These are 5 things that most of us overlook when trying to losing weight, simply because we are unaware that these factors can affect weight gain or weight loss.
The truth is that most everything that effects our systems will have some type of impact or other on us, be it in the form of weight gain or loss, or otherwise. Most times of course we won’t put two and two together until it is pointed out to us.
The first thing that you need to understand however, is that the list of external factors which can effect your weight loss or weight gain, is far longer than what I have mentioned here.
I have merely given you a sampling of some of the most common factors which tends to affect us. When you take things on a personal level, you will find that there are also probably various other factors which you should take into account.
These are also factors which can affect you without your knowledge and therefore are more easily dismissed. Go through them, see if they have a place in your life, and then try to do something about it.
1. Get the proper amount of sleep
2. Ditch the stress
3. Stay away from sugars
4. Eat more fiber-enriched foods
5. Do not starve yourself or otherwise skip meals
1. Get the proper amount of sleep
Alright, so if you only just had a baby, or have one- or two-year old baby then sleep is probably a luxury that you can only dream about. But for the rest of you who don’t have a good excuse, there is simply no reason why you can’t get a decent amount of sleep every night.
Sleep depravation can lead some people to eat more than they normally would. Since I am not a doctor or anything else along those lines, I can only speculate that this is because your body is crying out for some fuel to keep it awake!
Losing sleep once in a while is all well and good, but if it happens on a regular basis, there is a good chance that your body will react to this in some way or other. And this, is what could affect your weight, so get a good night’s sleep, every night.
2. Ditch the stress
Stress is bad for you whatever way that you look at it, so it should really come as no surprise to find out that stress can also affect your weight, and how you gain or lose it.
I realize that you lead quite a busy life, but you should try and find time for yourself in the hectic rush for yourself to do what you want. You might even find that little ball of stress which you’ve been carrying around with you since forever, along with some stress-induced eating habits, melts away.
If however, finding some me-time is not possible in your schedule, and let’s face facts, most of us don’t have that luxury, you should really try to find someway or other of ditching the stress you are carrying around.
If all fails you might want to try relaxation tapes, or maybe even a bit of armchair meditation, to get your life back into balance and to lose the stress.
It should also be noted, (although you probably know this already), that stress can also lead to sleeping problems, which again can be an adverse factor for weight gain as I mentioned earlier.
3. Naturally sugary
For those of you who are hog-tied to your sweet tooth and its sugary ways, you will be glad to hear that there are some sugars which are actually good for you and which you don’t need to cut out from your diet.
I should perhaps mention here that although these sugars are perfectly alright for you to have, too much of a good thing is definitely bad for you, so learn to moderate even with these types of sugars.
The sugars which I am talking about are those sugars which occur naturally in your food.
I’m not talking about the refined and over processed sugars which are to be found in most foods these days, but those sugars which can be found in the likes of fruits and even some vegetables.
These sugars are good for you, and as long as you don’t overdo these as well, you will find that it is quite easy to mollify your sweet tooth to some degree.
So, alright, there is simply no proper substitute for a good bar of chocolate, but if you want to lose weight, then the very last thing that you want to do is to give in your sweet tooth and grab the nearest sugar-rich snack you can find.
You need to stay away from the added sugars in foods, especially the refined and processed varieties as far as possible. They are not good for you, and indeed they can be very bad for you if you don’t watch what you are eating.
My solution to this problem then, of reaching for the nearest package of sugar-rich snack, is to reach for the nearest fresh fruit that I can find.
Speaking for myself this isn’t such a hardship as I like fruits, but for those of you who can look at a fruit and only see it as part of a refined food, you might want to look at natural alternatives you can use such as fresh fruit juices instead.
Nutrition bars aren’t necessarily your friend
Something that is very closely associated with your snacking tendencies or even your on-the-go “nutritious” meals consisting of nutrition bars, is the amount of sugar and fibers which are to be found in these.
For one thing, most nutrition bars are simply bad foods in disguise. They appeal to our sense of having to eat right, being able to eat when we are constantly on the go, and our desires for eating something sweet which is also nutritious.
The problem with this, is that most of this is just marketing hype. Most of the nutrition bars are no more nutritious for you than eating a carrot fried in oil, coated in a thick layer of chocolate, then coated with a sprinkling of nuts, and then dusted with a light layer of icing sugar!
Where, in that rather disgusting-sounding snack, do you think all the nutrition is? Sure you have a carrot as your base “good” food, but after you deep-fat fry it, then do all the other things to it, you can be assured that it is far worse for you, than you might think.
And this is exactly what I am talking about in relation to nutrition bars. You need only take a second or two to read the list of ingredients to see what I am talking about
You will find that sugar, in its many forms and variations, is more or less listed at the beginning of the ingredients list.
