Monday, January 9, 2012
New Year's Resolution
2. DRINK MORE WATER!!! Water is your body's most essential nutrient, is involved in every bodily function, and makes up 70- 75% of your total body weight. Water helps maintain body temperature, metabolize body fat, aid in digestion, lubricate and cushion organs, transport nutrients, and flush toxins from your body. What if I told you that being dehydrated actually promotes the increase of body fat? Without water, extra amounts of glucose (a type of sugar) remain in the bloodstream until reaching the liver, the extra glucose is stored as fat. Your body takes water from inside cells in an effort to compensate for a dehydrated state, including fat cells. Less water in your fat cells means less mobilization of fat for energy. Your water intake is dependent on your size, age, weight, and daily activity, but should range from 6-8 glasses, or 42-64 ounces. Dressing up your water can make it more enjoyable. NO that does not include adding Kool-Aid powder or even Cristal Lite. These add calories, sugar, and other chemicals your body doesn't need. But you can add things like a fresh slice of lemon or lime (or add about a tablespoon of real lemon juice to a nalgene bottle of water). Cucumber slices or fresh blueberries also add a nice flavor while also adding vitamins and minerals your body actually needs.
3. Chew your food more. Really? You don't say. Trust me. This was part of my therapy background. According to research (trust me, I researched this topic a lot at the children's hospital), we should be chewing out food 15-20 times PER BITE. Next time you're eating, see how many times you actually chew your food. Do you crunch it 3 or 4 times and swallow? This actually makes more work for your stomach. It slows digestion and increases the time your food is in your stomach. It also affects absorption of nutrients in your gut. Your teeth start breaking down food in the mouth and it must mix with your saliva. Why? Chewing increases the surface area of foods to allows the enzymes in your saliva to break down the carbohydrates, starch, and fat at the molecular level in the food is still in your mouth. Mixing your food with saliva is also the only way you can taste your food. So next time you take a bite of food, chew it more. Savor it. Enjoy the flavor.
It also takes approximately 15-20 minutes for the nerves in your stomach to tell your brain that you are full. If you wolf down your food, you can fill your stomach to more than it really needs before the stomach tells your brain you are full. In contrast, if you eat slowly and chew your food more, your stomach has time to tell your brain it is full when it should.
5. Exercise in unusual ways. Take the stairs (SHOCK) no matter how many. Walk. Do some abs in the shower. Garden. Stretch. Some areas are more conducive to exercise, like metropolitan areas and cities. But this doesn't give an excuse. Need to lift some weights? Grab 8-16 ounce cans of food from the pantry. Work up to gallons of milk. Fill plastic bags with sand or rocks. Make your own weights. YouTube is full of mini exercise clips. Join a gym. Find a walking partner. Get moving. Watch The Biggest Loser for inspiration, motivation, tips and tricks.
6. Figure out why you're over eating and not exercising and make a mental make-over. Do you eat when you're bored? Tired? Stressed? I used to eat when I was bored. When I lived alone, especially at night, I would sit and watch TV and eat whatever munchies I had (or bake a batch of cookies). I decided enough was enough! I joined the gym and every time I started to feel the urge to just sit around or catch myself heading to the kitchen, I would hop in the car and head to the gym. Even if I didn't work out, but just sat in the hot tub or the steam room at least I was out of my house where the temptation sat staring me in the face. Plus the extra motivation of seeing skinny people getting buff helped me stay the course (the beautiful young lads pumping iron wasn't bad motivation, either........) Is stress a culprit? Stress wrecks HAVOC on the body. Some times just taking a 10 minute walk to burn off that nervousness can make an amazing change in mood and help bring focus back to the situation. Plus it's like 10 minutes. You can do anything for 10 minutes and it's really not going to impact your schedule. I mean, you probably spent more than 10 minutes procrastination on facebook to escape facing the situation anyway, you could have burned 100 calories in that time!! If you can't figure out why you over eat or don't want to exercise, working with a personal trainer or counselor can really help.
8. Don't beat yourself up if you slip. Allow for little pleasures but don't use it as an excuse to over indulge. If you're doing really well on your new life style change and the holidays roll around and Aunty JoJo made you your favorite triple chocolate caramel calorie bomb and you ate it ALL and have now gained like a million and a half pounds, don't give up! Just get right back on to your life style. If you're following it regularly that extra bulge should disappear in a few weeks.