How to change your body and increase vitality
There’s no fast-acting trick to help you lose weight.
There’s no magical diet or workout trend that will help you get the body you want. Buzzworthy fitness plans might help you to lose some weight quickly, but those are short-term fixes at best. You won’t keep it off in the long run.
Achieving peak physical fitness is the result of adhering to a sensible diet and exercise routine – that is, lasting weight loss occurs when you change your lifestyle. Adapting your life to better fit your health and fitness needs takes time, but once you commit to these healthy weight loss tips, you’ll lose weight and feel more energetic.
1. Redefine the way you think about food
There are so many reasons to eat. You eat because you enjoy the taste of food. You eat out of boredom. You eat during social events. But what if you shifted your mindset to view food for what it is – fuel for your body? If you view food as a healing source of nutrition, instead of a way to pass time, you’ll begin to only eat when you really need to.
2. Change your story
Everyone has a past. Yours might involve being shamed for your weight, emotional eating or failed diets that have led you to associate food with feelings of guilt. The best weight loss help comes from within, so instead of letting your past control you, learn how to use it to your advantage. Change your story and use your past to empower yourself, not hold yourself back.
3. Don’t punish yourself
If you eat late at night or enjoy an indulgent meal once in a while, don’t punish yourself for it. Instead, as Tony says, “Identify your problems but give your power and energy to solutions.” Acknowledge the mistake and make a plan to do better tomorrow. There’s no point in holding in feelings of shame and self-hatred – and it can even be harmful to your goals. Instead of dwelling on what you did wrong, find something that you appreciate about your body. When you have an attitude of gratitude and love your body for what it can do, you’re more likely to stick to healthy habits.
4. Educate yourself
There’s a lot of misinformation out there when it comes to weight loss ideas. From fad diets to over-exercising, your options can seem overwhelming. But look beneath the big claims these companies make and ask yourself: Will this help me change my lifestyle? Will it provide weight loss help and support in the long run? The only truly lasting weight loss comes from making long-term, sustainable changes in your diet and exercise habits.
5. Be mindful
Increasing our mindfulness about what we put into our bodies is one of the most essential weight loss tips. Next time you find yourself reaching for a quick – and unhealthy – option, ask yourself: Does my body really need this? What else could I eat? Be mindful during meals, too. Eat slowly, and pause for conversation to give your body’s satiation signals a chance to catch up. When you’re full, notice the signal and stop eating.
When you’re stressed out, you’re not only harming your mind; you’re potentially causing your body to hold on to things it doesn’t need. Your lymphatic system is responsible for transporting fluids throughout the body and regulating your immune system. Unlike your heart, your lymphatic system doesn’t have a natural means of pumping itself – but physical activity can stimulate it.
Ensure you’re lymphasizing by not only exercising but regulating your breath. Strive to take 10 power breaths three times throughout the day, every day. Inhale for eight seconds, hold the breath for 30 seconds and then exhale purposefully for 16 seconds. Research shows that this can stimulate your lymphatic system and ultimately help your body to release harmful fluids that contain bacteria, waste, and toxins. Losing these fluids can help your weight loss efforts.
Good breathing also benefits the mind. It ensures that you’re properly oxygenated, which allows for a more relaxed mental state. Proper relaxation leads to a more energized body that can fight fatigue and pain – a body that will lose weight faster. Cutting down on stress also reduces emotional eating and negative feelings that go along with it. Try starting your morning with priming exercises or mindfulness meditation to put yourself in the right mindset for the day.
8. Meal prep
Meal prep means planning out what you will eat during the week and portion it all out into one-meal containers that are easy to take on the go. And it’s one of the best weight loss ideas – because you can’t grab something healthy to eat if you don’t have anything in the house. Set yourself up for success by stocking up on healthy foods each week and following a meal prep calendar. Your body will thank you.
