Do you find it hard to find the motivation to eat healthy all the time and/or fit some exercise into your schedule? When you are trying to change a lifetime of food conditioning, when we are constantly bombarded with mixed messages and clever marketing about what is healthy and what’s not, when life is so hectic in this technological age who has time to prepare food from scratch every meal AND go to the gym?! Losing weight and getting healthy just seems too confusing, too hard, too time consuming and too far out of the comfort zone!
The extremes of my lifestyle to maintain premium health are just that; extreme! If you do nothing else but add in a few of these things to your life they will make an ENORMOUS difference to your health and weight loss goals. Just imagine losing weight without changing what you eat or doing any exercise! These are my top ten tips:
- Hydrate! I am sure this is not news to you.. our bodies need a minimum of 2 litres a day just to function effectively. And yes, drinking adequate amounts of water will not only improve your health, help you control your stress levels but is scientifically proven to assist with weight loss. Try having a big glass of water before each meal and I guarantee you will eat less. Have a big glass of water prior to your 3pm snack and see if you still snack on as much. Too often we are actually thirsty which can come disguised as hunger. Buy a jug for your desk at work and ensure it is all gone before you leave for the day. Buy a trendy water bottle and add it to your handbag accessories. This one is crucial!
- Warm lemon juice. Every day I start my day with half a lemon squeezed with a splash of warm water. Health benefits to this are off the charts; weight loss, improves digestion, regulates bowel movements, cleanses skin, detoxifies the body, alkalises the body (which helps prevent cancer), reduces pain and inflammation in joints, nourishes brain and nerve cells, strengthens the liver, boosts immunity, gives you an energy boost. You could also add a dash of bi-carb soda to make it a little more palatable as well as increasing the benefits further. Wait half an hour before eating.
- Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother!) Again, health benefits are off the charts. I dilute this one also as the taste is just a bit too much for me! Best time to take this one is just before a meal as it will stimulate enzymes to improve digestion. Further benefits: reduces appetite and cravings, lowers bad cholesterol, weight loss, tones, clarifies and clears the skin, detoxifies the body, alkalises the body (which helps prevent cancer), cleanses the lymph nodes, reduces heart burn, boosts immunity. This list is exhaustive!
- Get more Zzzzz’s! Not only does sleep deprivation raise cortisol it is the quickest way to grow old! Our bodies regenerate when we sleep. I like to get 8-9 hours a night; it is the time my muscles repair from my training and grow! Raised cortisol is a silent contributor to weight gain and is very hard to measure. Getting enough sleep is vital to a healthy lifestyle and managing stress. Benefits include; weight loss, better concentration, better mood, mental clarity, anti-aging and longevity and boosts immunity.
- Soak in a bath. When did taking the time to soak in a bath become a luxury? It used to be the only way humans could bathe! Soaking in Epsom salts, bi-carb soda and some essential oils for 20 mins will not only detox your body it will detox your mind! It aids in weight loss, lowers cortisol and promotes relaxation, eases muscle aches and pains, improves sleep, aids in detoxification, softens and smooths skin. Plus you will get an extra dose of magnesium that we are all deficient in. Refer tip 10. Once a week is fine for this one.
- Drink Green Tea. A scientifically proven way to rev up your metabolism, provides anti-oxidants, improves brain function, increases fat burning, may lower risk of cancer, anti-viral and anti-bacterial, anti-aging, improves dental health, lowers the risk of type II diabetes, Try swapping just one coffee/black tea with a green tea a day and gradually increase. I also take green tea extract in tablet form prior to a workout to improve performance and enhance fat burning.
- Dry skin brush. Takes all of 3 minutes before you shower and it will stimulate circulation to aid weight loss. Give the back of your thighs a good scrub to reduce cellulite too. Our skin, like the rest of our body, works overtime to try and eliminate toxins; giving it a brush aids in this process as well as giving you soft, glowing skin! Other benefits include stimulating the lymphatic system, exfoliation, increase circulation, improve digestion and kidney function and its invigorating!
- Graze! on 5 smaller meals a day. I am sure you have heard this one before too. Skipping meals is the fastest way to put on weight. You would be astonished at how much food I eat but it is always little amounts often to maintain blood sugar levels and keep my metabolism revved. If you allow your body to get into that starving mode your stone age body can only interpret this as a famine is on the way. It has no clue that the fridge is full or the supermarket shelves are over flowing; it only understands feast or famine. If your body thinks a famine is on the way it will hold on to and store as fat everything you have just eaten or eat next to last it through until your next kill. (so to speak!) We tend to forget that our bodies are the same as our stone age ancestors; tap into this primal response and ensure your body is working for your weight loss goals not against you.
- Coconut Oil (organic cold pressed) Another one with health benefits off the charts including weight loss, improves digestion, boosts metabolism, boosts immunity, lowers cholesterol, nourishes the skin and hair and improves bone health to name a few. Try cooking in coconut oil for a change in flavour. Coconut Oil solidifies most of the year at room temperature; I simply scoop out a teaspoon and eat it straight up. It tastes like the inside of a Bounty!
- Sup it up. Our food supply and the soil we grow our produce in is nowhere near the same quality as only a generation ago. Not to mention all the additives and pesticides. In my opinion, the only way to ensure you are receiving adequate nutrients is to supplement your diet. I take a wide range of supplements and of course as our bodies are so diverse and different we all have different needs however I do recommend a basic suite of supplements to ensure you are giving your body the best chance to achieve premium health. Like shopping for a car, handbag or shoes, the higher the price tag the better the quality. There is no regulation in the supplement industry as there is in the drug industry… so I would be very wary of off the shelf, commercial brands. What they say are contained in the tablet is not always the case. And of course, when I hear the complaints of how much supplements cost I would have to respond with how much is your health worth? What quality of life are you after in your senior years? Look at it as an insurance policy! My recommended basic sups for wellbeing and weight loss are: a multi-vitamin, fish oil, probiotic and magnesium.
If you have noticed a common thread of detoxification through most of these tips good spotting! Our poor stone age bodies are bombarded daily with foreign chemicals and electromagnetic waves; from air pollution, to cosmetics, to scented toilet paper and soaps, to bleach in tampons, to pesticides, artificial flavours and colours and antibiotics in our food, to mobile phones, to sitting in front of a computer all day and now we have this new fitbit craze! If our body doesn’t know how to process a foreign substance it is stored in our fat cells until the body can figure out what to do with it… And guess what? It rarely figures it out! The majority of your weight gain may have a lot to do with simply the need to detox.
I am not saying that only these things will see you shed all your excess weight as there is no substitute for a healthy diet and regular exercise however incorporating these little things will see your health and energy levels improve and have you feeling so good that you may just find yourself wanting to exercise and eat better! Just imagine the weight loss potential! Like anything in life it comes down to habit and for all of these (other than the bath) to be effective it needs to be consistent and daily. Doing them once a week or once in a while will have little or no effect. And yes, I do them all and more every single day!