Top Ten Secrets for Weight Loss
Well, let’s get one thing clear- when we are talking about weight loss, we really mean FAT loss.
Changing body composition requires some time and discipline in terms of eating healthy and exercise but it is the only long term way to maintain a healthy body weight.
Most “diets” will cause you to lose weight but be very careful- they cause you to lose muscle and water- two things that you need more of. And, to make matters worse, when they’re gone and you go off your calorie restrictive ridiculous diet, your metabolism is diminished because of the muscle loss (remember muscle equals metabolism) and you will gain even more weight (read FAT).
One more thing- these “secrets” are not secrets at all but stuff most everyone knows. The REAL secret is # 10 but it takes same practice. I have seen how well it works with clients and athletes and it could work for you too!
You are not getting enough WATER!
You are mostly water- even your bones are one-quarter water! The fact is that most people are chronically dehydrated and our bodies actually hold water.
Drinking more water might be a pain for a few days (going to the washroom a lot) but do take heed- your body is flushing itself of the water it has been storing throughout all those years of "survival mode".
When you drink enough water, our bodies do something really neat- it gets rid of the water it was holding onto in your ankles and your hips and thighs, maybe even around your belly.
Strength training is absolutely critical in weight management. As noted above, some diets will actually ask you not to workout because the calories you are taking in are so few that you would not have the energy and it could be dangerous. Does that sound right? You need athletically trained muscles to increase metabolism and burn fat. In fact, fat is burned in the muscles so you want more, not less. As well, following a calorie-reduced diet may make you smaller but a smaller version of whatever shape you are now. If you have a pear shaped physique, you will be a smaller version of that, and strength training will help tone and shape all your muscles, like the Equalizer pull-ups to tone the back and arm muscles. Plus, you will be able to do those stairs with ease, not like someone who is weaker from a restrictive diet.
Studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association show that sleep loss disrupts a series of complex metabolic and hormonal processes which can make weight loss far more difficult than it needs to be. Sleep deprived and tired individuals tend to eat more during the day and make poorer food choices. Besides, you need good sleep to repair those lean athletic Equalizer muscles!
Who would have thought that sitting quietly can have such a profound effect on the body and mind? Not me- not at first anyways! I have been meditating daily for a few years now and let me tell you, it has been the most rewarding thing I have ever done. I recover faster from workouts, sleep better, feel less anxious/stressed, and have an overall better relationship with myself and others. Why do it for “weight” loss? Meditation increases self-awareness, so you're less likely to succumb to emotional eating when you're practicing meditation. As well, studies have shown that plasma cortisol (the “stress” hormone) decreases during Transcendental Meditation, whereas it did not change significantly in control subjects during ordinary relaxation. When the stress hormones are high, from everyday living and prolonged habitual stress (which most of us are accustomed to-unfortunately for our health), our bodies burn very little fat, instead getting energy from sugars and causing craving for carbohydrates. We choose “pick me up” foods during mid day that are loaded with sugar and caffeine when a much better option would be to close the eyes and do 15 minutes of meditation. It recharges the battery and makes you feel great.
Like the book says- “Eat More, Weigh Less”!
The physiology of it has been known for years - when we starve ourselves, we get fatter. You have heard this before but it bears repeating. Small meals throughout the day are the best choice to keep your metabolism going, get the nutrients you need and burn fat. Never go more than three hours without some small nutritious snack coming in.
Portions are out of control!
Look at the average size of a bagel today- add some cream cheese and you have enough calories to feed a big hockey player after a game! Ok, maybe not that many but you get the point. And the same goes for almost all restaurants, fats foods and other meals. You should use a plate that is salad sized, well balanced with protein, whole grain/ less refined carbs (calories derived from carbohydrates are necessary for energy and can be very healthy if they come from whole grains) and veggies.
Ok, eat the right kinds of fat. The fact is that some fats will harm you and some are very good for you. Omega-3 must be obtained from your diet but most of us DO NOT get enough. We need them from a cellular level and without them, our health becomes compromised. Omega-3 is most abundant in cold water fish, mainly salmon, mackerel and sardines, from Flaxseed (linseed) oil and you can buy Omega-3 oil to supplement your diet.
Do your cardio early.
Doing cardiovascular exercise first thing in the morning will give your metabolism a kick-start on the day. It gets revved early and therefore burns more calories over the duration you are awake. A little trick is to have a black coffee (no milk or sugar) and do your cardio which will burn slightly more calories from fat.
Hey, most of us just don’t do it enough anyway. So without going into the science, it’s pretty obvious that a good BELLY laugh just feels great and is good for us!
Changing internal pictures.
Why is this one the most important? Without it, you very likely will not stick with 1 thru 9. The fact is that ALL our behaviors are motivated by internal pictures or images (hence the word self-image) and no amount of willpower will override this programming long term without first doing the ground work. So what to do? Stay tuned for the next article and learn how changing internal pictures drives your behaviors and of course, YOUR RESULTS.
- Lebert Fitness