I have been reading many articles over the holiday period about how New Year resolutions for weight loss never work and that they are a waste of time etc.
As a wellness professional myself, I do agree with this thought process, however, on the flip side of this I do get a little frustrated that there is more energy being put out on how New Year's resolutions don't work as opposed to information on actually supporting people, saying "look, we know that in the past it hasn't worked out for you, but this year can be different, you just have to make a strong decision to really change, to go for it and create some new habits!"
By focusing our energy on what we can do and what resources we have to get there, we can get results on any day we choose! The New Year thing is a fresh start though, so it is a good excuse to talk yourself into being successful.
I am not really much of a diet person although I am a qualified Clinical Nutritionist. Perhaps the reason with all my studies, weight loss is a concept and weight gain is a symptom or in other words, get your lifestyle correct and you will get to your optimal weight and secondly, remember, weight gain means that you are not as healthy as you can be! Being healthy will mean you will lose weight, but you know this already right?
So let's take a look at my top 10 tips for weight loss (even if it is a New Year's Resolution.) I am confident that if you install these things into your life, you will lose weight pretty easily and feel great. Are you ready?
1) Start with the end in mind - Have you ever got in the car, started driving and just hoped you would get somewhere nice? Probably not right. However, what is crazy is that when it comes to our body, we do this all the time! We just say "I want to lose weight and I am going to work really hard to get there!" Or something to that effect. Yet, when we end up not losing weight or losing some then struggling, we simply say "New Year's resolutions don't work."
If you want to lose weight this year and feel better, you must have a crystal clear vision of what weight loss actually means for you. Think about that end goal and be detailed about it. What clothes will you wear when you get there? How will you feel about yourself? What will your friends and family say now you have lost the weight? Will you be more confident? What will you keep in your fridge?
Get every detail you ever need into the person you want to become. The more detail the better! The fact is that your subconscious mind has a part called the reticular activator. It's responsibility is to adjust your mind towards what you are visualising, pretty cool stuff. So, the more detail you can put into your end result, the more that your subconscious will start to create the path to get there.
2) Get a workout buddy - Sounds simple but it is proven that people who train with a friend are more likely to succeed when it comes to getting to their weight loss goals. Again, don't focus on the fact that your friend is less motivated or more motivated than you, instead, if they are less motivated, great, be there trainer and enjoy getting them in shape and watch your body change as you help them. If they are more motivated than you, this is good too, it means that you have free personal training! Either way, training with another person will really help.
3) Take the garbage out or rubbish as we say in England - I don't mean the rubbish you have in your house (well, apart from the junk food that is.) I mean the garbage that is in your body. It is proven that we take in over 1000 harmful chemicals per day in today's world! From what we eat, drink, breathe and what we take in through our skin, all of which in accumulation can have devastating effects on our health.
To do a detox is so crucial if you want to lose weight. In my seminars I discuss in detail how fat soluble toxins are stored around our adipose tissue, thus preventing you from fat burning.
Your liver is also the only organ you have that can burn fat, but unfortunately for many of us, it is dealing with so many toxins on a daily basis it ability to burn fat is also destroyed.
In this short article I won't go into too much detail about what detox to do etc. My recommendation is to research what is going to be best for you, or ask an expert for his/her advise.
4) Drink more water - No chemical reaction can happen in your body without water. Every cell in your body requires it, for your body to create digestive enzymes we need water to be present, to burn fat, you need water and most of us are denying our body of good health because we are simply not consuming something that is there in abundance.
An average person needs about 2 litres of water per day. If you get plenty of fruit and vegetables in, that will give you about a litre of water, the rest, you need to get from water itself. 1 litre, that's all I am asking.
5) Stop eating low fat or no fat - when low fat and no fat meals came along, the whole world got fatter! Incredible really, it is this incorrect link between fat in food, making us fat in the body. Too much of carbohydrates, protein or fat can make us fat. However, what is guaranteed to make you fatter is low fat and no fat food.
Think about this for a moment, what does fat actually give us? Taste right... Also, it gives us the feeling of being full and fat again, is needed for many processes within your body. So what does this mean when you eat low or no fat? It means that the food company has had to put something else into the food to ensure it tastes of something, normally, this is a combination of toxic chemicals which your body really can't break down and this results in, you got it, more weight gain.
