The way we look is important to us, I won’t try to argue that. But even more importantly is how we feel! When we feel energetic, fit, confident, strong, flexible, peaceful, balanced, and content, looking good comes naturally! Toting around too much body fat is unhealthy, will make us feel blah, and we probably won’t be too happy with our appearance or how our clothes fit. So, in efforts to look and FEEL our best, here are some great habits to pick up in order to lose that unhealthy, unwanted fat; and it’s not just eat less exercise more!
1. Have a Plan
Having big and small goals, setting targets, yet not being overly strict is what I have found to work for myself, friends, and clients. Fail to plan, plan to fail!
2. Sleep More
Getting less than 7-8 hours of sleep per night can cause hormonal imbalances, and a tendency to want to eat more. It slows your metabolism, and causes your body to store belly fat. Sleep is a topic that we could dive into week after week as more research continues to surface. The importance of sleep and its effects on our health is critical! Don’t wear the “I only need 5 hours of sleep” badge of honor.
3. Be Careful with Snacking
We have heard it for a while now; eat 5 or 6 small meals throughout the day. However, snacks have increased from 400 calories to 600 calories! Whoopsie! If you are eating throughout the day, be sure your portions are in check. This mini meal idea could be sabotaging your efforts!
4. Track it…At Least For a While
People can easily underestimate how much they are eating throughout the day by up to 50%! Find and use a system that you can utilize for a week or two to ensure your numbers are right on. Calorie counting apps, 21 Day Fix, and food journals work great. You don’t have to track forever, just long enough to see how much you are really eating, and then make the necessary adjustments!
5. Move More
Duh, right?! But it’s hard in our techy culture and cube farm jobs. Aerobics, HIIT, walking, and weights. Do it. Do it every week. Even if it’s not every day, find some way to MOVE!
6. Don’t Drink Your Calories
You are NOT still drinking soda are you?? Cut the juice too! Limit cocktails to twice a week. Water is where it’s at!
7. Be a Cheater
I’m not talking about falling off the wagon just because it’s the weekend, but planning a cheat day or a cheat meal will help you maintain your healthy habits without feeling deprived. Save up for those meals and treats you really enjoy so that it’s worth it!
8. Lift Heavy Weights
Even you too girls! This habitude will help you burn more calories even when you’re not at the gym! Those last couple of reps should be brutal when lifting. If they aren’t, move up the poundage!
9. Be Accountable
Find a partner, hire a trainer, recruit your spouse, head to a group fitness, or join online groups. This is a habit that proves to be true over and over again! Even Fit Bit offers ways to challenge your friends who have one and hold each other accountable. Whatever way you chose to reach your goals, do it with others to ensure success!
11. Keep it Simple
Try two circuits of four exercises and call it a day. Think squats, lunges, box jumps, jumping jacks, and push-ups. This blog has many take anywhere efficient workouts! Don’t ever let time, money, or equipment be an excuse for you!
We talk about it here all of the time, but high, intensity, interval, training is perfect for burning fat. Rest between exercises for only 10-30 seconds before eagerly moving onto the next move!
13. Intermittent Fasting
It is somewhat controversial, but many experts swear by its benefits. Think longer fasting periods (14-16 hours), and shorter feeding periods (8-10 hours). This approach will not work for everyone, but for those who prefer to eat only 2-3 times per day may do well with it. You will see this habit in the Cross Fit/ Paleo lifestyle a lot.
14. Forget Low Fat
Continue to avoid trans fats, but new research shows that our daily intake should consist of 25-35% of healthy fats a day in foods such as nuts, seeds, and avocados.
15. Protein…Eat It!
Eating more protein results in a thermogenic effect on the body. The thermic effect of food is the caloric cost of digesting and processing different macronutrients in your diet. Protein is great for this!
16. Become a Heavy Drinker
Be sure to drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of water per day. Hydrate before, during, and after exercise. And, if you are hungry often, you may be dehydrated. Sip some water first before you reach for a snack.
17. 12 On 12 Off
Hormone biochemistry works in rhythms. It takes time to build and burn. When you eat you build and store. When you don’t eat you burn. To burn fat you must work with this natural rhythm; 12 hours of eating, and 12 hours of fasting.
19. Know Your Carbohydrate Tipping Point
For fat loss, each person needs to find the right amount of carbs that will deliver sustained energy but not slow fat loss. –metaboliceffective.com Figure out what yours is by reading and understanding more about this habitude!
20. Triggers and Buffers
We all have those foods (triggers) that with one bite, (or even one thought about it), we could go crazy! I keep these triggers out of the house. For me it’s chocolate and candy (I love candy! Can’t have it here!). If I am craving something not so healthy, I have a go-to buffer food that helps curb a craving and satisfy me. Lara Bars or a couple of squares of dark chocolate are my top buffer foods that keep me in check!
Be patient with yourself and do what works for you. These are guidelines. Play detective rather than dieter and figure out what foods and activities make you look, feel, and perform at your best. Your Trainer,