7 Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle

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7 Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle

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Have you tried many fad diets and have results that just don’t last? I know I have. I am here to tell you that you can lose the weight and keep it off if you implement the 10 things I am going to share with you.

Before you do anything, Talk with your Physician

This is very important when trying to determine if there are any medical issues that may be getting in the way of you losing weight. Your doctor will do bloodwork to determine if you are in the proper health and there is no underlying medical cause for concern.  

I say this is important because if there are any issues, you need to seek proper treatment before making any changes to your diet or exercise routines. I make no claims to be an expert on weight loss, nutrition or exercise. I have been through physician monitored weight loss programs as well as paid personal trainer programs and have learned much of what I am sharing with you from these programs as well as conducting my own research.

With that said, these are the things I have learned and implemented in my healthy lifestyle plan.

7 Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle

1. Think Positive Thoughts and Prepare for Success

You’ve probably experienced your mind telling you that it is almost impossible to lose weight or you are too far gone for anything to ever work. STOP it! Our minds are very powerful. Much more than we ever give them credit for.

You need to start this journey with a positive mindset and attitude from the get go. Tell yourself, I am 5 lbs lighter today than I was yesterday. Tell yourself that for one week straight. Look in the mirror and really tell yourself that and believe it is so.

I know you are probably thinking, “She’s crazy”, well I am not. I started my plan saying that and within 4 days, I had lost 4 lbs. I did the basics. I cut out refined sugar, bread, butter, and all processed foods and drank 4 to 6 glasses of water a day. That’s it. Not even exercising at that point. I had to stay focused and when I thought I had gained because I felt that I had, I stood in front of the mirror and said “You have lost 5 lbs and are rocking it”. I felt better and I was motivated to make this work.

2. Examine Other Factors in Your Life

Certain lifestyle factors can negatively impact your metabolic and hormonal functions which in turn can sabotage weight loss. It’s important to identify these issues and work to correct them as you start your plan.

The two biggest factors that most people are challenged with are:

Sleep. Did you know that the lack of sleep raises ghrelin which is a hunger-stimulating hormone? It also decreases leptin which is a hormone that helps to regulate energy and food intake. You should try to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep a day.

and

Stress. The hormone related to stress is cortisol and when levels are high we tend to overeat and crave sugary foods. Most of the fat is stored around the organs and the abdominal area. Do your best to identify and deal with stress factors.

3. Eating Healthy

Eating healthy is effective and sustainable. So once you adopt a healthy eating plan, you will be able to lose weight and sustain it. Notice I did not say “diet”. I am calling it a “healthy eating plan.”

The healthy eating plan basically consist of vegetables high in nutrients and fiber, fruit, high quality protein, and healthy fats.

Veggies and Fruit: Studies show that a higher intake of these are needed to lower the risk of many health related conditions such as heart disease and stroke. (Garden-Robnson J. “What color is your food?”)

Protein: Studies show that a higher intake of protein helps to increase calorie expenditure, supports lean body mass, recover from exercise and improve bone density. When you are decreasing your calorie intake, protein requirements increase and supports a leaner body.

(Westerterp-Planenga MS, Nieuwenhuizen A, Torne D, SoenenS, Westerterp KR. “Dietary Protein, Weight Loss, and Weight Maintenance”)

Healthy Fats: These are important to our brain and cell’s functionality as well as our nervous system. They are a long lasting source of energy.

4. Supplements

When you talk to your doctor be sure to ask if you are in need of any vitamin supplements based on your bloodwork. I was very low in Vitamin D so am taking a higher dose than normal. I was very happy to find this out because I was lacking in energy and such.

To maintain a healthy way of life, I take Magnesium, Omega 3 (fish oil), Vitamin D, B6, B12, and Potassium. I do not take a “one and done” pill. I take the individual pill for each. I’m happy to say that since I started doing this over 2 years ago, I have not been sick with a cold, flu or any other illness. Amazing right? Just be sure to check with your doctor before you take any supplements.

5. Let’s talk Carbohydrates

The main intake for you carbs in eating healthy will come from your non-startchy vegetables. Most of us equate carbs with grains and while true, the grains contain far more carbs then vegetables which is why fad diets tend to eliminate breads. If you are highly active you may need more carbs than vegetables have so you would want to moderately include grains.

