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Maintaining your weight - advice from an expert

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10 Weight Loss and Management Tips

by: Sarah Klein, Owner of Whole Health Lab

The following tips are designed to help you shed some pounds or maintain your current healthy weight. Pick one or two, try them this week and let me know how they go in the comments below. If you're feeling successful, add one or two more the following week. Start with small changes and work to turn those into habits that last. Remember it takes seven days for new neurological pathways to develop thus it takes at least seven days to create a new habit.

1. Listen for Cause and Effect

 
Find what works for YOU. As Joshua Rosenthal from The Institute of Integrated Nutrition always says, "One person's food, is another person's poison." Ever wonder why there are so many dietary theories and fads?  Well what works for one person, does not always work for the other. It is your role to notice how food makes you feel! Not only in the moment of consumption, but an hour, two hours and even as long as the day after. How is your energy, your mood (food and mood are linked!), your poop (yes, turn around and look)? Is your skin get affected by your diet? How does what you eat affect your work-out? Turn up the volume on your inner ear. Your body is very smart, so slow down and listen to the many cues it gives.  

2. Eat Breakfast

 
A cup of coffee is not a breakfast -- it might cut your hunger but it gives you no real fuel. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Let it start you off on the right foot -- a healthy breakfast leads to a healthy day. Breakfast turns on your metabolism and sets the tone for the day. Have busy mornings? Make a hard boiled egg the night before, pack your blender for your green smoothie and keep it in the fridge or grab some fruit. When figuring out what style of breakfast is right for you, refer to tip #1.

3. More Tea, Less Coffee

 
Herbal and green tea's carry many health benefits and can help you kick your sugar cravings. These teas are full of antioxidants and some studies suggest, may reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. Why? Tea may help smooth your arteries and decrease the risk of blood clots formed from cholesterol. Tea has also been shown to boost your immune system. Next time you have a sweet craving, brew up some tea and see how it impacts your craving. Adding tea into your day can make for a delicious ritual.

4. Fill Your Plate...

 
...with veggies! Veggies should cover half your plate at least one meal a day. Steamed, sautéed, blended, raw -- whatever floats your boat. Try to eat a rainbow of colors -- a different color often represent a different blend of vitamins and minerals. Also, fill your plate at meals. When you sit down for a meal, don't pull the "diet" card and eat like a bird (you will be hungry an hour or two later and thus more likely to make bad decisions). Don't play the game of limiting yourself. Prepare and choose healthy and delicious meals and fill up. 

5. When Craving Sweets, Eat Sour 

 
My sweet cravings tend to come around 3pm, so I prepare for them by keeping healthy sours close. When you feel those cravings coming on, grab a healthy sour such as: sauerkraut, kombucha, plain greek yogurt, apple cider vinegar, water with lemon, fermented/pickled veggies, dandelion tea. Not only will these options help with your sugar cravings but they are great for your digestive system and feed the good flora in your gut.

6. 'Move It' For Enjoyment, Not Weight Loss

 
Don't look at your work-out routine as another thing you have to do. When we fall into this pattern our exercise gets put on the 'to-do' list. Our to-do lists are long enough. Find movement you LOVE and look forward to. Pair up with a friend for support and accountability. Let your movement be your hobby not your chore. 

7. Drink More Water

 
Yup, you have heard this one before. Do you get an honest 9-13 cups (2 - 3 liters) a day? How much water you need differs according to where you live, your gender and your activity level. Regardless -- drink more water. Start your day with a big glass, have a cup when you feel a sugar craving coming on and drink water while you are cooking. Our brain mixes up hunger for thirst. Drink more water and you will naturally eat less. My personal trick-- I have a 32oz water bottle, I make sure I fill and drink 3 each day.

8. Stress Less & Breathe More

 
Stress can have a huge impact on our weight, health and happiness. When our body is in 'fight or flight' mode (sympathetic nervous system) it doesn't burn fat, it burns sugar. If you burn up your sugar, the body will ask for more in order to prepare for the next emergency. This is a great system from an evolutionary stand point, but we need to use it the right way. Make time to breathe consciously, slow down and turn on your parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest). When you breath with your low belly, you automatically turn on your rest and digest response. Make it a habit -- every time you hit a red light, belly breathe. Set an alarm on your phone to 'stop, drop and belly breathe'. Start small and build up -- creating a daily meditation practice can not only change your weight but truly change how happy you are. 

9. Stay Close to the Source 

Clean eating = eating less processed foods and more whole foods (real foods). When you are eating something ask yourself, "Is this the way this food occurs naturally or has it been heavily processed?" Read the ingredient list on packaged foods, if you can't picture or pronounce the ingredient, you've probably wandered too far from the source. Every step food takes, from coming out of the ground to being served on your plate, is a step of processing. Stay as close to the source as possible and eat clean. 

10. Alert: Portion Control 

When looking to lose pounds or maintain your current weight, portion control is critical. The signal that you are full can go off after you have already over eaten. Slow down, chew, chew, chew and savor your food. Enjoy the process of eating, your company, and your food's aromas and appearance. Pre-plating your meals rather than 'family style' can decrease the amount you eat by 20%! Know your portion sizes -- a serving of protein = a deck of cards. A snack of nuts is four dice. A meal of pasta, rice, veggies or fruit is the size of a baseball. A serving of cooking oil, mayonnaise, butter and sugar is the size of a quarter. 
** NOTE the 90/10 rule. 90% of the time do your best to treat your body and mind well. 10% of the time indulge. Life is not about being perfect. Remember that guilt is not a vitamin. When you are indulging, enjoy and keep guilt out of your food. **

Are you already using some of these tips & tricks? How do they work for you? Do you have any suggestions that did not make this list?
If you try out any of these suggestions, let me know about it in the comments --
I would love to hear them and learn from you.
Don't want to share publicly? Email me privately at WholeHealthLab@gmail.com

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