Lose Weight Through Wellness

Photo via Pixabay

Here’s another informative article by Sheila Olson
just in time for the new year!  fitsheila.com

Drastic diets and torturous exercise classes don’t work for long-term weight loss, and these days, we know why. In part, this is because depriving ourselves of things we love is not healthy or sustainable. Instead, we should all try to approach weight loss through wellness-focusedactions and self-care. Here’s how to do that.

Exercise

The best kind of exercise is the one you actually do. This means that finding an exercise routine that’s both fun and convenient is crucial for long-term weight loss.

A home gym can be a great way to do this -check out this guide by HomeAdvisor to figure out the best exercise equipment for you and where to place it. If exercise is enjoyable and accessible, you have no excuse to avoid it. If you do still find yourself skipping workouts, try asking yourself these questions to find out why.

Sleep

Sleep is what allows your mind and body to relax, refresh, and prepare for a new day. What few people know is that a lack of good sleep can also lead to weight gain by messing with your hormones and stress levels.

Set up a nightly “good sleep” routine. It should be soothing and relaxing, making your body and mind feel ready for rest. You should also avoid digital screens in the hours leading up to your bedtime, as these may be negatively impacting your sleep.

Food

Weight loss happens in the kitchen, not the gym. Ourbodies aren’t that effective at burning off calories we consume, so it’s unrealistic to expect exercise to do all the work when our diet remains unchanged.

However, we also need to remember that food is wonderful and useful. It is not the enemy. We have learned to classify certain foods as “good” or “bad,” but this creates an unhealthy relationship with nutrition. This article by Well and Good has some great tips for getting rid of this mindset and finding balance in our diets.

Many of us tend to forget the importance of health, both physical and mental, when trying to lose weight. By focusing onhealthy habits rather than the numbers on a scale, we shift our attention to our internal well-being rather than external appearance. In the proces, weight loss becomes a consequence of a healthy lifestyle rather than the driving reason for having one.

Advertisements

Banish Obesity for Good with These Simple Wellness Tips

Photo via Pexels

Check out this informative article by Dana Brown of Health Conditions which is chock-full of effective and easy wellness tips.

– By Dana Brown

Obesity is a lifestyle disease that plagues over 1 in 3 Americans. This causes preventable illnesses and health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, gallstones, high blood pressure, and joint weakness. Many people suffering from obesity have tried to lose weight through fad diets and trendy fitness routines only to fall back on old habits. Instead, maintain health for the long term by making wellness-focused changes to your lifestyle.

Find the Best Workout Routine for You

Starting a workout routine can be very hard if you’re struggling with obesity. Verywell Fit emphasizes the importance of finding a workout catered to you instead of joining random fitness programs because you don’t know what else to do. Find a workout that you can enjoy and stick to. Some of the best workouts for obese adults include walking, group exercise classes, and strength training. If any exercise causes pain, try something else. For example, aqua jogging is a good alternative to walking if you have pain in your joints.

Develop a Balanced Diet Plan

Avoiding empty calories is more important than cutting your calorie intake when it comes to losing weight. This means staying away from sugary foods and those containing unhealthy fats. Instead, aim to get a balance of nutrients from each meal you eat. The majority of your calories should come from fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes, and lean protein. These foods will provide your organs with the nutrients they need to help you fight disease and daily fatigue.

Make Time to Get Restorative Rest

Not getting enough sleep can be a barrier standing between you and your weight loss goals. Studies show that sleeping habits can disrupt the efficacy of weight-reduction programs. When we lack sleep, our bodies are stimulated to increase our appetite unnaturally. Sleep disruption also affects the body’s ability to control blood sugar and cortisol levels. Try to get more than 7 hours of sleep per night to increase your likelihood of successful weight loss.

Take Care of Your Mental Health

Making improvements to your overall wellness includes addressing any mental health issues that you may have. Many studies have found a link between obesity and mental health disorders, including anxiety and depression. According to experts, people tend to use food to self-medicate their emotions. Mental health issues also lead to a decrease in physical activity, which is a common cause of onset obesity. So, it’s important to cut out stress from your life and get help if you’re suffering from a mental disorder.

Ditch the Scale

What if you didn’t have to step on a scale to check your progress? According to Livestrong, avoiding the scale can be a healthier way to measure weight-loss. Scales give us an inaccurate representation of our fitness. They don’t tell us where we’re carrying excess weight or how healthy our bodies actually are. Plus, the numbers on the scale can be disheartening when they’re higher than we expect. Instead, track your progress in other ways.

First, it’s easy to tell you’re losing weight when clothes start fitting better or become baggier. You should take note of compliments made by friends and family, since changes to your body will be more obvious to other people than to you. You’ll also notice significant changes in your energy levels and how your body feels. For example, you’ll feel stronger, be able to walk farther, and feel less pain. You may also notice reduced stress and better quality sleep. These are all signs that you’re progressing on your weight loss journey.

Dealing with obesity through wellness-centered actions will help you get to the root of the problem. By changing up your lifestyle for one that’s healthier and focused on caring for your mind, you can finally keep those pounds off for good. Eventually, these actions will become healthy habits that will keep you feeling good for years to come.

Stuck In Mud Types

Have you ever met someone who always comes up with a reason why he or she can’t do something that would be beneficial to his or her well-being?

I honestly can’t help people like this, because they aren’t where they need to be in order to embrace true change. They shoot me down every single time I make a suggestion, and it my quarter decade of experience as an exercise scientist and coach, my 13 years of experience as a physician, and my nutrition certification don’t matter at all to them. It takes every bit of self-restraint I can muster to refrain from berating them for their idiotic reasoning. Their thought patterns are so circuitous and toxic that sitting through a consultation with them (FYI they will usually demand more time than what is allotted for the visit) makes me want to get up and walk out the door.

