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Winter Weight Loss
As our bodies move from Winter into Spring we can begin to really feel the need to "shed the winter weight". Whether we actually have weight to lose or not, this is an excellent time of year to give attention to our body's need to feel lighter. Every body is different and, as I always say, therefore not one way of eating serves everyone, but here are three general steps to physically prepare the body to move into spring.
Weight Loss - Physical Preparation
1. Drink 8-10 glasses of water each day
For those of you who find this difficult because of a dislike for the taste or a schedule that doesn't allow you to be going to the bathroom consistently just keep this in mind: your body wants to let go of any excess weight and toxins that it has been holding over the winter, but it needs help. Just like a plant needs water to grow, so do you. Once you get started, you will begin to crave water. This is how much your body actually needs it.
To start your day, drink a glass of water before you eat. This is probably the easiest glass you will drink all day. Have it right next to your bed if your need to and drink it first thing when you get up; it will help you to remember to drink water all day long. Hey, you could even drink two!
If you really have trouble with taste of water, try using a water purifying pitcher or filter. You can also add a slice of lemon or lime to your water (or even experiment with other fruit such as oranges, cucumbers - but no sugar or sweetener!)
Eat breakfast. Go to bed earlier so that you can get up 20 minutes earlier each morning - do it. Breakfast is important to your health and to weight control. According to Dr. Barbara Rolls a professor of nutrition at Penn State University, "Your metabolism slows while you sleep, and it doesn't rev back up until you eat again."
Think about easy, high quality choices for the start of your day. You can always keep a couple of hard-boiled eggs in the fridge, a non-sugar yogurt or some high-fiber, low starch fruit around. (If you plan to eat fruit at all during the day, breakfast is the perfect time to do it. It cleanses the body.)
3. Eat at least 3 meals and snacks each day
I know, we are all busy.
Just like eating breakfast will increase your metabolism, so will eating high quality food, more often. (This will also help you curb your simple-carb cravings by taking care to ensure that your snacks are planned and occur regularly throughout the day.)
It does take planning, time at the grocery store and time each morning to make some healthy food choices and prepare a few healthy snacks and meals, but your body will thank you for it.
Just as we must make physical preparations for weight loss, we must take care to mentally prepare as well. There cannot be success in weight management (or anything else for that matter) if the body is doing one thing, but the mind is thinking another.
Weight Loss - Mental Preparation
Are you taking care of yourself? What is self-care? Self-care is proper relaxation, body movement, maintaining a healthy diet, having fun doing activities you enjoy and spending time with people you love to be with. When you take good care of yourself you feel good, you look better, you enjoy life and are fully present to your whole day - everyday.
Self-care is different than being self-indulgent. It is about balance. Here are some mental preparation tips:
1. Plan something pleasurable for yourself every day (I don't mean a chai latte). Make time for at least one relaxing activity. Set aside 15 - 20 minutes at the least to spend with yourself: read, mediate, take a walk in nature, get a massage or whatever pleases you.
2. Take time to cultivate relationships. Studies show that having friends and a social network helps reduce stress. Friends offer us opportunities to talk about our feelings and they provide us with feedback. At the same time, don't get involved with trying to solve other peoples' problems. Be supportive and listen, but don't overburden yourself. You are you; they are them.
3. Unplug. Take a day with no radio, TV, cellphone, computer or other electronic equipment. This mental respite will soar your energy and as a result, bump that metabolism.
Heather Dominick is a Holistic Nutrition Counselor accredited by theAmerican Association of Drugless Practitioners and creator of The Energy Rich Lifestyle Program?. In addition to her nutrition services, Heather is a motivating and dynamic speaker, and Founder of Individual Health, based in NYC.
To receive bi-monthly Nutrition and Lifestyle Tips you can (a) subscribe to her free e-Newsletter at http://www.individual-health.net or (b)register for a free teleclass at http:http://www.individual-health.net/events
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