It's a brand new year, and I have no doubt that roughly 90% of people I know have vowed that THIS is the year. The year they will get fit, get healthy, and shed any extra pounds. I know that I am definitely in this mix of folks - so I thought I'd post a few very simple steps that anyone can do each day to help reach these goals.
Easy Step #1 - Drink More Water
Did you know that drinking water is one of the most important things to do in order to lose weight? How easy is that? When you drink proper amounts of water each day, it not only cleanses your body, getting rid of old, nasty water that your body has stored in fear of drought (which is pretty much the #1 reason people get bloated - dehydration), and helps carry toxins out as well - but it actually changes the way you metabolise fat. Without enough water in your body each day, you CANNOT get rid of stored fat. Is anyone else running to the faucet right now? For a quick and great read on this topic, click here.
Easy Step #2 - Cut Out One Unnecessary Snack
If anyone out there is like me, you reach for snacks for many reasons other than your body needs more calories. My snack-attacks usually occur when a favorite show is on, one of my kids is whining and I need IMMEDIATE relief, I'm tired, I'm happy, friends are over, I'm lonely... the list goes on!
Cutting out even just one of your usual snack binges can equal MAJOR body changes. Depending on your current weight, even just cutting out a minor 300 calories a day can equal some pretty cool weight loss each week. (couple this with the increased water intake.. you're a fat burning machine!)
Be careful when you snack.. don't kid yourself with the 100 calorie snack packs. 100 calories of white flour and sugar is still 100 calories that immediately convert to fat. These snacks often satisfy your immediate craving, but only leave you hungry and craving more and more. Instead, satisfy your sweet tooth with a half of a banana topped with some sugar-free Cool-Whip. (or a fruit of your choice.) This is our favorite dessert around here... almost no calories, fat, or refined sugar. Your body will be so thankful that your thighs will shrink.
Easy Step #3 - Write it Down
Keeping a food journal has been proven time and again to help most people choose more healthy foods. For me, writing down what I eat from time to time helps me evaluate the TRUTH about my daily choices. At the end of the day I can often find that I ate a ton of carbohydrates and almost no protein. Some days I see that I only ate 2 servings of fruits and veggies... no wonder I was craving that Snickers Bar...
Even if you don't keep count of calories, fat, and all that jazz... just seeing food choices on paper will often help you face the truth about what you're putting into your body. Most Americans know what they need, and most of us know what to eat. What we typically do is manage to trick ourselves into believing we're doing "a pretty good job" of keeping our insides healthy when we're probably lacking a ton of vitamins and minerals each day.
Easy Step #4 - MOVE YOUR BODY
Do you know what burns fat? Muscle. Do you know how to get muscle? MOVE.
Exercise is a dirty word for a lot of folks, and boy have I been in that club! Some days I still have to make myself get up and get active. On the worst of days, when I really just cannot make myself do any cardio, I simply pull out my hand weights and do a few sets of different exercises while I watch my favorite shows. I can do pretty much anything as long as the TV is entertaining me. You can always start small and only committ to lifting during commercial breaks. I mean, you're probably only channel surfing during those anyway.
Here is an amazing site I stumbled upon the other day. I plan to search through it each day to find new moves to incorporate to my regular routine. Boredom is the #1 reason I give up on exercise so I have quite the collection of dvd's and outdoor activities to choose from.
Easy Step #5 - DON'T GIVE UP
You know at least four insanely easy steps now. You know what you can do. You know that if you do these things you'll feel so much better in a week. In a month you might just be amazed at how your body is changing, and how you actually feel proud of yourself.
Stop looking at diets. Stop trying to lose 7 pounds in a week. Do it RIGHT this time so this will be the last time. Small steps that are manageable and don't overwhelm you are the perfect way to begin. Adding these steps to your on-going routine can just give you the extra boost you're looking for.
Find a friend to do it with you, comment here if you're looking for someone to support you and help hold you accountable. It's a new year, and maybe it's time for a new you. A you that is caring about you.