The holiday season is over and now we’re all feeling a little guilty about how much we indulged during the holiday party circuit, especially since your pants are fitting a little more snuggly than they used to. So now you’ve made one of the most common New Year’s resolutions out there – you’re going to be healthy, get fit, lose the weight and maybe even run a marathon just to prove that this really is the year you’re going to follow through and make your weight loss goal. Well if you’re a stranger to eating right and regular exercise this can be an overwhelming resolution to keep, so we’re here to help you stay on the wagon all year long. That’s right, all year long – not all month long, not three months long, not six months long, ALL YEAR LONG. Remember, you want to lose the weight forever, not just send it on vacation for a couple of weeks.
For now think baby steps instead of giant leaps. Make your weight loss decisions realistic so that they fit with your regular routine. You can try to lose five pounds in a week but if you don’t have the hours (that’s right – multiple hours) to spend in an aerobic frenzy you’ll be setting yourself up for failure. You’ll end up feeling bad about not finishing what you set out to accomplish and end up quitting (again). For now make really, really simple changes that are easy to stick to. Since we’re all creatures of habit and routine, make small adjustment to yours in the weight loss direction. Add an alert in your schedule reminding you to drink a glass of water. If you love soft drinks switch to a low calorie or sugar free drink like an iced herbal tea, take a supplement that contains Glucomannan to help with weight loss and don’t feel bad about treating yourself once in awhile. We all love treats!
If it helps, think of the old story about the tortoise and hare. Slow and steady wins the weight loss race. Instead of saying “I am going to lose 20lbs by July” make your decision to be healthier overall. Instead say, “I’d like to look and feel fabulous by Christmas”.
The best thing to do if you’re serious about losing weight is to know where you’re starting from and what you’re starting with. Get all the info, how much do you weigh? What are your measurements? What is a healthy, realistic weight for your body type and age? How many calories should I be eating a day? How often and for how long should I be exercising on a weekly basis? The next time you have a doctor’s appointment ask these questions and don’t be afraid of the answers. Sometimes a little shock therapy can be just thing to get you going.
Who has not experienced 24/7 STRESS? As busy women most of us do regularly, however, we were never meant to experience CHRONIC STRESS! We are supposed to have small amounts which are both beneficial and necessary, followed by a return to a state of relaxation. Hmmm, what is that you ask?
Stress releases the hormone CORTISOL responsible for many important functions in our body:
- Glucose metabolism
- Blood pressure regulation
- Insulin release to maintain level blood sugars
- Inflammation response
When we have too much cortisol in our body for too long (that would be for most of us!) it adversely affects many important functions. The missing link for many women and PROBLEMS WITH WEIGHT LOSS IS STRESS AND CORTISOL! Here’s why:
Too much cortisol causes
- Decreased thyroid function
- Sugar imbalances
- Increased abdominal fat
- Decreased immune system function (this is another very significant finding that stress=sickness)
I see women in my practice who complain that they exist on “carrots and celery”, yet do not lose any body fat at all, ever. While a low calorie, deprivation diet is very unhealthy (e.g. lowers metabolism and deprives the body of needed nutrients) when I ask about their stress levels inevitability one of the missing pieces becomes clear. The reason for stress and weight gain? Cortisol is often the culprit!
So, what can we do to reduce our constant stress and therefore reduce our cortisol levels? Here are some useful tips – both nutritional and lifestyle:
- Walk daily – for exercise AND very therapeutic. I personally have conversations with myself
- Yoga – studies do show it definitely works to reduce stress and weight and has numerous other health benefits
- Breathe deeply, often! Simple, yet extraordinarily effective and feel effects immediately!
- Sex – YES, sex reduces stress in many ways, not the least is that in women it releases our “feel good and loving” hormone, Oxytocin. Try it and see for yourself!
- Use femMed natural supplements formulated specifically for women. In particular, I recommend Weight Management, Hormonal Balance and Menopause Relief to help reduce stress and cortisol.
- Exercise moderately 5-6 times a week. Even 30 minutes makes an enormous difference.
- 200 mcg Chromium may help reduce sugar cravings
- Carbs are not ALL bad – try eliminating all white carbs and do add in brown rice, sweet potato, whole and ancient grains, oatmeal and lots of brightly coloured vegetables. Why? Helps raise your feel good neurotransmitter – SEROTONIN. Amino acids also do this, naturally.
- Empower yourself with supportive personal development seminars and weekends, such as the upcoming Have It All Women’s Weekend, May 4-6
As women, our health must come first – without it we cannot assist our families, colleagues, friends and most of all, ourselves! Please commit to adding in just 3 of the stress reducers for the next 30 days and let us know how you feel. Fight stress and weight gain. YOU are worth it!
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