Optimal health involves making lifestyle changes to improve your:
c. energy levels
d. quality of life
This takes hard work and many adjustments along the way.
Here are 10 ACTIONS you can take that are BETTER than a Weight Loss Resolution:
1. Have the right attitude.
Negativity affects every thing you do in life. Always look for the best in every situation and get rid of the “negative vampires” in your life. Hang around positive people. We all need all the help we can get.
As it relates to health, an attitude such as, “I will do whatever it takes to have the best health and body,” will always lead to positive changes.
2. What motivates you to get healthier?
Having the right motivation will help keep your attitude positive.
In a Men’s Health Magazine article, it list 5 different motivations that you can have for losing weight. Many times, New Year’s fitness resolutions die by the end of February because you had the wrong motivation for working out. Here they are:
a) AMOTIVATION – You don’t really have a reason to work out. Its more of a fad for you. Your workouts won’t last long.
b) EXTERNAL REGULATION – You’re motivated to workout because other people like the way you look when you’re in shape, but no internal motivation exist. How long do you think you’ll be able to please people? Then what will motivate you?
c) INTROJECTED REGULATION – You feel bad about yourself when you don’t workout. This is a type of motivation, but its based on negative motivations.
d) IDENTIFIED REGULATION – You workout because its good for your health and lifestyle. This is a very positive behavior and will lead to permanent lifestyle changes.
e) INTRINSIC MOTIVATION – You workout because you enjoy it! Probably the best motivation of all.
In my opinion, a combination of the motivations listed in items “c” through “e” lead to permanent lifestyle changes (with heavier weight attached to items “d” and “e”). And, the motivation listed in item “b” will probably be mixed in somehow. Did you find yourself anywhere in this motivation list?
3. Do you have limiting behaviors? Are you sabotaging your health, fat loss and weight loss efforts?
For example, if you are trying to break bad eating habits, why do you keep junk food and sugary foods in your kitchen pantry? If its there, you will eat it. You have to believe you can change and really want to change.
4. Healthy, managed nutrition is critical for a healthy body.
You need a meal plan you can maintain over time. Fad diets and starvation diets cannot be maintained. You quickly regain the weight when you begin to eat regularly.
The primary cause of weight gain is consistent calorie surpluses, or eating more daily calories than you burn. A slow metabolism is not the main cause of weight gain.
Add healthy foods to your menu that you like. You are more likely to stay with a menu loaded with foods you like. Replace the foods that are bad for you with whole, natural foods. This eliminates foods in a box or bag.
Set your daily calorie intake based on your basal metabolic rate, your activity level and your goals. This way, you won’t eat too much or too little. Maintaining the right amount of calorie deficit on most days (burning more calories than you consume) is the key to burning fat and losing weight.
I don’t recommend any diet that omits one of the macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, fat). Your body’s metabolism needs all 3 macronutrients to work efficiently.
Control your hunger during the day so you don’t overeat when you do eat. Do this by eating small meals every 3-4 hours to keep your energy and metabolism active.
5. Regular strength training and interval cardio sessions are a must if you want to change your body.
Fat loss is more important than weight loss.
When you continue to build muscle mass and burn fat, your body will change to lean and toned. This will also speed up your metabolism because your body has to work harder to maintain muscle mass. A faster metabolism helps you burn more calories during the day, during workouts and at rest. This is the main key to help keep you from regaining weight.
6. Adopt an active lifestyle.
Walk as much as possible every day. The health-related benefits are numerous when you remain active on most days.
So, if you have a “sit-down” job, I would recommend that you move more. When you sit, your fat-burning enzymes basically shut down. When you stand during the day, those fat-burning enzymes go to work for you.
Try to stand as much as you can during the day and take walking breaks and lunches to activate your fat-burning enzymes. Any activity is good to go along with your regular workouts. All movement burns calories.
7. You can be skinny and still be fat and unhealthy.
If you just lose weight without exercise, your body has not changed to lean. And, this can lead to yo-yo weight loss and weight regain.
From a Mayo Clinic article by Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D., “Can you be considered obese if you have a normal body weight?” it states:
“Yes. You can have a normal weight, but if your body fat percentage is high enough, you may be considered obese — a situation known as normal weight obesity. Normal weight obesity means you may have the same serious health risks as does someone who’s obese. Obesity is defined as having an excessive amount of body fat — not as weighing too much.”
Katherine explains the dangers of depending on body mass index (BMI) to determine your risks for health related problems such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol level and metabolic syndrome.
8. Practice weight management.
On the surface, it is a simple process—if you do it day in and day out. When you reach weight loss goals, you have to manage your new body to remain successful. In other words, keep working out and eating right!
According to Christopher Sciamanna, M.D., the problem comes with what you do after the diet. Sciamanna discovered this the hard way: After losing 30 pounds, he described his new, lower weight as “shockingly challenging” to maintain.
He and his colleagues at Penn State University’s Milton S. Hershey Medical Center decided to study weight loss maintenance.
Part of their study was to examine results found at the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR). For the past two decades, NWCR has focused on a single group of people. To qualify, they have to lose at least 30 pounds and keep the weight off for at least a year. The findings aren’t surprising. The participants were successful primarily because of the following habits:
- Exercise at least an hour a day, almost every day
- Follow a low-fat, low-sugar, low-calorie diet
- Eat, more or less, the same foods all the time
- Minimize TV watching
- Eat breakfast
9. Healthy lifestyle habits produce a healthier body.
This is a no-brainer. If you get adequate nightly sleep, limit excessive stress, don’t smoke, limit excessive alcohol consumption, exercise regularly and eat healthy you will have a healthier body. Practice these type of healthy habits on most days.
Here’s a quick healthy habit you can do today: drink enough water. Your body is about two-thirds water. Drink water and unsweetened drinks (like tea) most of the time. It will help you eat less and help your body function better.
Drink about half your weight in water every day. So, if you weigh 160 pounds, drink 80 ounces of water each day.
Remember, certain foods contain large amounts of water. This counts toward your water intake. For instance watermelon is about 90% water and lettuce has about 95% water. Some meats contain as much as 70% water.
Water also helps your body flex muscles, remove wastes, cushion joints, carry nutrients and oxygen to your cells and helps convert food into energy (although water doesn’t provide energy).
You may be experiencing dehydration if you have dry lips/mouth, dizziness, headache, nausea or muscle cramps. When you exercise, drink about a cup of water every 15 minutes.
10. You may need professional advice in certain areas of your life.
A personal trainer can help you visualize success and individualize your fat loss and nutrition program. Its hard to change your body all by yourself.
You may also need help with things such as depression. And a full physical exam will show you where your health stands.
You can start taking positive steps today to improve your health. Don’t procrastinate!
Powered by WPeMatico