Beware Quick Fix Diets
We get it… you want to cleanse and feel better NOW.
Bad news: real weight loss takes time. Your body didn’t become fat and out of shape overnight, so don’t fall for quick-fix diet plans.
Good news: every effort you make is moving you in the right direction.
If your goal is to only look great in that wedding coming up next weekend, go for it. But if you’re ready to look and feel great for the rest of your life, it’s best to integrate lifestyle and mindset changes into your way of life.
I’ve pulled some ideas from Fitness Magazine and added our twist to it:
Don’t Skip Meals
“Skipping meals may seem productive as a weight-loss solution, but in reality it is a major cause of weight gain,” says Beller. She warns that doing so will slow down your metabolism and make you firmly believe the world “owes you food.” The result? You’ll end up consuming way more calories than you would have if you weren’t so famished in the first place. Make regular eating a habit by keeping your fridge and pantry stocked with healthy fixings like yogurt, peanut butter, and whole wheat bread or wraps for quick and easy meals.
Editor’s Note: There are new studies that reveal there is benefit to skipping meals, known as “intermittent fasting”. So experiment with your body and find what works for you. We’ve provided resources on this at the end of this article on this topic.
Don’t Skimp on Sleep
Although good sleep hygiene is as important as regular exercise and a healthy diet, it often gets shorted in our hyper-driven society. Poor sleep is a big cause of ill health in our culture, according to Daphne Miller, MD, family physician and author of The Jungle Effect: A Doctor Discovers the Healthiest Diets from Around the World — Why They Work and How to Bring Them Home. Her advice? “Consider a sleep reboot where you eliminate caffeine and alcohol, have a regular bedtime, avoid late meals, and ban TV, computer, and smartphone screens for at least two hours before bedtime.”
Best Fit Life Tip: Take a good book to bed around nine, along with a calming herbal tea, such as chamomile, or Sleepy Time Tea. and you should be asleep by 10.
“Let Food be Thy Medicine” (Hippocrates)
Go back to basics when it comes to getting your vitamins. “Too often I have first-time patients come into my office and line my desk with supplements. The problem is that they take supplements instead of protecting their bodies with whole foods,” says Beller. Instead of blowing your money on expensive vitamins and other miracle drugs, build your meals using a colorful range of antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits. “Research has shown us that the absorption of antioxidants from foods is by far superior to what we get in supplement form,” Beller notes. Any vitamins you take should be considered extra insurance.
The problem is that they take supplements instead of protecting their bodies with whole foods,” says Beller.
Do Build a Fitness Lifestyle
Starting an exercise routine can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t really love to sweat, or you’re too busy dealing with everything else in your life. Miller says you’ll have a lot more success slotting movement into your current lifestyle rather than trying to totally reformat your day-to-day to accommodate exercise. “Exercise can work like a savings account — make little deposits throughout the day. Get creative: Take the stairs, do five-minute power yoga sessions (even in your work clothes), do squats while you’re talking on the phone, park a half-mile away from your destination and then walk, or better yet, don’t drive at all,” suggests Miller.
Best Fit Life TIP: Realize that every step you take toward a healthier life, matters.
Rethink Fast Food
If you find yourself stuck in a fast-food situation, don’t cave to the classic combos — think fresh, not fried. “Get a double salad with grilled chicken and low-fat balsamic dressing on the side, and skip the calorie-dense add-ons,” says Beller. Eating fast food isn’t always cheaper, warns Beller. “Take the time to look around for real food, and you’ll find lots of cheap ways to eat well on the run.”
Best Fit Life TIP: You can make a simple salad in 15 minutes. Buy prepared roasted chicken or add boiled eggs, and you have a healthy “fast food” meal.
Time to Turn These Habits Around!
A minor tweaking of lifestyle, and you will be well on your way to major health improvements. In the end, healthy habits, such as preparing healthy foods at home, takes less time than waiting in line for foods that fill you up—and out–while starving your of nutritious.
Exercise, brisk walking and taking the stairs energizes your body, so in the end the “short cuts” or “easy way” it the hard way.
Go for change. You will impress yourself.
BOOKS & GUIDES:
10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse, by JJ Smith
Eat, Stop Eat, by Brad Pilon, MS
The FastDiet – Revised & Updated: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, and Live Longer, by Michael Mosley
The Jungle Effect: Healthiest Diets from Around the World, by Miller Daphne, MD
Fast Food, Good Food: More Than 150 Quick and Easy Ways to Put Healthy, Delicious Food on the Table, Andrew Weil MD