"No matter how much I exercise or how healthy I eat, I can't seem to lose the last 10 pounds!" Have you experienced this common frustration? If so, then read on! Breaking through weight loss plateaus is one of my specialties.
Here are seven easy tips I strongly suggest which will have an immediate impact on your waist line.
#1: Add more green
Greens are one of the best foods found in nature and the most important addition to any diet to improve health and slim the waistline. Low in calories, high in nutrients, and loaded with fiber and water, they fill the belly and are guilt-free. Plus, there are so many options, it's easy to keep the flavors interesting and varied. The trick with greens is to skip the extra dressing and minimize added oil. Learn to enjoy the flavor of the veggies by combining flavors and textures.
Get creative! There are so many options besides salads. Try steaming collards and using them as a wrap, or make a stir fry and use romaine to make lettuce cups.
#2: Eliminate all sugar — even the "healthy" kind
So many of my clients are blind to the added sugar that creeps into their diet becauset it comes in soooo many forms and is masterfully disguised! I'll keep it simple. Steer clear of all pre-made sauces and dressings and eliminate fruit. Just because its coming from a fruit does not mean it's good for you, and a lot of this hidden sugar is what is preventing many people from losing weight. They are great in moderation, but too much of a good thing is still too much of a good thing.
#3: Eat real, whole grains
In my opinion, the idea that carbs make you fat is yet another myth and marketing ploy. Chosen wisely and eaten in moderation, healthy "carbs" (complex, whole wheat ones) actually help sustain energy levels, fuel the brain, and keep you full for a longer period of time. Steer clear of all wheat and ALL flour — gluten-free, organic rice flour, whatever. Skip it. Think real whole grains, as in the way nature created them before processing existed. Choose: organic whole grain rice (so many varieties), yams, and quinoa (technically a seed). Soak before cooking, eat in moderation. You'll notice the next day that your energy lasts all day long, and you need fewer snacks. Amazing!
#4: Eliminate alcohol
Forget what they say about wine or beer being good for you. Alcohol kills your waistline. Period. It's metabolized by the body differently than other foods. The liver is responsible for digestion and detoxification. Because alcohol is basically poison, the liver prioritizes metabolizing the alcohol over fat. If your goal is weight loss, you want the liver focusing as much attention as possible on fat!
This one can be challenging especially in social situations, but drinking is a choice. Once you have achieved your fitness goals you can definitely have a drink or two but if you're still trying to lose weight it can be very detrimental to your progress. If you're drinking to wind down at the end of a hard day, try to find an alternative such as exercise, meditation, or a nice hot bath.
#5: Hydrate properly
In my experience, there seems to be two types of people: those that drink 10 gallons of water a day and flush their system completely of electrolytes, and those that only take down 1-2 glasses a day, choosing instead to fuel up on coffee and other stimulants. Proper hydration is a key element for optimum health. Drinking pure, clean water keeps the system healthy, optimized, and looking pretty. It's also critical for your brain and vital organs.
#6: Get moving
The body was made to move! We were not designed to sit in a chair at a computer, in a car driving, or on a couch watching TV. It is so much easier to get exercise than people think. Step away from the computer for a five minute stroll or stair climb. This small break from technology will open your mind to new ideas and heighten your ability to focus and concentrate.
In our world of cell phones try taking a business call outside instead of at your desk and allow the fresh air to energize not only your body but your whole approach to the conversation! Even a simple stroll around the neighborhood after driving home will give the body a chance to simply stretch out.
#7: Get a full night of sleep
I cannot stress enough the importance of getting quality sleep. It takes proper attention and most of us overlook the value it provides on so many levels! When it comes to weight loss, restful sleep keeps the mood stable and the hormones balanced, regulating emotions and eliminating cravings. When the body is fatigued, it is constantly searching for energy. This can be confused with hunger and often leads to excess calorie consumption of the wrong kind of food because there's a willingness to down anything that comes in your path.
Do yourself a favor: set yourself up for success by making sure you get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Work backwards so you know what time you need to get to bed, and help your brain shut down by staying off of your computer and phone for at least an hour before.
There you have it, the seven easiest things you can change in your health regimen right now that will have the most dramatic impact on your weight loss journey. At first these seven points may seem pretty obvious, however can you actually say you are following all seven of them? Once you can truly say you are following all seven points you will notice how your whole outlook on life will change and become brighter and more positive. You will notice how your relationships improve, including the one with yourself and more importantly, you'll feel better!