We get overweight because it’s easy.
It’s easy to reach for simple carbohydrates prepackaged for convenience instead of cooking a healthful meal. It’s easy to say yes to office birthday cake, late night fast food cravings, and high sugar sodas. It’s easy to stay planted to the couch because exercise is mundane or of the thought of becoming an elite athlete is just too far fetched. As we survey our growing waistlines we know we are not athletes, so to heck with it: pass the fried chicken.
Getting overweight becomes less convenient when a few extra pounds translate to Type II Diabetes or elevated blood pressure and high cholesterol. Suddenly the easy American diet leads to hardship and difficulty: increased doctor visits, expensive prescriptions, or increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Even if these major health problems don’t crop up, we struggle to keep up with the energy of our young kids and deal with the embarrassment of airplane seatbelt extenders. While getting overweight is easy, being obese is not.
Weight reduction and management means taking control of your life and your body. Instead of staying on the easy road to health problems and obesity, it’s time to take a different path. It’s time to make simple, healthful changes toward a better lifestyle. While not always easy, building good habits into your lifestyle helps break self-sabotaging habits making it easier to achieve and maintain weight loss goals.
4 Tips to Get You Started:
1. Plan Short Workouts
Most people claim they don’t have the time to workout. In our sedentary society where we often move from 8 hours in an office chair to a night on the couch followed by 8 hours sleeping, we never use our bodies, which are genetically designed to hunt and gather, to their full potential. Getting in a workout doesn’t have to mean two hours at the gym every night or a long, plodding marathon every morning. Short, explosive workouts that clock in at about 20-25 minutes easily fit within a day’s schedule and would spike the heart rate to increase metabolism for the rest of the day. Build workouts that allow you to work to your maximum capacity. Interval training allows you to go full speed, observe rest, and then go full speed again. Interval training works well to increase your endurance while allowing you to work at your own fitness level. Even if your sprint speed looks like someone else’s jog, short workouts allow you to get moving and fit solid exercise into your busy daily schedule. For example, you can follow a workout regimen like the Tabata Interval (a high-intensity interval training method), which takes up a only 4 minutes involves 8 short 20 second segments of intense exercise (sprinting, kettlebell swings, etc.), followed by 10 seconds of rest.
2. Read Nutrition Labels
We make fun of all the ingredients we can’t pronounce on food labels, yet we still consume the mysterious diacytel and 3-MCPD. Take time to read the labels on your food to make certain that ingredients they contain provide wholesome nutrition without an added dose of extra chemicals.Check labels for good stuff too! Look for healthy proteins, complex carbohydrates, and other vital nutrients. Identify foods with low numbers of ingredients. If there’s something unpronounceable on the label, research it up before consuming it.
3. Learn to Say No
Most of us operate with the best nutritional intentions. We do our best to eat healthy, but birthday cake, happy hours, and dinners out get in the way. We allow ourselves to step off our diet for “special occasions.” However every calendar day seems to present us with a special occasion or two to celebrate with unhealthy choices. These celebrations derail our diets. Learn to say no to stay on track with your dietary guidelines. Give yourself a month where you absolutely say no to things like birthday cake, drinks after work, and your other favorite diet busters. Tell yourself it’s just for 30 days. Within this 30 day period you’ll how easy it is to say no, and how good your body feels when not weighed down by the afternoon sugar crash or morning after hangover.
4. Say Yes
It’s true that restrictive diets feel like a giant disappointment when you must pass up favorites like pitchers of margaritas and fast food. The easy way to get over the hump of restriction is to build things into your diet that you love that stay within the parameters of good eating. Look for protein packed snacks, prepare standard meals that tickle your taste buds, and plan ahead for events out by bringing your own snacks like almonds or choose a variety of protein-packed on the go snacks from Hendricks for Health in Roseville and Sacramento.
The journey to significant weight loss can be a daunting one, however with a little planning it is easy to ditch bad habits and replace them with better health choices. Help yourself stay on track by identifying the easy changes you can make in your daily life to maintain a healthy weight and avoid the medical complications of obesity.