1. Eat breakfast. No ifs. No buts. No “but I don’t have time”, or “I get up too early as it is”. Pre-prepare it the night before if you have to. Just do it.Researchers at the University of Massachusetts found a 450 percent increase in your risk of obesity if you habitually skip breakfast. ‘Nuff said.
2. Health Snacks. Those same earnest researchers found that eating one or more healthy midday snacks is associated with a 39 percent decrease in your obesity risk. Talk about two great reasons to chow down!
3. Train with weights at least twice each week. Sorry if I’m being a bit doom and gloom with the stats today, but you want to, whoops I mean need to know this: your metabolism will drop by about 0.5 percent each year after you pass 20 years old. Assuming you eat ‘well’ and are moderately active, this will result in a weight gain of around 4kg/10 pounds per decade. Eeek! Now think about what that means if you don’t exercise at all, and eat trash. Not great, huh?
4. Drink enough water for your body. Dehydration (comes before thirst) causes your stress hormones to rise and sends a message to your body to store more fat. It also slows your ability to use your muscles, burn off existing fat, and just plain stops you feeling good. You need around 0.033 litres of water for every kilo of body weight. (A kilo is 2.2 pounds). Things that cause an increase in your need for water include over-eating, intense exercise or sweating, extreme weather, air-conditioning, and stimulants such as caffeine or sugar.
5. Since we’re talking about stress, know this. Regular unabated stress, and even the perception of stress (i.e. worrying that something might happen) all cause a hormone called cortisol to run rampant in your body. Cortisol is an important hormone for helping you to get out of truly stressful situations fast (the old ‘running from a tiger’ scenario), but it’s no good to you if you’ve got it going on most all day every day. In fact, it will slowly but surely destroy every single one of your bodily and metabolic functions, and will cause you to gain fat regardless of how you eat or exercise. One of the most powerful stress-management techniques I know is to block out 10-15 minutes a day just for you. No phones, no emails. This is best done in a relaxing environment and could be as simple as going for a quiet coffee before work and contemplating your day ahead.
6. Eat fat. Seriously. At least 15% of every meal needs to be fat. You’ve absolutely no chance of losing weight if you don’t do this.
7. Find something to make you smile or, even better, laugh every single day. Happy people are less stressed (see point 5). Ideas? Listen to or watch a great comedy show, read something tried and tested that you find funny, call up your funniest friend and ask them to make you laugh, take time out to catch up with old friends and reminisce.
8. Sleep your way to a beautiful new you. Building up a sleep debt of even an hour each night is a sure-fire way to obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Having trouble sleeping? Try a sleep mask, ear plugs, winding down with no TV or computer before bed, and minimize alcohol, sugar and caffeine after 3pm.
9. Back off the caffeine. If you’d consider yourself a stressed person than I’d try a 30-day no-coffee challenge to get caffeine out of your life for good, or at least until you feel you’ve improved. If you experience medium or low stress than 1, MAYBE 2 coffees each day is okay. Caffeine in any form stimulates your Sympathetic Nervous System, which cause a release of cortisol. I’m a big caffeine lover myself, but I think we can all benefit from a break from constant stimulation now and again. And we already talked about what that stuff does, didn’t we? Okay then.
10. Go 2 weeks with no sugar or wheat. Sounds extreme and abnormal, but exceptional health and a body that looks and feels its very best is somewhat extreme and abnormal. Isn’t it? Maybe there’s a reason that the ‘norm’ isn’t working for most people out there, you included. My opinion is that you are not designed to eat processed wheat or sugar and they have no place as a daily habit in a truly natural diet. I’m not saying never eat them again! But try 2 weeks without these so-called foods and I guarantee you’ll seriously consider cutting them out further. Especially when you notice the initial reaction to first eating them again!
Life is Now. Press Play.