Burn fat, shape your lean body and keep weight loss off for good with consistent daily habits. The main flaw with quick weight loss programs is that you can't continue those programs for very long. So, you will likely gain the weight back.
Here are 10 habits for you to keep to never worry about weight gain:
1. A positive attitude. Everything goes better for you when you are optimistic each day. A positive attitude does wonders for your health. Make your best days even better and make your bad days better by adjusting your attitude.
2. Get a healthy, managed meal plan and comply with it at least 90% of the time. If you are trying to burn fat and lose weight, nutrition is critical. Eat mainly whole, natural foods that have one ingredient--the food itself. For example, fruits and vegetables have one ingredient.
I don’t ever encourage any diet that significantly omits one of the macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, proteins). Your body’s metabolism needs all 3 macronutrients to operate properly. So, diets that are very low in carbohydrates or fats will not help your body in the long-term.
Also, what you eat plays an important role in brain function.
3. Unless your daily nutrition is perfect, you need to take dietary supplements. Multivitamins, fish oil and vitamin D3 are examples of common supplements that people take. Consult with your doctor before taking dietary supplements.
For sure, you don’t need fat burner supplements and weight loss pills. They don’t work long-term. Spend your hard-earned money to buy whole, natural foods for your meal plan.
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4. Drink plenty of water. This will help you limit sugary drinks that pack on belly fat. Your body is about two-thirds water. Drink water and unsweetened drinks (like tea) most of the time. It will help you eat less and help your body function better.
Drink about half your weight in water every day. So, if you weigh 140 pounds, drink 70 ounces of water each day.
Remember, certain foods contain large amounts of water. This counts toward your water intake. For instance watermelon is about 90% water and lettuce has about 95% water. Some meats contain as much as 70% water.
Water also helps your body flex muscles, remove wastes, cushion joints, carry nutrients and oxygen to your cells and helps convert food into energy (although water doesn't provide energy).
You may be experiencing dehydration if you have dry lips/mouth, dizziness, headache, nausea or muscle cramps. When you exercise, drink about a cup of water every 15 minutes.
5. Regular exercise is critical. Physical exercise helps you burn fat, manage body weight, regulate stress and is necessary for maintaining good blood circulation to the body and brain. It also can significantly reduce the risk diseases such as heart attack, diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
I recommend weight training 3 days a week and short, interval cardio sessions 2-3 days a week.
6. Staying active as much as possible is very under-rated. It helps relieve stress, improves bloodflow and improves breathing. Sedentary lifestyles are a huge problem in society. We’ve gone from being physically active laborers (such as farmers) to sit-down jobs. So, if you have a "sit-down" job, I would recommend that you move more. When you sit, your fat-burning enzymes basically shut down.
Try to stand as much as you can during the day and take walking breaks to activate your fat-burning enzymes. Any activity is good to go along with your regular workouts. All movement burns calories.
7. Learn something every day to help you live a balanced life. I love fitness. But, there are experts in health, business, medicine, and other life disciplines who help me in other parts of my life. Read books, go to a seminar, listen in on webinars/teleconferences, follow experts on Twitter and Facebook, etc. There is really no excuse for not helping yourself improve.
8. Limit prolonged stress in your life. A certain amount of stress is good for us to live efficiently. Too much stress…well, you know the answer. In a Mayo Clinic article, “Stress Basics,” it states:
“When your brain perceives a threat, it signals your body to release a burst of hormones to fuel your capacity for a response. This has been labeled the "fight-or-flight" response.
Once the threat is gone, your body is meant to return to a normal relaxed state. Unfortunately, the nonstop stress of modern life means that your alarm system rarely shuts off. Without stress management, all too often your body is always on high alert. Over time, high levels of stress lead to serious health problems.”
My recommendations for helping control stress:
--laugh often and don’t take yourself too seriously
--learn to relax by using tools such as music, deep breathing, walking, massage, meditation, etc.
--have a grateful attitude
--focus on positives and not negatives
--disassociate yourself from negative energy vampires in your life
9. Get enough sleep--every night if possible. Lack of sleep affects memory, concentration and health. Your metabolism won't work properly if you don't sleep enough. Your workouts will also suffer. In a Medical News Today article, “Getting A Good Night's Sleep,” the World Association of Sleep Medicine (WASM), reports that sleep problems add up to a global epidemic that affects 45% of the world's population.
"Insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), restless legs syndrome (RLS), and sleep deprivation significantly impact physical, mental and emotional health, in addition to affecting work performance and personal relationships," WASM said.
10. Get professional advice if needed. When’s the last time you had a full physical exam? If you can’t remember, its been too long. Are your fat loss and weight loss efforts failing again and again? You may need a personal trainer to help you visualize success and individualize your fat loss and nutrition program.
Its hard to change your body all by your yourself. Research proves that you have a better chance to succeed if you have social support. That could be a trainer, spouse or friend.
Are you depressed? Although regular exercise will help you feel better, that won’t be enough to deal with serious depression. Get professional help.
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Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
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