Can you loose weight without exercise? YES!
I see patients every day at work who are dangerously too overweight for an operation but need to go through with their procedure (you can read about the dangers of operations while being overweight in my last blog post by clicking here). Sometimes it may be life threatening if they don't proceed, so the risk is worth it. But having that conversation with someone, you know the one, the “you really need to lose weight if you want to live” talk, is not exactly the easiest, and becoming way too regular.
Exercise is honestly 10% of the equation to weight loss. This may come as news to some but you can spend all the time & money you want on gym memberships, personal trainers, group classes and whatever type of crazy exercise regime you have going on right now - if you're not eating correctly, you're sort of just treading water. Don't get me wrong, exercise will definitely help your situation, it's also great for your mind, brain and organs, makes you more productive, relieves stress, stabilises blood pressure, strengthens your body, boosts your mood by releasing endorphins etc, but you need to be paying way more attention the other part of the equation, the 90% goes to…you guessed it…nutrition.
Are you the type of person who busts your ass exercising every day but you see either slow results or none at all? I'm here to guide you on where to start with what you should and shouldn't put in your body. Here are 8 simple habits to implement this week.
THE 8 STEPS TO BOSSING YOUR DIET..
1 - DRINK WATER
Did you know your body often confuses hunger with dehydration? Even mild dehydration can alter the body’s metabolism, so aim to drink minimum 8 glasses a day and really try to reduce fizzy drinks, caffeine and alcohol to an absolute minimum. Next time you feel like snacking, try gulping a whole glass down and wait it out 10 minutes to see what happens. Research also shows drinking two glasses of water before a meal promotes weight loss, because it makes you feel fuller, making you eat less.
2 - EAT REAL CARBS
Refined carbs are now your enemy! Replace things like white bread, pasta, bagels, cereal, pretzels, white rice etc with complex carbs from fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, sends and legumes. The high fibre in veggies and fruit slow your digestion and promote stable blood sugar levels and they're also jam packed with antioxidants to help with reducing inflammation in the body and acts like a natural nurofen (think sore muscles, headaches, period pain, gone!). Time of carb ingestion is also a biggie, after 5pm you should strictly be having protein and veggies only.
3 - HEALTHY FATS ARE OUR FRIENDS!
Those who follow the misconception that fats need to be eliminated altogether are actually doing themselves more damage. Healthy fats are our friends, because seriously we can't live without fat. We utilise it for energy, health of hair, skin and nails, vitamin absorption and normal everyday bodily functions. Good fats also help to blast the bad fat stores…weird concept but true! Think nuts, avocado, seeds, fish and extra virgin olive oil. If you have the app myfitnesspal, record all your food and try to stick to no more than 40g of healthy fats a day.
4 - LEAN PROTEIN ONLY
We need protein to continuously renew and replenish cells, stabilise blood sugar and to give us energy. Obviously animal products are the richest source like meat and eggs, but plants also contain protein such as beans, nuts and seeds. My advice here, when selecting meats, be conscious of how it was raised and what it ate because ultimately, what that animal ate, you're ingesting too. Grass-fed and free range chicken are the healthier and more ethical choices. And of course better cuts with less visible fat is your go-to, mince your own meat and spend the extra $$ on leaner cuts. Organic yogurt and cage free eggs are an awesome choice for vegetarians while homemade peanut butter, tofu and tempeh are great for vegans.
5 - DO NOT SKIP BREAKFAST - EVER AGAIN!
I used to be the worst, always running late and no time for brekkie. I had no idea how much I was blowing it by doing this! By eating a hearty breakfast you’re giving your metabolism a nice little slap on the butt to jump start it first thing and you will be in better control of your cravings throughout the day. If you miss your morning pick me up, you're just asking to be starving by mid-morning and will more than likely engage in mindless grazing all day and overeating when you do finally eat. Copious amounts of studies show that a consistent daily breakfast is linked to maintaining a healthy weight (no yo-yo ing). You also want your brekkie to be your biggest and most nutritional meal of the day. My favourite is weird, but I will share - 2 Eggs, steamed broccoli, low sodium bbq sauce, avocado sprinkled with some homemade dukkah, a fresh OJ and a long black (and yes i sip between the two at the same time).
6 - EAT MORE (happy dance).
Its super important to maintain your blood sugar and balance your food intake throughout the day to promote weight loss. From now on you are going to eat 6- 7 small meals a day. None of this 2 or 3 large meals a day. Ultimately its a great idea to eat every 3 hours (initially i set a timer to remind me to eat, and now my body just does it automatically). By doing this you are going to decrease the chances of binging, and you're also letting your body know that there is plenty of food coming your way. When you only eat twice or three times a day, your body goes into stress mode and thinks you might be stuck in the wilderness and going into starvation, so, everything you put in your mouth is stored as fat to use later down the track. Now that sucks.
7 - GET YOUR BEAUTY SLEEP.
Literally, sleep and you will lose weight! Research suggests that those who sleep 5 hours or less weigh approximately 3 kgs more than those who catch 7 hours of shut eye a night. Lack of sleep disrupts circadian rhythms and can lead to inefficient body regulation of energy, hormones, metabolism and appetite. Leptin (a hormone that tells your body to stop eating when full) can be found to be out of whack without enough sleep, so pretty much your body won't tell your brain to stop eating when it needs to stop eating. Hello weight gain!
8 - TRACK WHAT YOU EAT
My favourite app for tracking food on iPhones and androids is myfitnesspal, it records everything including your food, water, calorie expenditure from exercise and your weight loss progress (it also puts everything into awesome easy-to-read charts and pie graphs). The most important part of this app is it tells you what's in the food you're eating in terms of sugar, trans-fat, fructose and sodium - the things you want to avoid. Also check nutritional labels for preservatives, colourings, added sugars and chemicals. The healthiest foods to eat are those that are not packaged and not processed… whens the last time you saw the ingredient list on natural foods like watermelon, a stalk of celery or a salmon steak? Also by noting your food intake every day, you are held accountable and so that piece of cake after dinner calling out to eat it, wont be so enticing when you look back at your day, even week, of eating.
Give this a crack.. write the steps on your bathroom mirror so you're reminded every morning of what's going to go down in your day. Do every single one of these 10 steps for the next week and I promise you, the fat blaster gods will start to answer your prayers. THEN KEEP DOING IT! Incorporate these steps into your lifestyle and watch the miracles happen! Contact me here and let me know how you go, I would love to hear your feedback and would love to know about your results.
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Wishing you all the happiness, health & wellness in the world,