Well, let’s get one thing clear- when we are talking about
weight loss, we really mean FAT loss. Changing body composition requires some
time and discipline in terms of eating healthy and exercise but it is the only
long term way to maintain a healthy body weight.
Most “diets” will cause you to lose weight but be very
careful- they cause you to lose muscle and water- two things that you need more
of. And, to make matters worse, when gone and you go off your calorie
restrictive ridiculous diet your metabolism is diminished because of the muscle
loss (remember muscle equals metabolism) and you will gain even more weight
One more thing- these “secrets” are not secrets at all but
stuff most everyone knows. The REAL secret is # 10 but it takes same practice
but I have seen how well it works with clients and athletes and it could work
for you too!
1. You are not getting enough WATER!
You are mostly water- even your bones are a quarter water!
The fact is that most people are chronically dehydrated and our bodies actually
Drinking more water might be a pain for a few days (going to
the washroom a lot) but do take heed- your body is flushing itself of the water
it has been storing throughout all those years of "survival mode".
When you drink enough water our bodies do something really
neat- it gets rid of the water it was holding onto in your ankles and your hips
and thighs, maybe even around your belly.
2. Strength Train
Strength training is absolutely critical in weight
management- as noted above, some diets will actually ask you not to workout
because the calorie you are taking in are so few that you would not have the
energy and it could be dangerous. Does that sound right? You need athletically
trained muscles to increase metabolism and burn fat. In fact- fat is burned in
the muscles so you want more, not less. As well, following a calorie reduced
diet may make you smaller but a smaller version of whatever shape you are now.
If you have a pear shaped physique- you will be a smaller version of that. And,
strength training will help tone and shape all your muscles- like the Equalizer
pull-ups to tone the back and arm muscles. Plus you will be able to do those
stairs with ease- not like someone who is weaker from a restrictive diet.
3. Sleep… zzzzzzzzz
Studies published in the Journal of the American Medical
Association show that sleep loss disrupts a series of complex metabolic and
hormonal processes which can make weight loss far more difficult than it needs
to be. Sleep deprived and tired individuals tend to eat more during the day and
poorer food choices. Besides you need good sleep to repair those lean athletic
Who would have thought that sitting quietly can have such a
profound effect on the body and mind? Not me- not at first anyways! I have been
meditating daily for a few years now and let me tell you, it has been the most
rewarding thing I have ever done. I recover faster from workouts, sleep better,
feel less anxious/stressed and have an overall better relationship with myself
and others. Why do it for “weight” loss? Meditation increases self-awareness,
so you're less likely to succumb to emotional eating when you're practicing
meditation. As well, studies have shown that plasma cortisol (the “stress”
hormone) decreases during Transcendental Meditation, whereas it did not change
significantly in control subjects during ordinary relaxation. When the stress
hormones are high, from everyday living and prolonged habitual stress (which
most of us are accustomed to-unfortunately for our health), our bodies burn
very little fat- instead getting energy from sugars and causing craving for
carbohydrates. We choose pick me up foods during mid day that are loaded with
sugar and caffeine when a much better option would be to close the eyes and do
15 minutes of meditation. It recharges the battery and makes you feel great.
5. Like the book says- “Eat More, Weigh Less”!
The physiology of it has been known for years- when we
starve ourselves, we get fatter. You have heard this before but it bears
repeating; Small meals throughout the day is the best choice to keep your
metabolism going, get the nutrients you need and burn fat. Never go more than
three hours without some small nutritious snack coming in.
6. Portions are out of control!
Look at the average size of a bagel today- add some crème
cheese and you have enough calories to feed a big hockey player after a game!
Ok, maybe not that many but you get the point. And the same goes for almost all
restaurants, fast foods and other meals. You should use a plate that is salad
sized, well balanced with protein, whole grain/ less refined carbs (calories
derived from carbohydrates are necessary for energy and can be very healthy if
they come from whole grains) and veggies.
7. Eat fat!
Ok, eat the right kinds of fat. The fact is that some fats
will harm you and some are very good for you. Omega-3 must be obtained from
your diet but most of us DO NOT get enough. We need them from a cellular level
and without them, our health becomes compromised. Omega-3 is most abundant in cold water fish,
mainly salmon, mackerel and sardines, from Flaxseed (linseed) oil and you can
buy Omega-3 oil to supplement your diet.
8. Do your cardio early and at the right intensity.
Doing cardiovascular exercise first thing in the morning
will give your metabolism a kick-start on the day. It gets revved early and
therefore burns more calories over the duration you are awake. Often people do
cardio slowly thinking they are in the “fat burning” zone. Well that is not
entirely true. sure at lower intensities you will burn more calories percentage
wise from fat, the total amount of calories you burn are far less and therefore
the total fat calories are less as well. besides, training at higher
intensities raises your metabolism for hours after the training session-
something the lower intensities does not do
Hey, most of us just don’t do it enough anyway. So without
going into the science, it’s pretty obvious that a good BELLY laugh just feels
great and is good for us!
10. Changing internal pictures.
Why is this one the most important? Because without it, you
very likely will not stick with 1 thru 9. The fact is that ALL our behaviours
are motivated by internal pictures or images (hence the word self-image) and no
amount of willpower will override this programming long term without first
doing the ground work. So what to do? Stay tuned for the next article and learn
how changing internal pictures drives your behaviors and of course, YOUR