Weight loss controls most of us to our very cores. It’s what shapes our choices, determines who we want to be, and most times, it unfortunately decides how we feel about ourselves. Although physical beauty should be on the bottom of our must-have list- who cares if you’re hot if you can’t tell your head from your handbag? Health should always, aside from family, be at the top. Obesity levels are still at an all-time high, our health as women can be affected by our weight in many ways. Being overweight increases our chances of cancers, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases but it doesn’t have to be that way. Contrary to what the late night commercials say,
you don’t need any special gimmicks or gadgets to control your weight. All you need to know are these four- yes four simple tricks.
We have all heard the tired calories in calories out routine- and most of us are sick and tired of it (literally). I think we can all agree that it’s time for calorie counting to officially be retired- Restricting your calories will not help do anything but slow down your metabolism. It is amazing how even popular personal trainers are telling women to restrict their calories to 1,200 calories (and sometimes even lower), in order to get initial weight losses on the scales, but that loss slows dramatically after the first few months leaving us bashing the scale and even worse our own bodies. We have no choice but to wonder what we have done wrong. What we’ve done is allow our bodies to enter into a fat storing mode- why? Because you’ve successfully incited starvation mode- your body will do anything to fight to keep itself alive including attacking its own tissue and inducing water retention and bloating which will almost undoubtedly cause constipation. The truth of the matter is that the average woman’s body needs 1,800 calories to enable the brain, blood, immune system and organs to function at optimal capacity. That is 600 more calories than a lot of us are eating due to a fad diet in a ‘lifestyle change’s’ clothing!
- Learn Your TDEE.
Okay- I know this goes against what I’ve just previously stated, but the truth is unless we learn how to fuel our bodies properly our systems (including our metabolisms) will continue to be out of wack. Our TDEE, or Total Daily Expenditure Number allows us to eat the proper amount of fuel (or calories for all you conventional dieters) by factoring in our activity level and goal. There has been an increasing amount of women challenging the ‘fitness quo’ by eating more in order to lose weight- The crazy part is that it works! Listen- years of ‘dieting’ and
starving on minimal calories takes a toll on our bodies, and if you are like most women, you find that even though you diet and exercise you continue to gain weight. This happens because we have lowered our metabolic rates over time, and it takes time to get allow them to heal back to optimal rates. As women, we must learn to recondition our minds to realize that if we continue to starve we will be overloading our famished bodies with our daily activities and will succeed at doing nothing but continuing to set ourselves up for failure. You should be able to eat at your TDEE number, and not gain a pound. Why? This is the number that depicts our true energy expenditure! If you eat less than 25% below this number you are setting your metabolism up for failure because you are allowing your body to sink right back into starvation mode.
- Exercise Regularly.
Get with the program people it isn’t that tough. Most of us eat carrot stick here and there, plop onto the couch and watch a few episodes of The Walking Dead and wonder why the fat isn’t going anywhere. Being sedentary lowers the bodies energy burning speed, which is responsible for our metabolism and aids us in weight release, but for some reason so many people would much rather be ill than to just get up and get physical. There is some kind of physical activity each of us enjoy- Get with it! Whether it be dancing, martial arts, chasing the kids, bicycling or even walking- Every little thing counts. Shoot for 30-45 minutes a day 5 days a week for the best health results. Exercise lowers our chances of heart disease, which is the leading
cause of death in the United States of America; it is also known to lower blood pressure and relieve stress and reduce the chances of a slew of illnesses and diseases. Exercise is also almost about fifteen percent of the weight loss equation. If you drop weight without it, chances are you are going to look flabby and shapeless (skinny-fat) due to muscle loss. What you eat is supposed to be a supplement to your physical activity and vice versa. Doing one without the other is a waste of time in most cases, or even worse, a lost cause.
- Eat Better.
Eating better is managing your diet. Making healthy choice, but not being orthorexic or overly obsessed over eating healthy pure foods. Our diet is a part of our lifestyle not some starvation fad we pull out of a hat whenever it’s clever. Diet needs to be sustained over a long period of time without being like prison- or feeling like you can’t go out to eat with your boyfriend, or if you walk into a bakery you’ll end up scarfing every cheesecake brownie in sight down your throat due to severe food restriction. Just follow these simple guidelines for healthier eating.
- Find out what you’re allergic to and stop eating it! Gluten and dairy allergies are alarmingly common and cause weight gain and bloating, as soon as you nix them your weight will become more manageable.
- Watch out for saturated fats and cholesterol! These two bad guys are a health issue waiting to happen- Seriously. Limit them as much as you can, they are commonly found in dairy such as cheese, eggs, butter and milk, as well as red meats.
- Eat an abundance of raw fruits and veggies! The more the merrier. They make for great snacks, additives to nutrient dense smoothies and amazing bedtime munchies for all you nighttime foodies.
- Limit Sodas and Fake Juices! These things have little to no nutritional value. You’d be better off having a half a cup of pure granulated sugar. If you do love juice, have it natural or if it is store bought make sure it is 100%.
- Load up on protein! Protein helps us burn fat and also allows for healthier hair, skin and nails.
- Eat when you’re hungry! Follow your body. If you’re starving at 10 p.m after just dining out with the hubby, grab a snack. A tablespoon or two of peanut butter never hurt anyone or if push comes to shove, indulge a yummy smoothie made with a banana; a cup of your favorite berry; half a cup of ice; half a cup of milk or orange juice and an optional scoop of protein powder for a icy cold filling treat.
Getting healthy isn’t about looking like Miranda Kerr in a tight dress, or having an ass like Beyonce’s. It’s about loving the woman in the mirror. When you love yourself, treating yourself, your body included, becomes so much easier. It’s no longer about fat shaming, or picking yourself apart over your tiger stripes and lady dimples. You are beautiful! You have to know it. You have to say it, and most importantly you have to believe it. Holistic health is about loving you and your environment first. Surround yourself around people who are positive and love you for you. Be the person who you want to be today, right now in this present moment. A health goal is excellent, and a body goal is okay too but if you can’t treat yourself like that person you are aspiring to be you will never achieve your goals. Be you today, all else will be rewarded to you in due time.