Our bodies are like engines; they are designed to burn energy. Burning energy is burning calories, and when enough calories are burnt, you start to lose weight. That is the basic premise of weight loss; move more, eat less.
However, the body, like any engine that keeps running, needs maintenance. This maintenance keeps the body in top operational status, burning more calories and helping you feel motivated and energetic for the next workout. These habits are simple in premise, but often hard to follow with so many pressures of modern-day life. Let’s explore some of these lifestyle habits that let us lose weight.
1. Eating More Meals a Day in Smaller Portions.
I recommend eating 5 meals a day. These meals should be high in fat and low in carbohydrates. Three large meals containing little fat and lots of carbohydrates over the course of the day, can contribute to weight gain and diabetes. With higher fat and low carbohydrates, your body digests food at a slower rate and al-so aids in stabilizing blood sugar. However, if you eat five small meals a day, containing high amounts of fat, your body has enough energy over the course of the day. It aids in clearer thinking and better brain function. Small, high fat, low carbohydrate meals kickstart your metabolism and allow for you to burn more energy over a shorter period of time and this helps contribute to weight loss.
2. Drink Water, Plenty of It.
Water is a basic component of life, 70% of our body is made up of it. Our bodies use water to cool off in the form of sweat, so it is important in maintaining body temperature when we are exercising. Water also makes us feel fuller when eating a meal, so we do not eat as much but get that effect of having a full stomach. We use water to create the urine that helps us eliminate lots of toxins. Water helps use maximize our metabolism and keep us healthy!
3. Exercise at least 15 minutes a day.
Sedentary lifestyles are a contributor to heart disease and weight gain. When we are in the same position for hours, our bodies do not require as much blood, so even that stays in the same position. Movement means burnt calories, so 15 minutes of exercise is all the more important because it means we are using the food we are eating instead of storing it in our bodies in the form of fat.
4. Get Eight Hours Of Sleep A Day.
Sleep is the time when our bodies recover from the stresses from the day. During the REM cycle of sleep, which is often the deepest part of our sleep when we experience dreams, is when our bodies do most of the repairing. In my practice, we are able to measure REM sleep through our take home sleep study. It is extremely helpful, and we have had great success with it. If you have had a rough day from strenuous exercise or from extreme stress, the 8+ hours of sleep you get will allow your mind to rest and recover, and to prepare for the next day. The rest also allows your body to build and repair muscles that were used in exercise. This means you have more muscle mass that now burns more calories, which in turn, burns more fat.
5. Reduce Chronic Stress
Stress is a response to the pressures of life, it can be good or bad, depending on the pressure. It may be a major decision needing to be made, a birthday party, or money problems. Whatever the case, long-term exposure to stress is often harmful to the body’s metabolism. The stress hormone, cortisol, is released when under stress. A stress response can also release adrenaline which is good in short moments but harmful in long term exposure. Cortisol disrupts metabolic function and adrenaline taxes the body, adding to feelings of fatigue. This stress response cocktail means that in addition to not burning calories as easily, you will also feel more tired and less inclined to exercise as a result. So reducing stress means a sustained motivation to move your body and the energy to do it.
These five habits can contribute to a healthier lifestyle, which can mean losing weight easier. When you lose that weight, that picture in the mirror builds more confidence, which impacts the rest of your life in great ways!