It is important in the journey of health to not only learn new concepts on a regular basis, but also to occasionally revisit the basics. Health is not only about weight loss, but about life balance, stress management, moving more, appropriate food choices without guilt. While there is no magic bullet to losing weight or keeping it off, every choice matters. If you have been following the weekly steps from Heart In Motion, you understand the power of continuing to make simple changes over time. It is powerful. So today, I wanted to revisit some of the basic concepts that are good for both weight loss and long term weight maintenance as well as add a few more. The world of weight loss (especially on Facebook) is overwhelming and can be confusing. Understanding the basics can really help you to stay focused on the importance of sound reason and judgment regarding health decisions as well as the beauty of simplicity.
- Eat more whole food that are rich in antioxidants. Yes, we have chronicled the miracle that fiber is in the weight loss journey, but antioxidants play a significant role as well. To begin, many of our cravings are something called “toxic hunger” or hunger caused by a deficiency or a reaction to the chemicals in a certain food and are not true hunger (though they feel like it). When we eat nutrient dense foods, we can help to eliminate deficiency based cravings. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is actually true in this sense. Also, antioxidant rich foods help to keep the body’s cells from being damaged by free radicals. When you protect the cells, you protect the DNA inside the nucleus of the cell which leads to more efficient energy production within each cell. This increases the quantity of the metabolism (the body’s ability to convert fats and sugars into energy).
- Fiber Fiber Fiber!! Now, this has NOTHING to do with the fiber added to bars, shakes, and cereals, but the fiber in whole foods is like MAGIC for weight loss. Click HERE to read a Q&A that you might have missed on the beautiful benefits of fiber.
- DO NOT EAT LATE AT NIGHT. We have talked on many occasions about the importance of stopping eating at least 3 hours before bedtime. Remember that our goal is to maximize what the body is designed to do by working with it and not against it. Our bodies are designed to burn fat while we sleep, but that takes 7-8 hours of fasting, so cutting out the midnight snack is a simple step but can be a huge asset in your weight control efforts. I have seen clients lose 30+lbs with just this simple change.
- Decrease your sugar. Yep, everyone knows that sugar causes weight gain, but really be a detective at the grocery store. Hidden sugar is everywhere and can derail even the most adept weight loss efforts. Check out That Sugar Film for a great documentary on the effects of sugar. In this film, the star eats only packaged foods that are considered “healthy.” It is amazing the difference in the chemistry in his body within a few short weeks. Keep packaged foods to a minimum. Make them the exception, not the rule.
- Increase Vitamin C. Everyone knows that vitamin c is powerhouse for boosting the immune system, but many people do not know that it has a great effects on weight control as well. Studies have shown that those who get 1,000 mg of vitamin c each day show decreased fasting blood sugar levels, lower triglycerides, cholesterol, and insulin levels.
So, while you may be an expert by now, it is always good to review the basics and add a few on each time. Continue to strive for small, simple changes. They can make a significant impact on your weight management efforts.
Look at the list above. See if there is anything on this list that you might be able to work on. Maybe you are doing well not eating late at night, but you could increase your consumption of vitamin C and antioxidant rich foods. Remember that a diet of 50% vegetables (which is our Heart In Motion recommendation) will accomplish the above goals of vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber at the same time. Though our articles strive to continue your education and guidance over time, we always come back to the basics.
Keep your diet low glycemic
Eat 50% veggies at every meal
Move your body often (and strength train over cardio)
Avoid eating within 3 hours of bedtime
Embrace small, simple changes over time. Small changes matter!!
STEP(S) FOR THIS WEEK:
- Keep your diet low glycemic
- Eat 50% veggies at every meal
- Move your body often (and strength train over cardio)
- Avoid eating within 3 hours of bedtime
- Embrace small, simple changes over time. Small changes matter!!