The dreaded weight issue. Almost everyone at some point in their lives will inevitably wake up one morning, put on a pair of pants, and come to one of two conclusions: Either someone has broken into your house and replaced your entire dresser drawer with size 29 pants, or it’s time to reevaluate your lifestyle. Weight gain is sneaky like that. Since we generally surround ourselves with the same people, and go about our daily routine without thinking, neither them nor you notice the gradual gain of weight…until a button flies off in the middle of dinner.
Whether you’re categorized as “overweight” or “obese,” there is no quick-fix solution to shedding those pounds. It’s a long process that could take months, if not more, depending on where you currently stand on the weight scale, and its distance from your goal. So even though everybody is different, and everybody has different goals and different amounts of weight to lose, there are a set of uniform steps and guidelines that will get you started along the path to reaching a healthy weight, and keeping it.
First and foremost, get better sleep! Sleeping is actually one of the main determining factors of our level of health, both physical and mental. In this case, I’m talking good sleep, between 6 and 8 hours a night at a cool temperature, with no, and I repeat no television playing in the background. This silence will allow you hit deeper levels of sleep faster, allowing you to fully recharge and wake up feeling great, and not groggy.
Second, formulate a regular schedule, including your sleep time. This can be difficult, because of work, kids’ schedules, etc., etc. But maintaining a routine is important in setting the ground work for your body to succeed at anything, especially weight loss. This includes eating at regular times as well…speaking of eating…create a healthy diet! Fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and fish are nutrient rich sources of energy that will fuel your workouts as well as drastically reduce the amount of saturated fats in your current diet.
Third, walk. Yes, it’s that simple, walk. Don’t just go on walks in the evening twice a week, but walk everywhere! Take the stairs, park farther away from your office, walk around your house…anything! Studies have shown that walking for just ten minutes each day will have positive effects on your metabolism, as well as help begin the process of your body’s transformation. In this case, you literally have to walk before you can run.
Now as you go along, your body will gradually acclimate to your new lifestyle, and you’ll be able to increase your workouts in order to reach your ultimate goal. But once there, you simply cannot stop and go back to shoving potato chips down the ol’ throat by the handful and expect the weight to stay off. The best way of maintaining your weight is to do the exact same thing that got you there.
Maybe keep around a pair of pants or a shirt that you used to have to wear as reminder of how far you’ve come so that you’ll never become complacent, because you must always be actively working toward your goal, whether it’s working toward it, or to keep it, always remember this: The work may seem easier, but it never ends.