Losing weight can be a complex issue. Today I want to share 6 small changes you can use to lose weight. I want to keep things simple and low tech. Nothing fancy here. Just little things you can tweak that will make it more likely you will drop body fat and improve the health of your lifestyle.
There’s a lot of information about weight loss out there. It’s difficult to sort through and often just as difficult to implement. I want to share some health tips that will gradually alter your lifestyle for the better. Doing all of these things regularly will make it much more likely you will maintain a healthy body composition!
Kick The Sugar
Excessive sugar intake is a major contributor to excess body fat. Your body stores sugar in the form of glucose in your muscles and your liver. If these stores are full, excess sugar is turned into fat and stored for later use.
Your body also has the ability to create glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis. That means sugar is a non-essential macronutrient. You don’t need to eat it to stay alive. There are benefits to eating sugar, however, sugar is so prevalent in food now that you really have to go out of your way to avoid eating too much.
Consuming sugar can also lead to hormonal hunger. When sugar enters the bloodstream, blood sugar rises and insulin is released to control the levels. If a large amount of sugar enters the bloodstream there is a corresponding spike in insulin. Sugar is rapidly pulled out and then blood sugar levels plummet. Now you get tired and hungry because your body wants to restore blood sugar levels to normal.
This is the yo-yo feeling of the modern carbohydrate-heavy diet. Lowering sugar intake helps to moderate your appetite and avoid overeating.
Cook It Yourself
What you put in your body is incredibly important to your health. Why leave it to someone else all the time? There’s no way for you to know what goes into restaurant or grocery store food. I understand time is a concern for almost everyone, but if you can cut the number of times you eat out in half and cook for yourself more often, your body will thank you.
For most of human history, our sole occupation was getting food. Now with our focus on acquiring material wealth, many of us have outsourced feeding ourselves. Grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning up after takes a lot of time and energy. When the majority of the week is dedicated to your job, I understand.
Unfortunately, many of our modern health concerns can be traced directly to our diets. Regaining some of your food independence is an important step to dropping that excess body fat and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Put The Food Down
Intermittent fasting has become quite a trend in recent years. But if you think about it logically, it’s not that big a stretch. Three square meals a day is much more a convenience for the workday than what’s best for us. Previously we ate when we were hungry and when the food was available. Before sugar was easily available, we weren’t hungry as often.
Your body does important things when you give it time without food. Many old cells are broken down and recycled. Fat stores are mobilized to fuel your body. Tissues are rebuilt while the body isn’t busy spending energy to digest. Breaking down food is one of the most energy-intensive things your body does
You don’t have to go to extremes with the break without food though! Find a timespan that works for you. Your meal window can be 8, 10, or even 12 hours. Find what works best for your lifestyle and eat within the window you establish when you’re hungry.
Don’t forget to forgive yourself and move on when you occasionally break your rule and eat outside your window. None of us are perfect and beating yourself up won’t help you be healthier!
Getting more movement throughout the day is really important for a lot of reasons. Humans are built to move. Sitting around on the couch watching TV all day lowers your metabolism. Lower metabolism means more weight gain. Especially since watching TV tends to encourage snacking.
Adding extra movement can help build lean body mass which boosts metabolism. More movement can also burn off sugar stores. As mentioned before, sugar fuels the body for intense activity. By burning off these stores throughout the day, you ensure the sugar you eat doesn’t get stored as fat but instead replenishes what you’ve already used.
Getting a daily workout definitely has its benefits. But you should strive to spread your movement throughout the day instead of confining it to just an hour once a day. Find ways to work more movement into your day regularly.
Sleep It Off
To quote Arnold, “sleep faster.” Just kidding. That’s not a thing. We are in the middle of a sleep deprivation epidemic. About 40% of Americans sleep less than 6 hours a night. We’re all busy and our solution has been to ditch sleep.
Sleep is an anabolic period. Tissues are repaired and rebuilt and our brain processes the day’s events. During healthy sleep we also process stress. Long-term stress can wreak havoc on us hormonally. When sleep-deprived our bodies just don’t work right.
You can do everything you’re supposed to, but without enough quality sleep, you’ll always be sub-par. If you’re doing everything right but still are not dropping body fat or building muscle, look at your sleep schedule. Everyone reacts differently to sleep-deprivation, but no one is healthy without regular quality sleep.
It’s important to set aside time for yourself. We are constantly bombarded with obligations and with cell phones it’s become almost impossible to dodge them. Make sure to set aside time for yourself, an hour a day or so and a few days a month. This should be your time. Unplug and do something that brings you joy.
Getting out into nature is a great option. Nature deficiency disorder is a thing. Whatever you do, get away from your to-do list and be interruption-free for a while. Turn off the phone or better yet leave it at home. Just be. Too much stress can kill you.