We have a cultural obsession with weight loss, but despite that, right now 1 in 3 Americans is OBESE. And if that isn't cringe-worthy: 18% of our children are MORBIDLY OBESE!! With skyrocketing numbers in increases of diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancers our healthcare costs are rising and 75% of those costs are attributable to the aforementioned diseases. AND ALL of those diseases can be avoided or possibly reversed with some fairly simple diet and lifestyle changes. Being overweight is the number one cause of most diseases...here is how to make some changes:
1. You are Not Getting Enough Water - Studies show drinking more water may help you lose weight and keep it off. Drinking water increases the amount of calories you burn, which is known as resting energy expenditure(REE)-the amount of energy expended by a person at rest- possibly increasing REE by 24–30% within 10 minutes of drinking water. This lasts at least 60 minutes. So, if your day is filled with water you will have a continuous increase in calories burned...YES, PLEASE! I notice that when I don't drink enough water I become very bloated because my body is hanging on to the little water it has...eliminate the bloat by drinking more water. There is no magic number, but most people need between 1 and 2 liters a day. Drink when you're thirsty and stay away from caffeine as it dehydrates. Also, water is calorie-free so you can reduce your calorie consumption by swapping water for soda or other sugary, high-calorie drinks.
2. You are Underestimating Your Calories - Most people underestimate the calories they consume. We forget about the “tastes” we have while cooking or “not wasting” what the kids leave on their plates. Don't shoot the messenger, but those calories count! We also, tend to underestimate serving size. Serving sizes are usually much smaller than we like to admit and if we are counting calories, we need to be honest with ourselves in order to see results. If you are using technology to track your calories burned, you are probably not getting accurate information. A study was done analyzing wearable technology for tracking calories burned and they found that the majority of the trackers were very unreliable; overestimating calories burned by up to 40%!! When you are mislead with the thinking that you have burned more calories, you assume that you can now eat more calories which leads to more calories consumed than burned = weight gain.
3. You are Not Eating Enough Fruits and Vegetables - Eating more vegetables is the single most important thing you can do to achieve weight loss AND better health. Vegetables tend to be lower in calories than most other foods; especially, processed and refined foods. Their caloric density-calorie content relative to weight or volume-is one of the lowest. Which means you can eat MORE food and consume LESS calories. Also, fruits and vegetables contain the most fiber. Fiber leaves us feeling full and satisfied. Fiber also, takes more energy to burn, which means you will burn more calories just by eating these foods. Choosing more fruits and vegetables means you will eat less processed food which is very calorie dense and unhealthy. Aim to add fruits and vegetables to every meal.
4. You are Eating Too Much Fat – Eat fat? Don't eat fat? Which is it? It's been a controversy in the media for decades. Let's look at the facts: NO oil is healthy. None. They are all stripped down and processed, and contain no nutritional value. More importantly, oil has a calorie density of 4,000 calories per pound!! So are there good fats and bad fats? Yes and no. Dietary fat is very easily converted into body fat; whereas, carbohydrates are more easily burned as fuel. So, if you are consuming any kind of fat, it can easily be converted to body fat instead of being used for energy. Choose your fats wisely, choose ones that are nutrient dense from plant sources like avocados, seeds, and nuts. Animal-fat sources are the worst, which contain mostly saturated fats. They also contain cholesterol, hormones, carcinogens, dioxins, antibiotics, and bacteria, while also devoid of fiber and antioxidants.
5. You Are Stressed the F@ Out! - RELAX! Easier said than done, I know! I struggle with this one myself. I like to be in control so the food aspect of this, I got! But, the stress, OH THE STRESS!! The facts: Levels of "the stress hormone," cortisol, rise during tension-filled times. This can turn overeating into a habit. Because increased levels of the hormone cause higher insulin levels, your blood sugar drops and you crave sugary, fatty foods. Exercise can trigger the release of the “feel good” hormones so this is a great stress-reliever. Also, meditation has been scientifically proven to significantly decrease stress levels with just 10 minutes of daily mediation. Love yourself—do the things you enjoy and forget about the rest. It is OK to say no!
6. You are Not Moving Enough - Nutrition is the most important factor in weight loss. Calories in vs. calories out. You must burn more calories than you consume. Our bodies do a great job at burning energy in the form of calories, but if we want to lose weight we need to eat less than we burn. But we can also burn off some of those calories in the form of exercise and while we are at it, reduce stress, too...WIN! WIN! Exercise isn’t just about that 30 minutes on the treadmill; it’s about creating a lifestyle that isn’t sedentary. But, the great thing about eating healthfully and exercising is that all that good stuff makes you have more energy!! Then, you want to move! Find an activity that you really like/love and that is the one that you can form a habit around. It can be anything that keeps you moving for at least 30-40 minutes; walking, running, hiking, yoga, biking, etc. Consider weight training: more muscle = more calories burned. While a pound of fat burns only two calories per day, a pound of muscle burns six—and takes up a lot less room.
You can find these tips with more details and also more tips in our NEW FREE eBook “9 Steps to Losing Weight and Feeling Great”, but the best part about our book is we not only give you the tips, but a guide to help you along the way which contains a 7 day meal plan with recipes and grocery shopping lists!! Sound great? Sign up here.
Peace, Love, Plants,
Jeanmare and Cristy are creators and contributors of the Living Simply Nourished Blog. Grab a cup of tea (or coffee!), find a cozy spot, scroll around, read some stories, find some inspiration, and enjoy!
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