Choosing to make a lifestyle change is the simple part. It's actually doing it that's difficult. We swear to cut sugar from our diets, refrain from eating bread, eliminate alcohol and jump right into a rigorous workout regimen. The plan works for a week or two until the daily rigors of life intervene.
Just like training for a marathon or advancing levels in a video game, we need to approach a weight loss goal in the same way: taking our time and making sure all aspects are working for us. Your goal should be to aim for habits that will provide the lowest barrier to entry and provide positive feelings about fitness in the shortest amount of time. The quicker you net "victories," the likelier you'll succeed with your ultimate weight loss goals.
So in honor of starting small, here are four totally doable, simple tips that will serve as an excellent introduction to a healthier, maintainable lifestyle.
1. Drink more water.
Believe it or not, most of your afternoon hunger pangs and cravings are nothing more than signs of dehydration. Before you run out for a sugary snack or dip into the communal fridge at work, try drinking a glass or two of water first. You'll be amazed at how something as simple as hydrating properly can cure a headache, dry mouth, stomach pangs and pastry cravings.
Drinking water provides numerous benefits besides fat loss. It lubricates your joints so you don't ache and wince every time you move, protects your skin, aids in digestion and helps your body run properly. Get to drinking!
2. Get plenty of shut eye.
In an orchestra, there are many different instruments, each producing a unique sound and playing a different part ... literally. When they all come together, harmony is created and the act of blending all of them creates beautiful music. Much like an orchestra, our bodies host several different hormones that must work together harmoniously to aide in fat loss.
Each one has a specific role to play, and when combined with the proper amount of sleep, can produce the beautiful bodies we desire. Because sleep deprivation can have a seriously negative effect on your metabolism, it's crucial to get enough every night to make sure your hormones (like insulin, leptin, ghrelin, cortisol, adrenaline, and human growth hormone) are all functioning at optimal capacity. Think of hormones as the conductor of your body orchestra, and recognize that all stages of fat loss take cues from your hormones.
3. Move your body and quit sitting so much.
Many of us are stuck at a desk every day, sitting for hours. Living in the sedentary workforce-based culture we do, it's clear movement isn't a priority. But it should be. According to juststand.org, "the average American will spend 7.7 hours of their waking time in a sedentary position." This "sitting diseases" will increase the likelihood for type 2 diabetes, muscle atrophy, heart disease and shorten life expectancy.
However, eradicating this problem starts with being conscious of including movement into your daily lives. Here are some simple things you can do every day to start reversing the effects of sitting: