Still Want to Shed Those Pounds?
Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors
Still Want to Shed Those Pounds?Try using common sense this year.
We are fat, and getting fatter. Just look around at the supermarket, at the food court in the mall, at your partner or kids, or, gasp, in the mirror. And, once again, we’ve made a New Year’s resolution to finally lose that excess poundage.
Chances are, we also know what will happen. We’ll diet valiantly for a couple of weeks, or even a couple of months. Then will come a birthday party, or a super-stressed day, or one of those moments, and there goes another year’s resolution down the drain.
So what’s the solution? How will you find a way to get healthy and fit, this time for real?
By doing whatever works for YOU. The same diet or exercise plan doesn’t work for everyone. Sure, you have friends who’ve lost 100 pounds on Weight Watchers, or lost 50 pounds when they became vegans or raw foodies (and then regained it all, and more), or took up Zumba and lost 30 pounds. Someone else swears that hormone replacement fixed her weight problem, while another gained weight from the identical medication.
And this is not to mention all the “miracle” products and programs being pushed your way. The U.S. Weight Loss & Diet Control Market estimates the weight loss market at over $60 BILLION. A year. Think about it: there are diet drinks, artificial sweeteners, health clubs, diet chains, mail order and multi-level marketing diets, diet books and exercise videos, weight loss camps for kids and residential weight loss programs for adults, weight loss surgery, nutritional consults, prescription diet drugs, meal replacements, low-cal dinners, low-carb foods, and the list goes on and on.
No wonder it’s hard to know what will work for you.
Here are 5 very common sense approaches for tackling this weighty situation:
1. Get enough sleep. This may surprise you, but it’s almost impossible to lose weight if you are even five or ten percent sleep deprived. If you don’t get a full night’s rest, your fat cells make less leptin, the hormone that signals to the brain that you have sufficient energy reserves and therefore don’t need food. Too little leptin, and you get the message it’s time to refill the tank. At the same time, the stomach produces too much ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite. Just what you needed, right?
There’s a simple way to know if you’re getting enough sleep: can you wake up on time without your alarm clock? Keep going to bed ten minutes earlier each night until you can. To help get to sleep, remember to turn off all electronic devices an hour before bed time - that means the TV, computer, tablet, iPod, smart phone - and make sure your bedroom is dark, so get a mask that really blocks any light. Once you start to get the amount of sleep that your body needs, your weight will start to drop off.
2. Get enough sunlight. Everyone is so scared about skin cancer that when they do go outside, they’re covered in clothing and/or slathered in sun block, so no one is really getting enough Vitamin D, which produces the serotonin that makes us feel happy. Unhappy people eat more. Try to get twenty minutes of sun in the early morning or late afternoon, with as much exposed skin as possible, without sun block. If you live somewhere that gets little sun, especially in winter, you can get a light box, use full spectrum light bulbs, and (Grandma was right) take your cod liver oil (or Vitamin D3 supplements).
3. Learn how to deal with stress. What are you doing to bring balance into your life? Do you ever really relax with friends and/or family? Are you getting 30 minutes of exercise a day? It will definitely help with your weight.
Nearly everyone these days has overworked adrenal glands. When the adrenals are responding to chronic stress, they secrete too much cortisol (the “stress hormone”). It works like this: stress makes you crave comfort foods, let’s say ice cream, which provides a temporary lift in mood by increasing blood sugar and serotonin levels. But a few hours later, your insulin levels soar, causing blood sugar levels to plunge. Your body increases cortisol production to keep up the blood sugar levels in the brain, which requires another cycle of self-medication. The caffeine in soft drinks, coffee, tea, and chocolate, and smoking, all increase stress in the body, lower blood sugar, and make you hungry, because cortisol increases your appetite. Here’s the worst part, cortisol deposits fat around your waist, and abdominal fat is strongly correlated with cardiovascular disease, like heart attacks and stroke.
My best advice for lowering your stress level is to learn to meditate. If you don’t have a daily practice dialed in, let me teach you by download - I’ll even send you your own personal mantra. It works! Click here.
4. Double the number of meals you eat! Sounds crazy, right? But if you take the food you usually eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and split your normal portion for each meal in two, you wind up eating a little protein every few hours. A steady supply of protein helps you stop exhausting your adrenal glands and your pancreas, which is trying to produce insulin for those big carb meals we love to eat. By the way, it’s best to eat carbs (preferably the whole grain variety) at breakfast and lunch - always with some protein.
5. The heart of the problem: your emotions. A large chunk of the weight loss dilemma is emotional eating. Before you plunge into that bowl of chocolate crunch, ask yourself: Are you hungry? Are you depressed or anxious? Can you address your emotions in a more appropriate way? Dealing with repressed emotions, especially traumatic experiences we have buried, needs some deep inner work. Find a therapist or teacher who can help you uncover the hidden reasons you can’t lose weight.
Put a little attention on these five easy steps and you will lose weight easily, once and for all!