It’s common practice nowadays to tell other people what your goals are and have them help you be accountable for reaching them. This works as a great motivator for most people, as they don’t want to be perceived as weak or that they have failed.
The truth is though, you need to be accountable first and foremost to yourself. If you aren’t willing to hold yourself to your goals, no one else will be able to make you achieve them. The motivation has to come from within.
My trainer is ramping up my training so I can hit my goal weight by New Year’s. I’d been making some good progress, but have slipped the past couple of weeks. Back when I was making my initial push, I would go to the gym as many as three times a day. Not everyone has time for that though.
Still, if you can commit yourself to exercising twice a day even if it’s short duration, you’ll find that you are burning more calories and may spark your weight loss to reignite. My recommendation is to set your alarm for a half-hour earlier than normal and get up when your alarm goes off. Spend that half hour exercising, whether it be walking outdoors, yoga inside, running or using an elliptical. Then in the evening after you get home from work, take another half hour to go for another walk or run, do some weight lifting or stretching. This spreads out your workout throughout the day, and doesn’t require you to come up with a solid hour or two to block out for exercise.
Besides drinking water, another way to get rid of those pesky impulses to eat something is to chew some gum. The act of chewing the gum tricks your body into thinking you’re eating, and the few calories you absorb from the sugar of the gum won’t make a big difference compared to giving in for that candy bar.
Sleep isn’t just good for your mental well-being. It’s also crucial in the healing of your physical body as well. It is during sleep that your muscles can rebuild themselves after they’ve been torn down by your work outs. It’s during this process that you also lose weight as your body converts the fat into glucose and other substances to assist in this process.
Ensuring that you get enough sleep at night is important to help control stress eating too. If you haven’t had a full night’s rest, your will power is weakened and you are more susceptable to make bad choices when it comes to eating. The other day I was functioning on just two hours of sleep, and my body kept asking for sugar-based foods to give me the energy to keep functioning.
So whatever your necessary amount of sleep is for a night, make sure you get it to help your body heal/rebuild itself and to give yourself the mental stability to stick to your health goals.
As a paramedic, I know that seat belts is something that does help to prevent fatalities in accidents. That doesn’t mean that I always wear one myself though, even though it is state law here in Pennsylvania. Still it’s a healthy lifestyle practice that should be followed and encouraged.
This message came in loud and clear this morning when one of the guys I work with was killed on his way to work. He hit a patch of black ice and wrecked his vehicle. He was not wearing his seat belt. While there’s no guarantee that a seat belt would have saved his life, it would have made a difference in what all he struck inside the vehicle and where he would’ve wound up once the vehicle came to rest. This young man was only 25, and has three children age 4 and younger. This truly was a tragedy.
So click it.
There is no such thing as negative calories. All food has calories. The thing about certain foods is that because of their bulk or chemical make-up, it takes more calories to digest the food than the food actually has within it. So next time you are having a craving, consider choosing one of these foods:
- Cabbage (green)
- Chili Peppers
So I bought a quart of fresh beets at the farmer’s market this weekend. I cleaned them off, boiled them up and cut them in chunks. Then I ate them. The whole quart. It was fine as far as calories because of what else I’ve eaten (more like not eaten) today. Unfortunately there was a consequence that I didn’t think of when I was eating them. When I urinated it came out purplish red.
This teaches an important lesson. It’s okay to indulge in your temptations, just don’t overdo it. I’ll be peeing purple for a couple days now as a consequence. My partner in this goal had a more painful consequence when she overdid a certain exercise that left her in pain for days. A little bit of something really can be a good thing.
Of course I know I’ll overeat beets again in the future. They’re just too delicious.
Last week I weighed myself in the afternoon on Thursday and was a certain weight. Later that night I weighed myself again and had gained 4 pounds. I then worked out for an hour and dropped 2 of those pounds. Then I weighed myself the next day, and was down 4 pounds.
Did I really gain 4 pounds and lose 6 pounds all in the course of 24 hours? Yes. Were they real pounds? No.
Everyone’s weight fluctuates throughout the day based on how hydrated you are as well as how recently you’ve eaten and used the bathroom. If you weigh yourself every day, you’re going to see these fluctuations and let them stress you out. It’s much better to just weigh yourself once a week at the same time every week. It’d be even better if you did it less frequently too, instead focusing on how your clothing fits.
When it comes to replenishing your fluids, stick to those with no calories. For the most part, that means water, coffee, tea or diet soda. Most other drinks are filled with carbohydrates. It’s very easy to drink too much of these liquid calories, and filling up on fluids has little impact on appetite.
Focusing on beverages for hydration is the better way to go, especially since most people don’t get enough fluids a day to really flush the toxins out of their system. Some no-calorie drinks (like diet green tea) contain valuable compounds including antioxidants that help clear up the free radicals in your system.
There are some exceptions though. Immediately following a workout, you can drink milk, kefir, and 100-percent fruit or vegetable juices during that post-workout hour to help replenish and rebuild. Also protein shakes are acceptable any time as they are filling and reduce appetite.
As for alcohol, it’s fine in moderation. Make sure you know how many calories are in that beer or shot, and when you do choose to drink, reduce your food based calories by the amount of alcohol calories you plan on drinking that day.
Everyone has bad days or weeks. It’s what you do about them that sets you apart. If you go on a binge, you can wallow in self-pity or recrimination which will only worsen it, making you binge again. Or you could choose to acknowledge that you’re human, accept what you’ve done and move forward.
It’s okay to slip now and then. Your body actually thrives on variety. If you eat the same amount of calories every day for a period of time, your body adjusts to that. By varying your caloric intake daily or weekly, your body doesn’t know what to expect. Sometimes it’s good to have a day where you really overeat because it tricks your body into thinking it no longer has to conserve or store away calories.
Besides, scales lie. If you’ve eaten a big meal and then you notice a couple extra pounds on the scale the next day, don’t jump to the conclusion that you’ve actually gained that weight. You have more contents in your bowels that needs to work its way through your system. Once the extra bulk is gone, so will be those extra pounds. While one pound is the equivalent of 3500 calories, you actually have to eat the extra calories consistently over a period of time for your body to start converting them to fat. It could also be that you’re retaining water due to monthly cycles or for other reasons. I know I was feeling bloated this morning and it was reflected on the scale.
So even if you see a big jump in the scale, don’t get freaked out about it. Unless you’ve really been bad, those extra pounds aren’t truly there.