9. Cut out processed fats
Many foods in the American diet are loaded with processed fats. If you’re purchasing pre-made food, avoid items that contain too much saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and trans fatty acids in their nutritional information. Regularly consuming foods high in processed fats can result in high blood pressure, decreased digestive system functionalities and a build-up of toxicity in the body.
10. Reduce animal products
You don’t have to stop eating animal products altogether, but take a look at how much of your diet is currently animal–based. It’s proven that a diet high in animal meat can lead to chronic illnesses like cancer, diabetes or heart disease. Search for ways to get protein from other sources such as plants, nuts and legumes. Try to eat meat just once a day, and when you do, look for an organic, antibiotic-free source.
11. Replace dairy products
Consuming too many dairy products can negatively impact your body. In fact, studies show that dairy products can ultimately lead to issues like cancer, kidney problems, and osteoporosis. Less seriously, too many dairy products can be bad for the skin and cause respiratory issues. Swap out your milk and cheese for alternatives like soy, coconut or almond-based products.
12. Avoid acidic foods
Many of us follow diets that are too acidic, which can ultimately affect the body’s delicate pH balance. Your blood needs to maintain a specific pH balance to deliver the right amount of oxygen throughout the body. A diet full of acidic foods leads to fatigue, inflammation and weight gain, among other issues.
Highly acidic foods include items like meat, alcohol, refined carbohydrates and caffeine and dairy products. Fruits and vegetables are high in alkalinity and easy to incorporate into your diet. You can also implement green supplements into your daily routine for a quick boost that benefits your body. Eliminating or reducing your intake of these ingredients will help your body function properly.
13. Increase alkaline foods
Your body needs alkaline foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds to maintain its well-being – at least three-quarters of the food you eat should be alkaline in nature. Chard, arugula, spinach and other leafy greens are low in calories, filling and deliver nutrients like folate, nitrites and vitamin K. Alkaline fruits like papaya, cantaloupe and blueberries are loaded with antioxidants, which help prevent cell damage.
14. Learn about good fats
It’s natural to think you should cut out fats if you want to lose weight. Don’t fall into this trap. Your body needs healthy fat to build muscle and connective tissue, as well as absorb nutrients. Healthy fat also helps you produce and retain the energy you’ll need to continue losing weight. Avocado, olive oil and many nuts and seeds like chia and flax contain the good fats your body requires to function optimally.
15. Drink more water
The human body is mostly water – up to 60 percent – and it needs to be constantly replenished. Keep your body ultra-nourished by drinking water throughout the day, as well as consuming foods with high water content. Celery, watermelon, and spinach, among others, are largely comprised of water. Water will also make you feel fuller, so that you eat less during meals and feel more satiated. One study found that drinking half a liter of water before meals led to eating fewer calories and losing more weight. It’s an easy, effective weight loss idea.
16. Adopt a sustainable fitness routine
One of the weight loss tips that many people overlook is that you need both an effective diet and workout plan to create long-term results. If you’re just starting out on your road to losing weight, you might be tempted to join an intense workout class or jump into a stringent routine that has you working out for hours on end. You might feel pumped up and invigorated when you begin, but you’ll quickly burn out. This is not sustainable. Find an activity you actually enjoy doing, and working out won’t feel like work. If you’ve been stationary for a long time, start with 30-minute routines once or twice a week and build up to more intensity over time.
17. Always find a way to work out
Getting out and engaging in physical activity is always the first choice, but in the event that you can’t, don’t let yourself off the hook completely. You can even engage in a basic workout during a long day at work. There are plenty of exercises you can perform at your desk. These exercises, while simple, allow you to strengthen your core, build endurance and raise your heart rate, all without leaving your desk.
18. Make it enjoyable
You don’t have to do this alone. Exercising with friends or with your favorite music or podcast make working out a fun pastime. By engaging in a physical activity that you actually enjoy, and giving yourself time off when you need to, you’ll be able to develop a routine that you can sustain in the long run.
With our weight loss tips and the right tools, you’re ready to discover your peak state. “The only impossible journey is the one you never begin,” says Tony, so get started today.