And for those of you who are unaware of this fact, (I know I was clueless about this for quite some time), ingredients are supposed to be listed in descending order, or in other words, the largest ingredient quantity used is listed first going down to the smallest ingredient quantity used.
So take note ladies, nutrition bars are not good for you, especially on a regular basis, and they are not a good meal substitute. There are better things you can eat than nutrition bars when you are rushed to have a good meal.
4. Eating more fiber
The problem of eating a well balanced meal when you are always on the go, or too busy to sit down and have a good meal, is the fact that you aren’t always able to have a good meal.
Sometimes eating any type of meal, let alone a well balanced meal, can be a luxury, and this can make for some bad times for your waste line if you’re not careful.
However, there are ways for you to cut down and chop out some of the bad eating habits which you have accumulated throughout a lifetime, and one of these is to include lots of fiber into your meals.
Fiber-filled foods are known to be part of a well balanced meal, not to mention the fact that they also act more like a slow-release nutrition system than anything else.
If that confused you, don’t worry. All it means is that fiber enriched foods help to make your blood sugar levels rise at a slower rate, which has the effect of constraining your food cravings.
Mostly, it is when your blood sugar levels drop that you find yourself reaching out for that bag of cookies you have stashed away.
To counteract this, if you have a fiber enriched meal such as oatmeal, lentils, or whole grain cereals, you will find that your cravings for snacks at odd hours between meals have lessened.
This is the best way I have found yet of beating hunger cravings, and is the reason why I sometimes eat oatmeal in the middle of the afternoon if I get snack cravings.
That’s right, you can even use these types of fiber enriched foods to help you deal with food cravings.
Like I said earlier, not everyone has the time to eat a well balanced meal and at those times when you find yourself skipping a meal, you will probably get the urge to snack on something before you can get to your next meal.
This is a good way as any to deal with these cravings and if you can stomach the thought of something such as oatmeal for a mid-afternoon snack, you will find that you have the ability to survive until the next meal time.
And just to get you started on what I believe to be a very good method to curbing your cravings, I have listed below a few of the foods which you can have that are fiber filled.
There will be many more such fiber enriched foods which you can get your hands on, but these are good for you to get an idea of what you can look at introducing into your diet.
Just remember to make sure that it is something that you can eat or cook easily and that it is something which won’t interfere or take you too out your normal routine.
• Lentils – such as lentil soup
• Whole grains
• Whole grain cereals – such as oatmeal, or muesli
5. Starvation is not the key
Most of us have probably at one time or other skipped a meal or two. It’s when we do this on a regular basis however, that the problems can begin.
Before you go any further down the road to weight loss, you might want to take this into account along with the other four items which I have already mentioned.
Starvation, in any form or manner, be it for one meal everyday, or eating only enough to keep a grasshopper alive, is not the way for you to lose weight.
More than likely you will get side effects from your skipping or reduced meals, which you won’t even notice until it’s too late and you have unknowingly gained weight instead of losing it.
The way that I see it, since food, along with water are the two main things that are keeping us alive, our bodies have evolved over the centuries to accommodate this fact.
And this means that if you starve yourself or even regularly skip meals, you body might think that food is scarce, and start to store up fat reserves. You can see where this is all leading, right?
Where you might have thought that you were doing the right thing to lose weight, you were really aiding and abetting your body to shore upon its fat reserves.
And as I mention later on, the same thing applies to water as well. If you don’t get enough water into your system, your body will retain water against a time that it will need it, which in turn will make you bloated.
If you simply don’t have the time to eat a good hearty breakfast before you begin your day, you might want to look at substituting a nutritious energy drink, or even taking your breakfast along with you on your rounds.
The same applies to the other two main meals that you take throughout the day. If you don’t have the time to sit down and eat in an orderly fashion, don’t resort to a candy bar and a soda. Go with something healthier, like a fruit or a sandwich (hold the mayo).
As I keep saying, it is alright to miss one or two meals along the way, but to consistently miss out meals, or to constantly eat only enough to keep a grasshopper alive, is asking for trouble.
Breakfast is key
I know you have heard this before – probably many, many times – but I thought I might add to that number and tell you what you already know, but which you are probably too rushed to heed in the mornings. Breakfast is probably the most important meal of the day.
Without the energy giving food that you get in the morning, you will most definitely start to lag sooner or later. And for those of you who have gone without breakfast for most of their adult lives and see no adverse reactions to this particular habit, you probably just haven’t noticed them.
As I mentioned, if you find yourself rushed for time there are still a number of methods which you can utilize to get a good breakfast into you before you start your day proper.
