Secrets for Achieving Optimum Weight
January’s almost over. How are you doing with your resolution to lose weight? If you are like most people, that resolution caved two weeks ago. The problem is so many people, maybe even you, think that to lose weight you just need to reduce your calories and be constantly hungry. Fact is that is the least effective way to succeed and the fastest way to fail. Do you realize there is such a thing as easy nutrition to help you achieve your optimum weight?
In order to take weight off and keep it off, there are easy nutrition and lifestyle steps that will help you succeed.
Get enough sleep.
You’ve likely heard about cortisol and how it will stop every weight loss attempt, even making you gain weight while you go hungry and work out for a hundred hours every day. Cortisol is a natural corticosteroid produced by your adrenal glands. People with a high-paced, stressful life (you might be used to a high pace and stress and think you’re handling it just fine, thank you) create more cortisol. Cortisol makes you insulin resistant (aka pre-diabetic). Cortisol levels drop late in the evening and when you sleep. Shortchange your sleep and you likely won’t drop your cortisol as low as it should go during the night.
Whether you do 30 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training or start out with 5,000 steps specifically as exercise in addition to your daily “I’m alive” kind of steps, then add 1000 steps to your daily routine each week until you hit 15,000, it matters not – as long as you do it faithfully. That may mean getting the right gear like a good pedometer, walking runners, and clothing, or it may mean joining a fitness class.
Do it with a friend or two or three.
Research shows that people who buddy up with a group of like-minded, same-goaled people are more successful.1 When your resolve is weak, they will buoy you up. When you have a success, they will cheer for you. The pack mentality works wonders for increasing success. This is called positive peer pressure. Just sayin’.
Eat breakfast daily.
Start with something that will give you 20 grams of protein to stabilize your blood sugars immediately, and get rid of the refined carbs and high carb foods. You might need to use a really clean protein shake to do this. I can guarantee – the more sugar and carbs you eat, the less success you will have. Period. It’s just that simple!
Eat your veggies.
Most of us don’t eat enough fresh, leafy veggies, and we do eat too many high carb veggies. To correct this, start having a leafy salad every day (weigh it to see how much you usually call a serving), and make it bigger on a regular basis. The ultimate goal is five ounces per day of leafy greens.
Eliminate the high carb veggies …
… like potatoes and sweet potatoes. Focus on green beans, carrots, peas, zucchini, tomatoes, celery, cucumbers, carrots, and the like. Strive for one fist-sized serving for every 20 pounds of current body weight every day.
You started the day with protein.
Snack and dine on protein frequently. Use your hand as your serving guide – one-half palm is one meal serving. Do that much for lunch and supper. Do half that much for mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks. Use poultry, eggs, fish, lamb, beef, and protein shakes (see recommended products below) to round out your protein. Use cheese as a condiment or a snack – don’t go eating a half-palm-sized serving of cheese unless you want this whole program to backfire.
Drink lots of water.
Your body weight in pounds divided by two gives you the number of ounces of water (not pop, not juice, not coffee or tea) that you should drink in a day. E.g. if you weigh 200 pounds, you will drink 100 ounces. I suggest pre-measuring it and consuming most of it well before 6 PM unless you want to be up peeing every hour on the hour.
Fruit is naturally high in sugar.
Limit yourself to one small piece, no bigger than your fist, each day. And don’t drink fruit juice. The lack of fiber in juice (fiber-added juice is no better than juice without the fiber) allows the sugars to hit your bloodstream like a chocolate bar.
Avoid coffee, tea, soft drinks.
These increase your blood acid levels (and sugar levels if there is sugar added), triggering inflammatory responses. Inflammation causes insulin resistance.
Severely limit or eliminate grains.
Again, the carb level can be counter-productive.
Weigh and measure weekly.
People who are successful weigh or measure themselves each week. I suggest measuring your waist, at your belly button, in inches. Remember if a man’s waist is more than 40 inches, and a woman’s waist is more than 35 inches there is a significantly increased risk of type II diabetes. I also suggest purchasing a bathroom scale that calculates how many pounds of muscle, percentage of body fat, and hydration as well as overall weight. Keep a log of your weights and measurements. Track your progress so you can either buckle down and focus better or celebrate.
When you start …
… working out, you will likely gain muscle while you are losing fat. Your waist may be getting small but the scale says your weight is staying the same. Tracking your body composition will help you to stay on track as you see your fat decreasing while the muscle in increasing. There will come a time when your overall weight will also decrease but that may take four to eight weeks of persistent, vigilant, effort.
By using your hand size as the measurement you will be altering your calories based on your body size.
If you have concerns about your health or just don’t know where to begin making improvements, please contact me, Judith Cobb, to book an appointment. Skype, phone, webinar, and face-to-face appointments are available.
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Copyright © 2017 by Judith Cobb, Cobblestone Health Ltd. All rights reserved. Please respect the time it takes to write and publish articles. If you will link to this article and give proper attribution, you are encouraged to quote sections (though not the entire article).
Recommended protein shakes:
Nature’s Sunshine Products Canada Nature’s Sunshine Products USA
IN.FORM Pea Protein Drink Mix INFORM Pea Protein Shake
Love and Peas (Sugar Free) (select Sugar Free on product page)