5 things you can do today to help you on your weight loss journey
- Keep a food journal. Nothing fancy, no need for an app here… just the notes on your smart phone or an old-fashioned journal you have handy. Write down what you eat at all meals. Keep track of portions, the time you have said meal, how hungry you were before you ate. What was your emotional state- were you tired? famished? sad? happy? stressed? This is always very eye-opening!
- Up your water intake. We are never drinking enough water! The rule of thumb is half of your body weight in ounces. So, if you weigh 140, you should be drinking 70 ounces. AND if you work out and sweat, add in another 20 ounces. Water flushes toxins from your body and helps with inflammation (which adds weight to the scale). Juice, soda, tea, and coffee do not count.
- Stop eating 3 hours before bedtime. Eat a good dinner and there’s no need for snacking. Most of the time, after-dinner snacking comes from boredom or the need for a reward. Going to bed on an empty stomach helps you sleep better too! Giving your body a chance to rest and to not be constantly trying to digest food gives you a chance to heal and repair.
- Get 7-9 hours of sleep. Research shows that just one sleep-deprived night can cause your stress hormones to get completely out of whack and cause you to crave junky foods like sugary treats and simple carbs. Do you notice how, after a poor night’s sleep, all you want is pancakes or a bagel?
- Add non-starchy vegetables to 1-2 meals. Some examples are broccoli, cauliflower, butternut squash, greens, peppers, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, asparagus, mushrooms, celery, zucchini, cucumbers, radishes. This is a starting point. As this becomes easier, continue to add veggies to each meal.
For now, I’m not telling you what to omit or take out. I’m not talking about cutting calories or logging your food in My Fitness Pal. No starving is necessary. It’s not about a weight-loss shake or pill. These gimmicks don’t take a lot of work which is why they sound so appealing! I’m talking about focusing on what habits you need to slowly change, what foods you need to start adding in. Tackle 1-2 of these at a time and it’s doable. Please don’t try and do a 180… the momentum might work for a week or two until it doesn’t and then you’re right back where you started and feeling like a failure.