Never have I ever eaten so much pasta, bread and chips than I did during the pandemic. April 2020 was all about comfort food for me in the form of copious amounts of carbohydrates. Oh, and wine. And Netflix/Crave/Amazon Prime. We are talking massive stress eating and TV binging. There is no part of that equation that leads to weight loss;)
And, from what I’ve been reading on everyone else Instagram and Facebook posts, I know I’m not the only one who’s jeans are feeling a tad tighter.
But here we are, June 2020, slowly coming out of the pandemic. I hope you all managed to stay healthy and relatively sane during it all.
If you gained some weight over the past few months and would like to shed it, follow these 15 tips consistency to see, and feel, a change relatively quickly.
***Before you begin, remember to have compassion and patience with yourself. You have just experienced enormous trauma and stress…do not add to it by ‘bullying’ yourself.
#1. Increase your daily water intake. Drinking more water on a daily basis will help to keep your body hydrated. A dehydrated body often presents as hunger. When you are hydrated, every cell in your body functions properly. Water flushes toxins from your body, keeps you full longer and creates a healthy environment for your cells.
#2. Increase your greens. Increasing your daily vegetable consumption is a great way to stay full longer without a ton of calories. Vegetables are naturally low in fat but high in nutrients so you are also doing your body a huge favour with all the vitamins and minerals. Adding more greens to your diet also aids in digestion keeping everything running ‘smoothly’.
#3. Move your body every single day! When you increase your daily exercise, you burn more calories. Not only that but you also build lean muscle mass and decrease your fat mass. More lean muscle on your body increases your resting metabolism which makes it easier to maintain/lose weight. And when it comes to weight loss, calories matter! Expend more calories while intaking less equals weight loss. Plus moving daily helps to increase your ‘happy hormones’, helps you sleep better and improves your body composition.
#4. Do not eat after 7pm. Eating too heavy of a meal and then just going to bed doesn’t give the body a time to properly digest. Even better….eat before 7 then go for a walk!
#5. Write it ALL down! On your weight loss journey, you must track what you eat on a daily basis. If you don’t, you will forget about those sandwich crusts off your kids plate. Or that 2-3 bites of mac and cheese. Or that half a granola bar. Not only record your food intake, but record your exercise and how you felt. There are a ton of free apps out there now that work wonders …like Lose It or MyFitnessPal. When you are mindful of recording what you eat and how much you move, you will start to see patterns you can actually change.
#6. Calories DO matter! If you are eating more calories than you are expending, you will not only NOT lose weight you may just gain some too. If you want to lose weight, you MUST create a calorie deficit. Know how many calories you are consuming in a day and how many you are expending. Again, utilize a ‘calorie counting’ app and be AWARE of how much you are taking in. We often over-estimate how much we move and ‘under-estimate’ how much we eat.
#7. Know and honour your triggers. Do you eat when you are sad? Bored? When anxiety hits, do you reach for wine? Or go for a walk? Do you go for sweet foods when sad? Or savoury? Emotional eating feels great at first! That first hit of sugar or salt makes your brain feel awesome but it soon leads to not feeling so great. So, get to know your triggers and plan for them. When you are sad, go for walk rather than reach for sweets. Knowing your triggers will help you create strategies to deal with them.
#8. Ditch the booze. Not only is alcohol empty calories, it’s a toxin. Your body spends all its energy trying to rid itself of the poison that it misses all the good stuff you put in it. So all that kale? Body doesn’t recognize it….it just sees the alcohol.
#9. Make it public! There is amazing power in pen to paper. And being public. Once you decide on your goal, tell everyone! Talk about it openly. Ask for support. Join a support group. If it’s important to you, bring it to the forefront and be determined.
#10. Get your Zzzzz’s. Sleep is crazy important in your weight loss journey. If you are not sleeping, or having interrupted sleep, it will mess with your ‘hunger’ hormone. When you are getting a full 7-9 hrs of GOOD sleep, your body gets a chance to regroup and reset hormones.
#11. Plan and prep ahead. If you are not planning your meals out in advance, you will succumb to last minute cravings. Not only is planning out your menu and prepping a budget saving god send, it will also ensure you do not eat that foot-long meatball sub on the way home. Yes, this takes time but in the long-run, will save you money and calories.
#12. Don’t eat crap. How simple is this. If you eat crap food, you will feel like crap. That whole bag of salt & vinegar potato chips may hit the spot right then, but you will feel gross and bloated and not great about yourself in the morning. You’re not going to brag to your friend about what you ate the night before. But say you had an amazing Kale salad with some protein on it with a great dressing…you’ll talk about that right?
#13. Eat mindfully. What does that even mean? It means, slow down and enjoy what you are eating. It looks like, putting your fork down after each bite. It’s chewing slowly before swallowing. It’s sitting down at a table to eat. It’s drinking water in-between bites. Maybe it’s even expressing gratitude for the food before you eat. B
#14. Enlist others. Get your friends and family onboard with your new healthy habits. Ask them to do this with you. Get your bestie to join you for daily walks. Share healthy recipes. Ask your partner to not eat certain triggering foods infant of you. Maybe start a blog! Whatever it takes to create a support group.
#15. Surround yourself with positive motivation! Print out motivational quotes and stick them to your mirror, your desk, your car dash. Whever you ‘look’ a lot, put something motivational there. Write yourself little love stickies and put them up. Listen to motivational podcasts. Do what it takes to surround yourself with positivity and ‘you can do its’ and help pump yourself up. Listen, motivation doesn’t last so you HAVE to devise ways to stay inspired. Read about others who accomplished the goal you want to. Do what it takes. You may feel silly at first but then, it will be addicting.
Those are my top 15 tips to help you lose weight. Why so many? Because it takes work and nothing happens quickly. You have to put in the work if you want the results. That’s the bottom line.
Questions? Always feel free to ask! With love everyone!