These are the same people who will blame others who genuinely try to guide and help them in their wellness and fitness efforts when they fail to do their part in following sound advice. I can spot them from a mile away, and when they come to me, I absolutely cringe.

If you are one of these types, I have a suggestion for you. If you’re so miserable with where you are at health-wise or fitness-wise, and your methods haven’t worked, then CHANGE IT UP. Allow others to guide you without you attacking them and naysaying them. Try the foods you insist you can’t stand.

I have had clients tell me that they refuse to eat anything except a small handful of foods. Here are a few examples of food items which former clients insisted on eating daily (note that they refused to eat anything other than the food items listed):


1. Kale, hard-boiled eggs, wheat toast

2. Bagels, eggs, cheddar cheese, guacamole

3. Tortillas, hummus, Yoplait yogurt

4. Cottage cheese, dark chocolate, oranges

All four people who reported these diets were upset that they weren’t meeting their fitness goals. However, when I suggested to them that they needed to increase the variety of foods consumed to ensure proper nutrition, they shuddered, stating that they didn’t like ANYTHING else. Talk about stubborn…and foolish!

SureFlap Microchip Pet Feeders

http://www.sureflap.com

For the past two years, I have tried just about every tactic to train my obese European Burmese cat Kazu to eat a special diet. We put her on scheduled feedings, only giving her wet food, and tried to ban her from the dry kibble which we needed to leave out for the other two cats (both of whom are normal weight). Kazu continued to sneak dry kibble throughout each day, despite being scolded for doing so.

After all my unsuccessful efforts to get Kazu on a unique feeding schedule, I was at my wit’s end. Then a couple of people suggested that I purchase a microchip pet feeder. I looked up microchip feeders online and discovered SureFlap Microchip Pet Feeders. I almost keeled over when I saw the price of these units: $149. What’s worse is that I knew I had to purchase TWO of these feeders, since Kazu would have to be trained on one feeder, while Tenshi and Shima would be trained on the other.

I saved up so that I could buy two feeders. $365 later (I had to purchase C batteries, as well as extra RFID tags since only one tag comes with each feeder, and we have three cats), I was ready to give them a try.

The training period consists of five stages, in which the door progresses from remaining completely open (stage 1), closes a small amount (stage 2), then closes incrementally more until stage 5 when the door closes completely, only opening for the pet who is programmed to the feeder. The idea with the incremental training is that the pets will eventually understand that the closed door will open when they approach the feeder to which they are programmed.

Without going into agonizing detail, I will say that it took a good six weeks before my cats finally understood how the feeders worked. They were so afraid of the devices at first that I honestly began to doubt whether the system would work for my household. As soon as the door would move back or forward, my cats would just freak out, so we were at training level 2 (the door only moves a small amount and the chamber is very accessible) for close to 3 weeks.

I’m not sure how I feel about these things. While they are well constructed and work well, they are inaccessible to people who can’t afford the units. In addition, our household STILL hasn’t progressed beyond the training setting, because when the doors are completely closed (as they are in regular post-training mode), my cats don’t consistently understand that all they have to do is approach the feeders for the doors to open.

What this basically means is that I must have dry kibble available to all three cats in both feeders, which completely defeats the purpose of buying these devices in the first place. I purchased these feeders THREE MONTHS AGO. In addition, all three cats race into the kitchen when I enter it, and beg for wet food like starving street urchins. I relent, because I want to make sure my babies are fed.

Kazu just keeps getting fatter, while my wallet is definitely slimmer from purchasing the devices which mainly serve to startle and confuse my entire brood.

How To Visualize Your Body Transformation Goal

Body B&AWhenever I do initial consultations with weight management patients I make sure to ask them what their ultimate weight loss goals are.  Invariably my patients will mention a friend or relative who has the physique they desire, or they will mention a time in their lives at which they considered their own bodies to be ideal for them.  At the end of the evaluation, I instruct my patients to find at least one picture of that ideal body and post it in a prominent place, either on a desk, bathroom mirror, refrigerator, or car dashboard.  The whole point is to create a visual representation of the patient’s goal so that it becomes more tangible over time.

Another tip which I give to weight management patients is to take weekly progress pics so that they can monitor the subtle changes in their bodies over an interval period of time.  What they might not see from week to week can be very dramatic when they compare their baseline photos to photos taken many weeks or months later.  Over time it becomes easier to take these progress pictures.  Trust me, I used to do it regularly myself when I was competing. These days, though, I have hit a certain rhythm in which I stay at a specific set point.

Lori HarderThe tips I have just mentioned also work EXTREMELY well for people in the midst of contest prep.  I typically advise contest prep clients to take weekly progress pictures, because they provide a great way to monitor subtle changes week by week, as well as yield information which I can use in order to make small changes in a prep plan.  

When I first began competing in 2009, I quite randomly picked a couple of images of female competitors whose physiques I really admired, printed them, and placed them on my bathroom mirror.  I saw these images daily, and was able to visualize my goal on a consistent basis.  I did not remove these images from my mirror until I moved in October of 2012, and when I did so, I moved the images to bulletin boards in our den.

What is amazing now is that I have images of myself right next to the images of the ladies I had so admired, and you know what?  I achieved my goal of attaining IFBB Pro Status and the best physique of my life, at the ripe age of 47.    These days, I no longer look at the images of these ladies as something to aspire to, but instead look at them as peers.

In summary, there are two things you can do to visualize your goal:

1. FIND AN IMAGE OF THE BODY YOU WANT AND POST IT IN A PROMINENT PLACE.

2. TAKE WEEKLY PROGRESS PICTURES OF YOURSELF.

Visualize and make your goal materialize!