You’ve been wanting to lose a few extra pounds for a few years. Now, your doctor is talking about triglycerides, metabolic syndrome, and maybe even diabetes. It’s time to get serious. This isn’t just about looking good in a swimsuit — this is about saving your life.
Obesity is a crisis issue for this country, affecting every age, economic group, and social class. It consumes upwards of $200 billion every year. Obesity can make you prone to heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. It’s stealing years from your lifespan.
Change Your Way of Eating
The way you’ve always done things isn’t cutting it. You’re going to have to unlearn what you think you know. First of all, work on your diet by speaking to a nutritionist about identifying deficiencies in your eating habits and helping you formulate a plan that works for you. Also, forget the food pyramid and fad diets. You need to eat nutrient-rich foods that meet your body’s specific needs, and you need to eat them in the right quantities to bring down your weight. A quick and easy option is to make smoothies with an immersion blender. You’ll get plenty of nutrients from the fruits and veggies, plus immersion blenders are known for their versatility, affordability, and easy storage capability. You can look online and compare the top models before buying.
You need to work with your body chemistry to keep your blood sugar steady and your metabolism functioning well if you’re going to lose weight. A diet high in protein and fresh healthy produce, with heart-healthy fats and dairy, is ideal. Avoid convenience foods and other processed foodstuffs; if your great grandmother wouldn’t know it was food, then it probably isn’t. And you need to eat often enough during the day to keep sugar levels steady, so it’s preferable to consume small meals more often, rather than eating three large meals each day.
Artificial lighting has led us to extend our days well into what should be our sleeping hours. Most members of modern westernized societies are chronically sleep-deprived, and it may be contributing to our obesity problem. Over time, sleep deprivation contributes to problems with insulin regulation in the body. Give your beauty sleep back the respect it deserves and make it a priority in your daily schedule. Allow yourself a full eight hours. Create an atmosphere that is conducive to good sleep, with room-darkening shades and comfortable pillows. Don’t drink caffeinated beverages late in the day, as they can make it hard to fall asleep. Set up a relaxing bedtime ritual, something like a warm bath and a cup of herbal tea or some hobby time or meditation. Turn off your digital devices, as the screen light actually interferes with your circadian rhythm. Give yourself every opportunity to rest well every evening.
Aside from its weight-loss benefits, you need exercise to strengthen and tone your body. Try a core-building, calorie-burning routine for full body conditioning that is still low impact enough to be easy on your joints. People who exercise regularly have better overall health, mentally and physically. Exercise produces a feeling of well-being, which can improve your mood. It also helps your immune system to function more effectively and is a great stress reliever. It helps clear your mind and distract you from your problems in a healthy fashion. Consider yoga for even more stress-busting benefits. Yoga trains you to control your body’s stress responses and to think positively, even as you’re stretching and posing your way to greater agility and and flexibility.
As you slim down, your body will become denser and more compact, more toned. Be aware that might mean you gain a few pounds on the scale, so ignore it and track your progress in other ways. Pay attention to your body instead. You should feel better, more alert, and more resilient. You should have more energy, and your clothes should fit more loosely as you swap out lightweight fat for heavier muscle. Keep up with your doctor appointments; your test results should show improvements, too.
If you intervene early enough you could slow the development of metabolic syndrome and diabetes, or even reverse them entirely. You’ll look and feel better than you have in years!
Brad Krause graduated from college in 2010 and went straight to the corporate world at the headquarters of a popular retail company. But what started as a dream job soured quickly. After four years of working 15-hour days and neglecting his health, he decided enough was enough. Through aiding a friend during a tough time, Brad discovered his real calling-helping people implement self-care practices that improve their overall wellbeing. He created SelfCaring.info to share his own knowledge and the many great resources he finds on his self-care journey.