Weight loss isn't just about calories, carbs, protein and fat. How you nourish yourself in ways other than the food you eat is just as important, if not more important. Below are 5 simple things you can do every day to trim your waistline.
1. Drink More Water: Too often, we think we're hungry when we're really thirsty. Drink 1-2 glasses of water and wait 30 minutes. If you're still hungry, go ahead and eat. Drinking warm water first thing in the morning (either plain or with the juice of 1/2 lemon) is a great way to detoxify your body. Wait at least 30 minutes before eating any food. For optimal digestion, it is not recommended that we drink water with our meals because this dilutes the hydrochloric acid in our stomach. Stick with drinking water either 30 minutes before and/or 30 minutes after each meal.
2. Get More Sleep: Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night. In order to achieve maximum health, we need to give our bodies the opportunity to rest and repair. Try to finish your last meal at least 2 hours before falling asleep, to minimize the risk of sleep disruption. It's important that we prep our bodies for sleep so we don't get a second wind moments before bedtime. Read a book, listen to quiet music, dim the lights, or do anything else that relaxes you so your body knows that rest is on the way.
3. Exercise: Find exercise that you like so you'll stick with it. If you're feeling stuck and can't seem to motivate yourself to workout, take a fitness class, go for a walk with a friend, or sign up for a race. Whatever you do, commit to moving your body for at least 30 minutes, at least 3 days per week.
4. Relax: Even if your diet is phenomenal, you might find that you're carrying around some extra weight (particularly in the abdominal region) and can't figure out why. Stress can contribute to weight gain in many ways. When we're stressed, our bodies release the stress hormone cortisol and high levels of cortisol can slow our metabolism. High levels of cortisol can also result in cravings for unhealthy foods and trigger emotional eating. Relaxing activities such as doing deep breathing exercises, taking a walk, or SLOWING DOWN will benefit you greatly in keeping that weight off.
5. Eat more unprocessed, unrefined, whole foods: Incorporating more fruits and vegetables in your diet (organic if possible), while reducing your intake of processed foods is crucial to your weight loss success. To quote Mark Hyman, "There is no such thing as 'Junk Food'. There's 'Junk' and there's 'Food'!" Add real food to your diet and ween yourself off the processed junk.