When you are striving to lose weight, it can be especially hard at the beginning because not only are you making an effort to exercise, you are also changing your long time habits of eating a certain way, and are doing most things differently. Some days can be bad and turn into weeks and months and actually derail you from the process. To start again requires double the motivation and sometimes never happens for some people.
I always suggest that you think of exercise as something healthy you are doing for your body, as something to learn to love and enjoy, and a way of life. If exercise is considered only a means to an end â€¦ here we are referring to weight loss â€“ it is usually likely that you will deviate. That‘s why instead of focusing on a goal, focus on the process of getting healthy, fitter and stronger. And just that switch in thinking will lead you to sustainable weight loss and overall good health.
Here are some things that will help you on your journey to a fitter, stronger and healthier you:
Have breakfast every morning â€“ this helps keep blood sugar steady throughout the day. Eat something nourishing. A cup of coffee is not breakfast. If you can‘t eat in the morning, try a green smoothie or oatmeal.
Drink more water â€“ nothing like clean, pure drinking water to keep you hydrated and feeling well throughout the day. Many of us tend to drink in spurts or only when we are really thirsty. Ensure you drink water consciously through the day. Listen to your body. In fact start your day with a glass of water.
Schedule your meals. Eat at the same time every day as much as possible. Eat in a calm environment. Eat slowly and consciously. Chew more. Don‘t attend phone calls in-between meals or watch TV or catch up on gossip while eating. How you eat is as important as what you eat.
Choose whole foods and lots of green seasonal vegetables â€“ make your meals really nourishing. Choose foods that are good for you and not just convenient. Eat to nourish the body not satisfy a craving. Anything that is packed is not really good for you. Go fresh as much as possible. Adhere to portion control but ensure that you are eating a well balanced diet.
Sleep well â€“ good sleep manages stress and is restorative. Sleep deprivation is a major cause of ill health and high levels of stress. Try to sleep at the same hour every night. Make sure your room is comfortable, ventilated and lacks electronic devices that distract and disturb your sleep.
Exercise every single day if possible or at least 4 days a week for 30 -45 minutes. Routine exercise is important and cannot be replaced by sporadic movements or household work or having walked to office. It is important to stay active even otherwise like taking the stairs instead of the elevator but routine, planned exercise has enormous benefits and cannot be replaced by random activities. Choose an exercise form you like doing and you‘ll probably do it more.
Measuring yourself. Getting on that weighing scale everyday and even several times a day is not going to help your weight loss efforts. You need to be patient and consistent in your efforts. Measure your weight once in 2-3 weeks to note your progress.
Don‘t judge yourself. It is so easy to judge yourself and berate yourself and make life miserable. But if you really think consciously, it‘s not even important. Life goes on. Every second lost thinking about why you did what you did and how you should or should not have done it is a waste of time. Learn from your mistakes and forgive yourself and others.
Just breathe. Take a few minutes to just breathe every now and then. Stop doing everything and focus on your breath. You will feel like whole new person making better decisions and feeling calmer.
Self care. Read a book, take a nap, go for a massage, schedule a spa day, take a walkâ€¦ whatever makes you feel good by yourself. Do at least one act of self care every day.
Sandesh Palungwa Limbu, Certified professional fitness instructor, founder of RAGE Fitness, and specialises in mixed martial arts.