Today’s media and the cookie cutter fixes are STILL telling us that excessive exercise or special shakes are a cure all for losing weight or “toning” up.
Are you someone who has tried numerous ways to lose weight and have falling off the wagon time and time again only to find yourself frustrated?
You aren’t alone.
Below I have outlined 5 steps to take in order to jump start your weight loss, that have been tried and tested, MANY times.
1) Quality Sleep. Without adequate sleep your body will have a very difficult time losing weight. The hormone called cortisol drops when at rest, specifically between 6pm and 6am. If your mind tells your body that we need to be alert and focused late into the night (After 10pm), your cortisol levels stay high, which means fat loss, digestion and bodily repair are not happening. Examples of this can be watching tv, having a high energy conversation, exposure to artificial light before bed, mind clutter, negative thoughts, and so on. If you trick your body into thinking its daytime when its dark outside you will continue to store unwanted body fat. I like my night to look like this….7 pm finish coaching, check emails, eat a balanced Protein/fat/carb small meal. 8pm read, brain dump my thoughts on paper, organize calendar for next day, dim all lights, computer off, no TV (we don’t own a tv). 845pm stretch, hot shower. 915pm bed, I ensure my room is cool, pitch dark, no electronics. I state 10-15 things I have gratitude for in my life. I wake between 530am and 630am every day, almost no exceptions here. When I deviate from this I am fatigued and not 100%.
2) Nutrition. This can be quite simple or overly complicated based on how your body responds. Meat, veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds and oils in respectful portions works for many(determining this can be a difficult process) as you do not see processed foods, added sugar, cure all shakes or gluten bombs here. For others its more complicated. Food intolerance can cause weight gain, digestion issues (if you are not going #2 at least 1x per day, and its not normal looking, then you have a digestion issue). Most have no clue they have a food intolerance as their body has adapted to such foods. When foods are removed and then reintroduced (rotation diet), it becomes apart if they truly have an intolerance or not. A few years ago a client came in stating she did not have an appetite for breakfast or meat and was losing weight, when that was not a goal of hers. We removed dairy for 4 days and her appetite returned, she gained weight (which was her goal) and she had improved digestion. This client was drinking 4-6 glasses of milk a day with no “issues”. In addition I recommend an ALCAT test to determine what intolerance’s you have (everyone has them). In addition to this, I am a fan of the Neera Cleanse, Swiss detox or intermittent fasting for those that want to experiment with this. “Re-setting” your digestive track and cellular system with these methods can be very beneficial in the long term for weight loss.
3) Stress. Every has it, not everyone controls it. When your body and mind is functioning at a higher level than it is comfortable with, this causes undue stress. Similar to sleep, if you are stressed your body releases cortisol, which shuts down the ability to burn fat (you actual start to store it). There are MANY ways to control stress, thrive off it and not fear it. A few of the ways I like to control the stresses in my life are. Organization. I ensure that my personal life, and business have no loose ends. I spend hours per week making sure that mentally I am organized and on schedule. Dreams/Goals. Similar to taking a road trip without a map, your life will become stressful without achievable goals and dreams. You are a direct product of your thoughts. If you had a device hooked up to your brain that recorded your everyday thoughts would you want to read that book? If not, I would center more positive energy on dreaming and then aligning your goals to support your dreams. When you have a mission larger than yourself, stressful events have a new meaning and your body is able to return back to homeostasis allowing it to follow its natural path.
4) Hormones. Estrogen and testosterone are major players in body composition, too little or too much can determine whether you achieve your goals or not. A simple test to determine estrogen/testosterone imbalances would be a skin fold caliper pinch on your tricep and chest for males and tricep/thighs/hamstrings for females. A high score here will demonstrate strong causation for an imbalance in these hormones. Blood work is the true test to determine specific levels. If your hormones are not balanced you can bet your body composition goals will not be met. Some simple fixes here are to remove non organic foods from your diet. Pesticides, and insecticides can increase estrogen levels along with growth hormones in your milk and meats. Remove all perfumes, dyes, and lotions that are not made from natural ingredients (you should be able to pronounce the ingredients). Remove soy products. Soy is made up of phyto-estrogens which mimic estrogen in the body. Too much soy can mean too much estrogen. Low testosterone can be a result of many factors. Too much or too little exercise, excessive aerobic activity, not enough saturated fat in the diet, high stress, limited sleep and so on. If the 3 H’s are not brewing for you (happy, horny, hungry) then your testosterone levels may be low. Simple fixes here would be to reverse the above causes.
5) Strength Training/Intervals. Finally word is getting out that RUNNING long slow distances DOES NOT equal a lean body (in many cases its causing you to not lose weight). Strength training (this does not mean bodybuilding necessarily ), and aerobic or anaerboic interval training will dramatically increase your ability to burn fat. Simple examples of strength training exercises that provide maximum results are the back squat, deadlift, shoulder press, split squats, goblet squats, chin ups. If you are unable to perform these movements there are MANY beginner progressions that can be utilized. A simple running program I like to use is, run 400 meters (1 track lap) at 90% effort. Rest two times the amount of time it took you to run it. Repeat for 4-10 sets, progressing each week as you improve. If running is not your cup of tea the above workout can be done on a Concept 2 rower.
If you have created an environment that allows your body to lose weight, it will…..
Implement the above steps and notice a leaner, stronger, healthier body.