Sheldon’s Corner: 7 Simple Lifestyle Changes for Weight Loss
Starting a new diet doesn’t have to occur only at the start of a new year. Not only is each day a chance to start over, but each meal can be too. If you are looking to make some lifestyle changes for weight loss, we found the best tips across the board. These tips are more than just about “dieting”. The word diet can be scary, but if you look at your new diet as a lifestyle change rather than a period of restrictive eating, you are going to have an easier time transitioning. If you can change your perspective on how you view what a diet is supposed to look like by eating everything in moderation, you will certainly still be able to enjoy all that life has to offer. Here are 7 simple lifestyle changes for weight loss that you can start today.
Drinking plenty of fluids is not only an essential part of any successful diet; it’s an essential part of life. Every organ, cell, tissue, and muscle in your body depends on water. If you’re trying to lose weight, but fear gaining “water weight”, your body actually retains more water when it is dehydrated. This can cause uncomfortable bloating. Staying hydrated can also help you feel full in between meals. Drink a glass of water every hour and right before a meal to avoid over-snacking and overeating. If you do not like the taste of plain water, try adding lemon, lime, mint, cucumber, or another fruit or herb of your liking. Have fun with it.
A diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables can decrease your blood pressure, and risk of heart disease, and digestive issues among many other positive benefits. Dark leafy greens have been shown to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease in those who ate five or more servings a day. Of course, it’s not always easy to eat your daily servings of fruits and vegetables, but have you tried drinking them? Smoothies are a fun, quick, and easy way to pack in your daily nutrients. Find a recipe you will love online.
Fiber is an important part of an overall healthy diet and is easy to incorporate into every meal. Found in fruits, nuts, whole grains, and vegetables, getting your daily fiber is much easier than you might think. Fiber helps regulate bowel movements, moderate blood sugar, keeps you full in between meals, and lower blood pressure. If you struggle to get the necessary amount of daily fiber, try a fiber supplement. Whether you choose a pill or a dissolvable powder, it’s imperative that you incorporate fiber daily.
Protein is the building block of hair, muscle, bone, and skin; so if you want to be beautiful outside, you have to get healthy on the inside. Protein is commonly known for being found in beef, chicken, and fish. Leafy greens, nuts, beans, and legumes are all great sources of protein as well and do not contain the same fatty cholesterol as animal protein. If you are trying to watch your weight or blood pressure you can supplement your protein with these meat alternatives. Look for lean cuts of beef or switch out your beef for a delicious cut of red snapper or salmon. Protein, like fiber, will keep you feeling full longer and leave you feeling overall more satisfied after a meal.
Whether you like to sweat it out on the treadmill, find your center at yoga, or hike a trail, your body will thank you for staying active. Regular exercise has been shown to increase mental clarity, lift your mood, increase blood circulation, reduce blood pressure, reduce stress levels, and reduce body weight. It can be tough getting started, but once you find a routine and activity that you like you will come to enjoy it. Ever heard of runners high? When you are active, your body releases endorphins, which make you feel good. When you feel good, you look good. In the words of Elle Woods, “exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.”
Cut Back on Alcohol
You do not have to skip out on happy hour forever, but reducing your alcohol intake can have a positive effect on your overall mood, productivity, and health. Alcohol is not only high in calories and carbohydrates it also affects the way the liver processes fat in the body. When there is an excess of fat buildup in the liver, you will see an increase in weight gain and your chances of liver disease go up as well. You don’t have to say goodbye to alcohol or happy hour forever. Choosing to take 1-2 nights off a week from drinking can make your liver and your waistline happy. If you do choose to drink, switch to a heart-healthy beverage like red wine. Be wary of tannins, though, as they have a tendency to upset the stomach.
For some, getting 8 hours of sleep can be tough. Between work, family, friends, and other life obligations 5 hours can seem like a treat. However, sleep is the most important time for your body. Sleep is when your body repairs muscle and processes and files new information from the day. Poor sleeping habits can lead to feelings of increased hunger, which can lead to excess snacking and overeating during meal times. Sleep deprivation has been shown to adversely alter the hormone that tells your body when you are hungry. Make a commitment to yourself to get at least 8 hours a night. Turn off all electronics and let the sandman take you away sweetly.
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