These along with a few good ideas on how you can easily and simply change your life around to encompass your new dietary habits can be found in the ending section of the book, “What you can do to begin with”.
One of these ideas is for you to consider packing yourself a breakfast the night before. In this way you save yourself the time in the morning of preparing your breakfast, and if you really need to, you can take it on the road with you.
Regular exercise always helps
There is no substitute for a healthy diet and a good exercise regime. If you can find the time to do so, draw up a schedule so that you can fit in a regular course of exercise into your normally busy routine.
It doesn’t even matter if this is the very first, or only, thing that you do to begin with to lose weight. Since we all need to start from somewhere, beginning with a regular exercise routine is as good a place as any.
Here again, although being ambitious in your goals is an admirable trait, remember to keep things small, simple and manageable. Don’t go off the deep end and think up a really good exercise schedule which eats into all of your spare time and then some.
Start slowly, take things one at a time, and build up to that really good exercise routine. You need to have the time to make it a regular thing, and not a just one-off thing that you do for a few days and then ditch.
In this way, by taking things slowly, you will be able to incorporate regular exercise into your busy schedule over time. This in turn will ensure that you do actually stick to your schedule rather than not.
There are a number of things that you can do to begin an exercise routine, and I have to say that plain old walking is the best and easiest thing to begin with.
Or if you don’t like that idea, you can always try other simple exercises such as ab-crunches, wall-push-ups, or you might even want to consider joining a yoga class.
You have a number of options open to you when looking at doing exercises, and you should choose the one that is best suited for you and or your lifestyle.
Walking is good
If you don’t like the thought of regular exercise, you always have the option of going for a walk. Although this does get you moving and out and about, for some reason walking doesn’t seem like exercise, which can make it easier for you to stick with it.
Find a time of day in which you would like to go for a walk, or simply take a walk around the block when you’re feeling stressed or tired and clear your mind.
And if none of these are an option for you, you always have the option of making reasons for you to walk. For more on this subject go to the section entitled, “Walk”, near the end of the book.
Set your goals
I have found this to be great incentive for just about everyone who is trying to lose weight. You need to first set yourself a goal, a weight loss target that you can easily meet.
So if you want to lose something like 15 pounds, or even 35 pounds, you should set this as your end target. To make it easier for you to lose weight, you should then create smaller goals which you can reach far more easily, and faster than your end goal.
In this way you give yourself less room to become sidetracked and disheartened about what might seem like your lack of progress in losing weight and attaining your end goal.
Make these smaller targets, ones which you can easily achieve, and which will confirm for you that you really are losing weight. You will find that in this way, by breaking up your larger end-weight loss target into smaller ones, it becomes easier for you to stay on track.
After all, it’s much easier to lose two pounds than it is to lose ten pounds. So take things slowly and set goals and targets which you can achieve, and which will give you the confidence you need to forge ahead.
Give yourself a treat
Sometimes this is great incentive to help you lose weight. Giving yourself a treat or a reward for a job well done can be a great incentive to keep at it. The reward doesn’t necessarily have to be anything large or expensive, it can be anything you want, as long as it truly is a treat for you.
Some women find that buying a new pair of jeans or that lovely little dress they have been eyeing for some time, is the way to go.
This is all well and good, but remember to buy something that you can wear or use now, and not something that has to be stored away until you lose weight. This just isn’t going to work, and can even be counterproductive.
You should pick out a suitable treat for yourself, something that will give you the boost needed to keep losing weight. Remember, this is something that you are doing for yourself so that you will have more incentive to reach your next goal, and so on and so forth, until you reach your end goal.
And lastly, for those of you wanting a quick fix to your weight loss problems, you will find that you also have the option of using such things as plastic surgery to get rid of those pounds quickly, or having something along the lines of gastric bypass (or any other such) surgery to help you lose weight.
These are all options that you can take, and if you are seriously considering any of them, your best option is to talk with your doctor to consider all the ramifications of going through with them.
And although I personally do not feel these options to be the right ones for me, there are many people out there who have gone through with them, and who have found that their lives have changed for the better because of them.
What you need to do if you’re even thinking along these lines is to gather as much information as you can about these various procedures and methods and decide which is the right one for you.
One thing that you should be aware of, or rather take into consideration is what you will have to do, or go through, to maintain your weight loss after you go through with any of these procedures or treatment methods.
For myself at least, I feel that the risks far outweigh the benefits to be had, but then again, this is only my opinion, and everyone is entitled to have their own opinion.
In the end, it’s what you do with your ideas and your opinions that count, and you can be sure that by simply weighing your options properly, that you will be able to make a better informed decision.