Every diet tells you it is the be-all end-all diet for you. If you have tried them and have been unable to keep up with all of their restrictions, you know first hand that some diets were not made with your individual needs nor life in mind. But what do you do about those few extra pounds that seem to have packed their bags and moved in for good?
We are all made very differently. Each of our bodies have different demands and needs. The one size fits all diet model is outdated and inefficient in helping you maintain long term results. Being healthy and strong is not about restrictive dieting, and will power. It is about consistent lifestyle choices, and the development of healthy habits. Being healthy should not be complicated! Here is my secret … develop these simple habits around your lifestyle and you'll be able to smell success in no time. The following are 10 ways to lose weight without dieting!
1. Good Ol 'H20:
Your body is made up of 50-75% water, if you have a lean body the percentage is even higher. As you can imagine, every system in your body depends on water. Water aids digestion and helps release toxins from your body. As a protective mechanism, your body retains fat to protect you from harmful toxins. When your body is lacking water it perceives it as a threat, and retains water. Here, if you do not drink water regularly the chances are that you are retaining some water weight.
Did you know that more than half of Americans confuse thirst with hunger? Your body requires half your body weight in ounces. For example if you weigh 130lbs you require 65 oz of water, on average 8 to 10 cups of water. Waiting until you are thirsty can prove to be inefficient. By the time you are thirsty the chances are that your body is already partially dehydrated.
How will drinking water aid weight loss? Beside getting rid of excess water weight, drinking water often and in between meals will help stave off cravings, and controls portion size. Some of the side effects of being hydrated are radiant skin, increased energy, focus, stamina, endurance, and better critical thinking skills! Who would mind those?
Tips: Wake up to a nice tall glass of water. Carry a water bottle everywhere you go to encourage your new habit. Drink a glass of water 30 minutes before each meal, or replace your soda or juice with a bottle of water when you order out. If 'The Snacking Bug "attacks you after hours drink a tall glass of water and wait 10 minutes, remember you might just be thirsty.
2. Get Your Z's:
According to a study made by the Stanford School of Medicine in Wisconsin, there is a direct correlation between lack of sleep and your Body Mass Index. Sleep loss affects several hormones that control appetite and food intake. Ghrelin is primarily produced in the stomach and controls appetite. The higher the levels of Ghrelin in your body the more you want to eat. Leptin is a hormone produced by fat cells. It indicates the body when there is not a significant metabolic reserve for emergencies, and signals the body the need for additional caloric consumption. Low levels of Leptin indicate starvation, and increased appetite.
In the study all 1,024 test subjects, between the ages of 30 and 60, experienced a ghrelin increased of 14.9%, and a decrease of 15.5% in Leptin levels when their hours of sleep per night were decreased from 8 to 5 hours. Emmanuel Mignot, MD, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, stated that the results were consistent regardless of participants' gender, BMI or eating and exercise habits.
Lesson learned: Become aware of your sleeping patterns and try to incorporate 8 hours of sleep into your schedule.
3. Movement for the Body and Soul:
Exercise does not have to consist of monotonous and boring routines at the gym. Spice up your life, experiment and have fun! Dance around the house with some pumping music. Take a dance class. Add some sassy-ness to your step and try Salsa, or add some funk to your step and give hip-hop a try. Try a Yoga class. Rekindle an old relationship with morning walks through a scenic path or park. Clean vigorously. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Get off the bus or train a few stops early and walk the rest of the way. Trade in your car for a bike. Think of fun and creative ways to incorporate as much movement into your life as possible. You can start off small. Just remember keep it fresh and keep it exciting!
4. Whole Foods for Vitality:
Whole foods are foods that have not been processed or have been minimally processed to include all parts of the whole. Fruits, vegetables and grains that appear as they would in nature are whole. For example a whole banana, orange, broccoli, squash, spinach, berries, un-milled, and unprocessed grains such as brown rice, etc are all good examples of whole foods. These foods are rich in nutrients and minerals, and tend to be more filling than their refined counterparts. Think of brown rice vs. white rice. They keep you satisfied for longer. They also keep your energy levels on an even keel.
Tip: Eat whole foods, especially vegetables at the beginning of every meal. It will take a lot less food to satisfy you, and it will help you crowd out the refined foods you might be eating. Eat more instead of less to get rid of the not so nourishing foods you might be eating.
There are a lot of people who are over weight, eat a lot and always feel hungry. Why is that? Their diets are filled with chemicalized, processed, refined, and artificial junk foods that fill their tummies but starve their body of the nutrients they so satisfactely need. Do not starve your body. Give it the highest quality foods possible.
