What is the #1 thing most women want to do health wise? Lose weight! I hear it everyday talking to friends, co-workers and relatives, I read about it in magazines, online and on social media. Most women have at least a few lbs they wish would just go away! Unfortunately, there is not a magic pill for healthy, sustained weight loss. It takes a combination of lifestyle choices to really help you drop some pounds and keep them off! This includes things like diet, activity level, sleep.
To help you take action here are my 10 Ultimate Weight Loss Tips that you can start using TODAY! Print this out, hang it where you can see it, and start implementing today! Not tomorrow or Monday or next month. Start today!
Now one more thing....Eating your fill of veggies, especially your greens, and ditching processed food is not listed as a tip because, girl, I already know you know that!
Alright, are you ready?
- Drink Water!: Seriously, you need to drink water and a lot of it! Coffee doesn't not count! So often dehydration is mistaken for hunger. So the next time you want a snack reach for water first! Also try drinking 1-2 glasses of water 30 minutes before your meals, which will help you not over eat and digest better. Even mild dehydration alters your metabolism, which can hurt your weight loss efforts. So staying hydrated will really aid in weight loss. Also do your best to avoid caffeine, alcohol, and soda which are dehydrating. So how much do you need? The 8 cups a day rule is a bit outdated. The rule of thumb I like is 1/2 your weight in oz. So if you weigh 150 lbs you should be drinking 75oz of water daily. Add in more anytime you are doing high intensity workouts.
- Eat Breakfast: You NEED to be eating breakfast! Think about it, you ate dinner and went to bed the night before so you probably haven't eaten for at least 8-12 hours, if not longer. Food is fuel and if you do not give your body fuel it goes into starvation mode and by lunch you're likely to overeat. By eating breakfast you jump start your metabolism and reduce cravings. Try to make your breakfast one of the biggest meals of your day so you are properly fueled for the day ahead.
Eat (Real) Carbs: Not all carbs are evil, really! If you are trying to lose weight you'll want to ditch refined carbs (white breads, pastas, white rice, bagels, cereal, and pretzels) and instead fill up on complex carbs like fruits and veggies, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, which slow digestion and promote stable blood sugar levels (both of which aid in weight loss). They are also packed with antioxidants, which help reduce inflammation. Whole grains should ALWASY be chosen over refined varieties. Eat them as you would find them in nature - breads made from wheat that's milled, brown rice, simply taken straight from the pant - complete with fiber and phytonutrients Mother Nature intended. Over all read labels. Just because it says whole grains does not make it good for you. The less ingredients the better (one ingredient is ideal) and you'll want to be able to pronounce them.
Catch those Zzz's: Wish you could lose weight in your sleep? You totally can! Lack of sleep disrupts circadian rhythms and can lead to fatigue, low metabolism, and overactive appetite. Adnormal leptin and gherkin levels - the hormones that tell your body "I'm full, you can stop now" - can go away with too little sleep. So sleep more, eat real food and weight less. Aim for 7-8 hours every night!
Fill up on HEALTHY Fats: Fat is not the enemy, I repeat fat is not the enemy! Its a common misconception that it should be avoided entirely when in reality, we couldn't live without fat. The body utilizes dietary fat for energy, hair, skin, and nail health, vitamin absorption and every bodily function. Good fats like nuts, seeds, fish, avocado, and extra virgin olive oil, protect against heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's and depression, reduces blood pressure and lower cholesterol. Eating healthy fats help you feel fuller longer and to eat less at each meal.
Eat more frequently: If you find you're always hungry between meals this tip is for you. Maintaining stable blood sugar levels is super important when trying to lose or maintain a healthy weight. If you're blood sugar drops your body goes into panic mode and starts preparing as if it's going to starve; so it starts storing energy as fat (not what we want). By eating more frequently you're telling your body it's OK to burn that energy because food is readily available; all is well. Keeping blood sugar stable mean you'll lower your risk of a blood sugar crash and binge eating. Pay attention to portions; if you're eating more frequently your meals will probably be smaller. Eating more frequently does not work for everyone (myself included) so if that's you make sure you're eating enough at your 3 meals and always keep a little snack lying around just incase you feel hunger pangs.
Emphasize Lean Protein: Our bodies require protein for cell growth and renewal, blood sugar stabilization, and energy. We're literally made out of the amino acids that make up protein (science is cool). Many foods contain protein, but the richest sources are animal products like meat, dairy, eggs, and fish and plant sources like beans, nuts, and seeds. Including lean protein at every meal boosts your metabolism, reduces appetite and keeps you fuller longer. When choosing animal protein sources be very conscious of the way the animal was raised and what it ate (because that's what you'll be eating too). Grass-fed beef and free-range chicken are healthier and more ethically-sound choices than feedlot meats. Organic yogurt and cage-free eggs are great for vegetarians, beans, legumes, white tofu, tempeh, and nut butters are good vegan protein sources. Even if you are not vegan I encourage you to look to plant based sources of protein more frequently!
Exercise your Body AND Mind: Exercise helps the body burn excess fat leading to a smaller waist, lower resting heart rate, healthy blood pressure and improved mood. Aim for 30 minutes a day of added movement, meaning something you are not already doing in your day-to-day life. Exercise to lose weight is not news, I know. Just like your body need exercise your mind does as well. Your mindset is a huge influence on your ability to change habits and lose weight so you'll want your mind engaged and positive. Boost brain power by adopting a positive mindset, meditating, reading, doing puzzles, or another game that challenges you and gets your brain involved.
Learn to Cook: Cooking at home means you are totally in control of what is on your plate. All you need is 1 cookbook and the ability to follow directions. Check out my favorites! You do not have to be a gourmet chef, keeping things simple and fresh is key!
Keep Track of What you Eat: Being honest with yourself about what you are eating is half the battle sometimes. I always recommend my clients keep a food journal because it can open your eyes to how much you're eating. It's also a great way to identify unhealthy patterns so you can address them. Sometimes we aren't eating too much, but rather nothing of quality. Write it all down and at the end of the week evaluate and make changes accordingly.
And there you have it! My top tips for weight loss. Comment below if you have questions and let me know what trips you up when trying to lose weight!
If you are ready to jump start your weight loss journey download my 7 day whole foods meal plan to take the guess work out of what to eat!