Eating too many carbs has a negative effect overall on our bodies. Weight gain, increased blood sugar, rise in insulin are results of too many carbs in our system. A rise in insulin shuts down the bodies ability to burn fat. Interestingly enough, a rise in blood sugar levels creates a higher craving for carbs.

There are two different types of carbs. Fast and Slow.

Fast carbs: like potatoes, sweet fruits, rice, and processed foods like bread and pasta convert very quickly into glucose in your body causing potential to spike insulin level and switch your body into a fat storing mode.

Slow carbs: Tend to have lots of fiber and other nutrients that slow down their conversion to sugar keeping insulin levels low. Foods like greens, beans, berries, and zucchini, broccoli and other fibrous vegetables.

6. Meal Times

When is the best time to eat your meals? Most important is to eat soon after you wake up in the morning and then every 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Never skip a meal!

Breakfast: Don’t skip it. If you cannot find the time to eat at home before the day begins, take a hard boiled egg with you. Make your coffee at home and avoid the take out high sugary ones. Switch to green tea – even better. If you can make it at home, use some coconut oil and scramble an egg with a pinch of cheese. Add bell peppers and tomatoes for some flavor as well.

Take your vitamins!

Snack: Drink a bottle of water along with a helping of fruit. Mix it up with nuts on alternating days.

Lunch: Drink a bottle of water with a protein bar or a protein shake. Eat healthy fats, salad, veggies and/or fruit. Just enough carbs to get your blood sugar levels steady to shake of afternoon fatigue.

Dinner: Protien (meat, fish, chicken, etc) along with water and a desert cup of berries or other fruit will satisfy you to finish out the day.

DRINK WATER There are so many benefits to drinking water especially when trying to lose excess weight.

  • Natural appetite suppressant
  • Prevents water retention
  • Muscle tissue works more efficiently to burn calories
  • Gets rid of toxins
  • Prevents and can relieve constipation
  • Increases metabolism efficiency to burn more fat

7. Exercise

The Department of Health and Human Services recommends these exercise guidelines for most healthy adults:

The guidelines suggest that you get 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of both spread out during the course of a week.

Moderate aerobic exercise includes a brisk walk, swimming and activities such as mowing the lawn. Vigorous aerobic exercise includes running, spinning, and aerobic dancing.

Strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least two times a week. Using a weight or resistance level heavy enough to tire your muscles after about 12 to 15 repetitions.

Strength training can include use of weight machines, your own body weight, resistance bands, resistance water routines, or activities such as rock climbing.

As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day.

If you would like the full shopping guide to identify the Veggies, Fruits Proteins, Healthy Carbs, and Healthy Fats please complete this form. You will also receive a weekly newsletter with the most current information from the blog.

Put it into action NOW and join the 30 Day Weight Loss Challenge!

Plus, check out additional resources for Planning Healthier Meals with this MEGA BUNDLE!

Healthy Meal Plan

Are you excited? Tell me what you think about becoming a healthier you!

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39 COMMENTS

  1. Since I have been blogging exercise has gone out the window and so has my stomach as I slowly pack the pounds. lol I will have to join the challenge next paycheck. Sounds like a great way to get motivated.

  2. I loved that you started with thinking positive thoughts. If you’re mind isn’t in it, it makes it much more difficult to succeed in your goals. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Great post! I think you could even add non-scale victories. I recently started working out about 5 days a week as well as shifted my eating habits. And while I don’t know if I’m losing weight or not, I definitely feel stronger and on my way!

  4. Great suggestions. I love that you don’t use the word diet. For long term health and wellbeing it’s a lifestyle. Nothing has changed my life as much as shifting my health lifestyle has. I’m healthy…and happy.

  5. Water is so, so important. I don’t know why it’s the one thing I find hardest to do. My complementary medicine doctor at the Mayo Clinic would add a couple things to the list that are backed by science: social support network and a mind/body practice like yoga, tai chi, meditation, etc. Great tips!

  6. Excellent tips for leading a healthier lifestyle! I make about a gallon of fresh juice for the day that we split for breakfast and lunch. Thanks for the extra ideas 🙂

  7. Great post! Working very hard to drink more water throughout the day. My downfall is potatoes….I love potatoes! Otherwise, it’s a slow and steady process over here. Thanks for the breakdown ~ the layout is perfect!

  8. Great tips! 3 years ago I decided I wanted to get in the best shape of my life. It was the best decision I’ve ever made. Eating healthy just comes naturally now and the gym is like my second home. I love it!!

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