After having my first child and finding myself at the highest weight of my life, I decided that I needed to make some long-term changes to get my weight under control. I found that making many small adjustments to my lifestyle had a huge impact on my weight as well as my overall health. I lowered my blood pressure, cholesterol, resting heart rate, and blood sugar. Here are five lifestyle changes I made which helped me loose weight while getting healthier.
As our lives get busier and busier we find ourselves getting less and les sleep. Being well rested is vital to every aspect of our functioning. I aim to get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep a night. I don’t always do it, but I really try. I find it helpful to give myself a cut off time that I absolutely must be heading to bed. That time for me is 11pm, but when I am really doing well I am in bed by 10pm.
Another vital element to our body is water. At the absolute minimum, we should be drinking 48 ounces of water each day. Ideally, we would be getting 64 ounces a day. I have found the best way to do this is to fill two 32-ounce containers with water and keep them in my refrigerator. I drink the first one during the early part of the day and start on the second container by 2pm. If I keep myself on this schedule, I find that I am far more successful in getting in the full 64 ounces each day.
3) Real Food
I know it sounds a little funny, but it is very important to eat real food. Also known as whole food, I am referring to food that is in its freshest state. Think of food in its most natural form. Stroll through the produce section of your grocery store and you will see all sorts of real, whole foods. Better yet, head to your local farmer’s market!
4) Processed Foods
On the same note as eating real food, minimize processed foods as much as possible. For example, if I really want mashed potatoes then I would cook up some potatoes and mash them myself. The most processed version would be a box of instant potato flakes that somehow morph themselves into mashed potatoes. (Just for the record-I have never, ever been a fan of instant mashed potatoes.) Fast food mashed potatoes are also very processed. If you really want something, go for the purest form of it.
5) High Fructose Corn Syrup and Artificial Sweeteners
If you want something sweet, go for it. Yup, you read that right. Use honey or raw sugar, but skip the manufactured sweeteners. Skip the high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners and use real sweeteners. I personally enjoy sugar in the raw in my coffee and all natural honey in my tea.
Weight loss is about making lifestyle changes that can be maintained for life. It is about thinking through every day decisions and making healthier choices. For long-term weight loss, make a conscious effort of making healthy, nutritious decisions for your body. Quick fixes and crash diets do not work for the long haul.