I am always giving out little tidbits of advice to my clients about how to lose a few pounds. Here are the six tips I give out the most often. Many I use myself!
1. Swap one starch per day for a healthier carb. Your diet overall might be great, but if you swap one low-quality starch per day for a high-quality starch, you’ll start to see changes. Trade a white potato for a yam. Switch rice for broccoli, that sort of thing. Take a moment to think about what you’re eating and what one thing you can swap. In general, swap out a processed starch for a whole grain, fruit, or veggie.
2. Avoid stress eating. If you find yourself doing laps through your kitchen and just grabbing a “little something,” you’re stress eating. If you had a tough meeting with your boss (or you’re about to) and you find yourself throwing change into the vending machine, you’re stress eating. Help yourself avoid this pitfall by having healthy snacks in your desk, a little reminder note on your fridge or snack cupboard, or even a stress ball that you can squeeze instead. Worst case scenario, consider a piece of gum; you get the oral sensation of chewing without the calories.
3. Cardio. Do three times per week at a minimum. Do at least 30 minutes each time. That doesn’t include warm up and cool down, so give yourself 40 minutes to accomplish the whole workout. Stop rolling your eyes at me; you know you need to do this.
4. Have a goal piece of clothing. Is there a pair of jeans that you’d like to wear again? Whatever piece of clothing you love but can’t quite fit into right now, I want you to get it out of hiding and put it somewhere that you see regularly. If this isn’t possible, how about a picture of yourself when you were happy with your weight? If both of these ideas don’t seem quite right, think about a way that will inspire you to stay on course. Maybe a picture of a fabulous beach that you can picture yourself lounging happily on?
5. Be accountable. What’s a good way for you to be accountable? A journal you can track over time? A good friend? There are websites where you can bet your own money that you’ll stay on track like stickk.com. I have to say I use this blog and knowing that I’m regularly doing video for the Sears Fit Club! How can you be accountable to yourself?
6. Get enough sleep. We so frequently short-change sleep and it affects us to our core. One of the first things we do when we are chronically sleep deprived is gain weight. I’ve got a great post on how to get more sleep and a great chart that shows you the effect lack of sleep has on us. It’s (pardon the pun) very eye opening!
So that’s it. I use all these ideas regularly. The one I’ve been struggling with lately is getting enough sleep. I have begun shutting off electronics at 10 pm and reading in bed and I’m finding that I’m drifting off within 30 minutes of getting comfy.
What are some tips and tricks that you use? Are there any here that you know you need to do a better job with? Please share your stories and ideas :-) .
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