5. Chew Your Food:
With busy filled schedules, people tend to shove down their meals as quickly as possible while driving, reading, watching tv, drawing up a report for work, or any other form of multi-tasking. Chewing your food well, allows you to slow down and be present with your food. You notice what you are eating and gain awareness of what your body needs and when it is full.
It takes your body 20 minutes to register when you are full . If you are eating quickly you will consume a lot more food and then experience sudden heaviness or fullness. Because you did not give yourself the opportunity to register this feeling, you end up eating through that 20 minute wait period your body goes through oblivious to your own bodies signals. It is hard to gage when you are full at that point.
The chemical breakdown of carbohydrates start in the mouth with an enzyme called amylase. Breaking down all food into smaller chunks with increased surface space allows your body to absorb and assimilate the nutrients in your food easily. It also makes your bodies digestion process less strenuous. Dismissing this important process compromises your nutrient absorption and can cause gas, reflux, indigestion, and other digestive discomforts.
Tip: Chew each bite at least 30-50 times.
If you are use to chewing each bite 5-7 times before swallowing this might seem a bit overwhelming. Start off small. Increase it to 15-20 times per bite, and work your way up. Putting your fork down in between bites helps. Enjoying a nourishing and tasty meal should not be a thing of the past. It may feel strange at first, but once you get use to it, it will become quite enjoyable. Your reward is sweeter tasting food, and a slimmer body. You would be surprised how much food your body actually requires to feel full.
6. Take a Deep Breathe Of Fresh Air. It's Free:
Most of us have forgotten how to breathe. Stand in front of a mirror and breath as you would regularly. Notice the tendency to fill the upper half of our lungs and forget to use the rest ..
Deep breathing increases circulation, our feelings of well-being, our energy, and decreases stress, and helps our body detoxify. Breathing also aids digestion by massaging our digestive organs while processing food and while eating. Taking deep breaths while eating also help you slow down.
Lay flat on the floor and allow your body to relax. Tuck in your chin and look down at your belly. Take in a deep breath and allow your belly to fill. Fill up your lungs to the max and hold your breath for a few seconds, and exhale fully. You can feel your lungs stretch. Repeat this process for a couple of minutes and experience the sensation in your lungs as you inhale and exhale deeply. After a few minutes get up and sit up straight. Allow your belly to hang out. We all have the tendency to walk around with our bellies tucked in. This is one of the few occasions you can shamelessly allow your belly to hang out. Allow your full range of breathe through deep breaths. Feel how wonderful doing this for just a few moment is already making you feel.
Note: Some of us eat out of stress, this a great comforting alternative nipping it in the bud.
7. Guilt, Say Good-Bye:
When we have strong cravings for "bad" food, we all tend to eat them and feel guilty about it. We eat them while no one is watching, or we eat them really fast like someone is going to take it away from us. This does not allow us the opportunity to even taste it so we eat even more. I say, no more!
If you want a treat go for it. Allow yourself the richest, highest quality version of the food you are craving. For example, if I am craving ice cream I serve myself a portion of whole full-fat, organic ice cream that only has a hand full of rich ingredients. All of which I can read and would have in my own refrigerator or pantry. No ten lettered un-identifiable ingredients.
I allow myself to feel grateful for the yummy treat I am about to have and take small slow bites, giving myself the time to really savor each bite to the fullest. Skip low-fat foods. It takes a lot less to satisfy your taste buds when you are eating the whole food version. It takes a lot more low-fat ice cream to really get the flavor of ice cream you are really craving.
8. Choose Your Serving Wisely:
Did you know that we are subject to the portions we are served? A study led my Penn State's College of Health and Human Development found that people who served larger portions responded by eating 30% more food and did not report feeling any fuller after eating
With this new knowledge, here are some tips
-When eating out, right after being served your food, request a take out container and separate half of your meal prior to eating, especially when you are eating at places that serve really large portions.
-Instead of eating ice cream right out of the container, eating cookies right out of the box, or chocolates right out of the box, serve yourself a portion in small plate or bowl and close the rest and put it away. You would not be eating any less than you would normally, yet you can compromise eating more than you would usually by not being aware of this concept.
Use this at your own discretion. Remember slowing down is key in enjoying food, and noticing when you are satisfied or full.
9. A Fresh Start!
Remember be kind to yourself. Being healthy is a state of mind. Never look back. Simply take consistent steps forward no matter what might have happened a few hours or minutes ago. Every meal is a new opportunity to nourish yourself and develop a relationship with the divine you.
May you find this helpful, and insightful. Please write in with your thoughts concerns, questions, or ideas. It is always a pleasure to support you one your journey to health, vitality and infectious wellness. I promise you these tips will not only help lose weight, but will also help you improve your quality of life!
To your health, vitality, abundance, and happiness!
Author: Yelimar Rodriguez HHC, AADP, CYI, Thai Yoga Bodyworker