So very simply, eat regular food.
6) Stop eating animals - Life creates life, dead animal creates dead body. We are not really designed to eat animal protein and in fact, if you think about it, try putting yourself in a jungle and go kill yourself an animal! We have flat teeth that are no good for biting anything more than a potato, we have no claws, just little finger nails and we are not particularly fast runners unlike most predators in the wild.
Yet, many of us eat animal protein 2 or 3 times a day!
If you can cut down on meat and replace it with a more plant based diet, you will feel better almost immediately.
If you are not convinced on going totally vegetarian, then do what I do and most of my clients do, continue to eat eggs and fish alongside a diet that is rich in plant based foods. Just make sure your eggs are free range organic and the fish is as fresh as possible. This is actually a really big tip for losing weight!
7) Never drink milk again - Milk is for baby cows, not human adults! Fact, milk has been unearthed as one of the most toxic things you can put in your body. It's protein "casein," in numerous studies has been proven to be highly cancerous, not to mention the lactose which requires lactase to breakdown, we stop creating about 95% of our lactase at the age of 2.
There is much more I could tell you about milk, but for now, just don't touch the stuff and do some more of your own research, you will be amazed.
8) Do resistance exercise every day - Well, maybe not every day, but resistance exercise is your fastest and most effective way to fat burn. So many unsuccessful weight loss addicts do cardio cardio cardio, yet are left scratching their head after a few months wondering why all their hard work hasn't paid off.
The reasons are simple, when you do cardio it doesn't burn enough calories, where when you do resistance training (push ups, weight training, body weight exercises etc,) you are actually breaking down tiny muscle fibres, it takes a lot of energy or calories to rebuild the muscle fibres again and also it takes time. Interesting, what this actually means is that when you stop exercising, the benefits continue, you will keep burning calories for at least 7 hours after the session resulting in resistance training being 3 times more effective than cardio.
9) Treat your body like a business -What would happen if you were late for work 2 days in a row? What would happen if you just decided you would take the day off from your job? In fact, what would happen if every Monday you decided that you did not like Monday's so you just didn't go in?
You probably wouldn't be employed anymore right?
Yet, when it comes to our body, this is the sort of mindset that we take on and guess what, the results always show up in the end. Just because somebody doesn't pull you in the office and fire you, you will continue to struggle to get to your goals.
Weight loss comes with consistency, if you treat your body like a business or your job, you will never miss a session again.
Every client I have ever worked with I explain this concept to them, one gentleman actually drafted together a pretty detailed contract and he signed it to show his commitment. He also took it very serious, I remember he missed a day of exercise and he had created some consequences in his contract if this happened, I believe his was to miss his cheat meal at the end of the week.
The above might be an extreme example and it's up to you how you go about it. I like to enjoy my work and by installing that same mindset into my exercise and diet regime makes a big difference.
10) Nutrition is key - You are what you eat is completely true. However, for all our good intentions we still end up eating the food that doesn't agree with our body and a lot of the time we do not even know what food is good or bad anymore.
For today I want to just say get back to real food. If it has been grown, if it can be picked from the ground, pulled from a tree or pealed, you are probably onto a winner.
There is too much anti-food in today's world, especially in supermarkets. With so much processed, packaged and preserved meals it is no wonder why there are so many of us struggling to lose weight, especially after the holidays.
If you can up your real food, you will get the nutrients back into your body that your body needs to burn fat, be healthy and much more.
A couple of things for you to note on this tip. 1) We actually need closer to 10 fruit and vegetables per day, 5 just isn't enough. 2) Eat fruit always last or by itself, your body will always digest it last so you don't want it rotting in your stomach YUK! Finally 3) Eat little and often, this is a golden oldie and I am sure you have heard it before, but better to eat the same quantity of food as you are now, but spread out throughout the day.
So there you have it, my top 10 tips for making a New Year's Resolution a successful one.
There is of course so much more I want to share with you, all of the above tips can be researched further by using Google or just being open to what's around you.
Wishing you the best success with your health goals.
(DIP SAC Clinical Nutrition)