious or spiritual nature and try to stay centered mentally and spiritually.  I also try to balance work, workouts and fun time with family and friends. If one area gets out of  balance, it can throw the other areas out of balance as well.

9.  I am lucky that I don’t have to take any kinds of medications.  Because of this, I focus my energies on preventative medicine.  I eat good, nutritious food, I exercise regularly, I stay strong mentally, spiritually and socially, I see my chiropractor every four weeks and I get bloodwork, mammograms, colonoscopies and other preventative screenings.  Hopefully, I won’t have to start any long term medicines anytime soon!

There is no magic pill, there is no perfect diet or workout that brings you instant weight loss or instant health.  It’s small lifestyle changes added together and continued over time that will bring fitness that will last a lifetime.

Want to get started? Try at least one of the nine steps above, just one, over at least a four week period and see what happens.  Reply here and let me know how it goes!