Youve heard it before. Eat right, exercise, and BAM! Youre healthy. Right?
Not so fast.
According to a 2003 Baylor University study, more than 90 percent of Americans will be overweight by 2032 if we continue with our current trend.
The truth is far more complicated. Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is difficult because we live in a society centered on food often fast food and high fructose corn syrup, to name a few culprits.
That makes staying at an ideal weight a not so easy task.
Instead, here are a few tools you may not have read on those headlines in the magazines at the grocery store checkout aisle. These tools helped the author drop more 80 pounds in six months, so stick them in your tool belt and try them out.
1. Choose your words mindfully
When you lose something, what do you want to do?
Thats right. You want to find it.
Loss connotes regret. We lose our keys, our car in the parking lot and our cell phones in the unlikeliest of spots. When getting rid of extra weight, think about shedding, releasing or dismissing the pounds.
Words are powerful, and they are the by-products of our thoughts. Thoughts turn into things. Use this concept as an ally in your weight journey and shed away.
2. Eat off a nine-inch blue plate
Dr. Wayne Andersen explores this concept in his fantastic read Habits of Health. The size of plate dictates portion. If you get used to this size of plate and no fair piling it high you will acclimate to appropriate portions distorted further by ginormous restaurant serving sizes.
But why blue?
The color blue makes a person feel fuller faster, say the research gurus who study such things. Other colors such as white, red, and yellow will stimulate a persons appetite.
3. Try chopsticks
Along with your blue plate, practice slowing down while you eat. One way to do this is to try eating with a pair of chopsticks. Not only will you eat more slowly, but you will also be able to appreciate the individual tastes more. If youre a chopstick newbie, be patient. Once you get it, youll discover how fun they can be as well as how easy they are to wash!
4. Get seven to eight hours of sleep
As we age, our bodies secrete less melatonin. This makes it more difficult to achieve healthy sleep patterns. Sleep deprivation has numerous ramifications including diminished self-confidence and an increased risk of inflammation even obesity.
Who needs that?
The general consensus is that women need six to seven hours sleep per night while men need seven to eight hours sleep for optimal health. Help yourself by setting up a sleep environment and sleep routines to assure consistent, solid sleep.
5. Small meals vs three squares
The traditional notion of three square meals each day is so last century. Six smaller fuelings each day turns a body into a fat-burning machine.
Picture your body as a wood stove.
To keep performance optimum, you feed it the right type and amount of fuel throughout the day. Smaller, more frequent meals with a rich nutritional footprint consumed every three hours will keep your metabolism firing, your energy high and prevent overloading your fire.
6. Eat breakfast within a half hour of waking
Staying with the stove metaphor, when a stove burns all night, it must be stoked first thing each morning with just the right amount of kindling. If you throw a huge log, it will smother the coals.
Not enough fuel, however, and the fire goes out.
Follow the Goldilocks rule: Eat just the right amount for breakfast and youll be golden.
You know youre supposed to drink water, but did you realize you are supposed to drink half your weight in water? Pure water is always best, but other de-caffeinated beverages can be your ally as well. If drinking 0 calorie vitamin waters is your bag, check the carbohydrate count buried on those pesky labels. Drinking water may make you visit the bathroom more times each day, but that is the point. Flushing out fat and toxins is a good thing.
8. Your why must be bigger than your but
Define why you want to shed weight in the first place. Let this why anchor your thoughts throughout your journey. Write it on a piece of paper or an index card maybe even your hand and keep visible throughout the day.
When you reach your ideal weight, keep it handy to remind you why you are choosing a healthy lifestyle. Its not about what youre giving up (I want to lose weight, but). Its about what youre getting! (Your best you!)
9. Channel your inner vegetarian
You do not have to be a vegetarian to opt for meatless meals. There are many ways to eat a meal without meat, chicken or fish as the star of the show.
If that concept is too hard, try chicken cutlets or one of the alternative meats such as those by Field Roast. In restaurants, ask for a salad with a veggie burger crumbled on top.
Remember: just because its vegetarian doesnt mean its not flooded with cheese and white rice. Stick to lean and green vegetarian choices.
10. Help others
One of the not-so secret secrets of the universe is that the fastest way to help yourself is to help others. We are all connected. There is always someone else a few steps behind you that could use some encouragement. Turn around and say, Hey, I just walked there. Mind the puddle.
I became a health coach two months into my own journey and hands down, above the million other tips I can offer, this has helped me reach my ideal weight, keep it off and hone my optimum health focus.
Im not unique here. Ninety percent of health coaches in Take Shape for Life keep their weight off. If health coaching is not for you, find another way to give back.
In this way, you will be your best you and make the world a healthier place at the same time.
If you are like most people, you have no idea how strong you are.
The healthy you wants to come out and play. Stay focused, have fun, and if you need a guide along the way, dont be afraid to ask for help.