You would invariable be doing this in some measure if your weight loss efforts are working for you. BUT if you make this THE SOLE PURPOSE with which to look at food and exercising, then you will not only lose weight but lose it permanently.
Oh and did I mention whatever medication you are on – diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol, pain, hormones, heart, will ALL fall by the wayside.
What am I talking about?
Unhealthy body has excess fat. It is suffering. You will feel it talk to you everyday through irritants such as headaches, tiredness, irritation, short temper, neck pain, sugar cravings, weight gain, depression, etc etc. The list can go on. These are your body’s warning signals- these are symptoms of a much deeper health problem.
When your body is unhealthy or lets say under stress, it tends to hold on to fat. Your fat storing hormones are in full flow and your fat burning hormones are suppressed. Fat is your body’s emergency stock. Unless your health improves it will try its hardest to not dip into that reserve. Think about these two things and then we will go into detail about healthy:
1. Go back to think about when you experienced weight gain – were you going through a stressful time? maybe living away from home, starting a new job, delivered a beautiful baby, getting divorced or maybe even getting married! Or have you always been the chubby kid who’s parents believed that a ‘fat child’ is equal to a ‘happy child’? Now you are stuck in that rut of making unhealthy choices simply because you never learnt what it meant to be HEALTHY.
2. Lets look at the phenomenon of weight loss plateau – you start exercising more and you eat fewer calories. You will start losing weight. You will notice that while you lose fat all over, your stomach or your bums are still flabby while your arms and legs shrink. Ever heard of skinny fat? The skinny person with stickly arms and legs but still round in the middle?
Your body saves fat around the organs that are stressed as protection because it is still under stress from the unhealthy state that it is in. And when you body refuses to let go of fat you finally hit the plateau.
Your body is still unhealthy and your internal systems are still stressed pressing on to your fat storing hormones. You still have those morning headaches and feel too tired to wake up and get out of bed. So how do you break this plateau and what does being healthy mean?
Losing fat is not just about exercising and lowering calories. You need to start getting healthy.
So, what does Being Healthy Mean?
a) Being Healthy means making Smart food choices. Eating foods that are closer to nature – i.e. fresh and if possible organic produce. Make vegetables and fruits your staple. Take in healthy fats (olive oil, seeds and nuts). Try Juicing if you haven’t – it is the best way to get your day’s vegetables quota in a glass. Also, drink water.
b) Being Healthy means avoiding ALL processed foods – i.e. anything that comes with a label. Avoid sugar – they are turning out to be worse than fats. We discussed this briefly in our last article, view here. Even artificial sweeteners are proving to be fatal to health. See Dr Mercola’s article on diet sodas here).
In short, say no to ‘sugar’. You will find your cravings reduce as you eat more fruits and vegetables.
c) Being Healthy means you have to start Moving (if you haven’t already). Make exercising as essential a part of your routine as brushing your teeth. You should feel like sh*t not having exercised.
Do it everyday. I know you are thinking if this means 30-45 mins in the gym EVERYDAY? No, by doing that you will only start hating that place :).
On some days go for a walk during lunch or early mornings. Shopping counts as moving 😉 and so does playing with your kids. Just make sure you do something moderately intense* 2-3 times a week.
*exercise intensity depends on your current fitness levels; start with a little each day and for 2-3 days get out of your comfort zone – please do consult your physician if you have heart troubles or are taking blood pressure medications and similar.
d) Being Healthy means being Calm. This is a tough one to crack but also the last piece of the puzzle. Until you feel calm and in control of your emotions, your body would still be stressed and feel under threat. It will keep producing the stress hormone that suppresses your fat burning hormones.
How to reverse this? Be Happy! who knew this would require more detailing but being happy these days requires work! 🙂 Read a previous post on this ‘Only if you would stop stressing’. Try meditation if you haven’t, I find it really calms me down. If you have tried it but found it too difficult you can read my recent post on the ‘Elusive Trace of Meditation’ and see if that helps.
Move your focus from losing weight to ‘being healthy’ and watch how quickly your body starts shedding the extra fat.