If you are struggling to lose that extra weight, you are not alone. On the surface, it should seem simple—eat less and exercise more. But, our bodies are complex and our ability to lose weight can be affected by myriad processes going on in the body. Laziness and bad habits that we just cannot seem to break can also thwart our efforts. But, anything is possible with some concerted effort and here are some top tips to aid in your weight loss journey.
Get Clear on Your ‘’Why’’
Getting your weight right requires getting your mind right since so much of your success depends on making the decisions that support your efforts rather than crush them. The core of making good decisions to support your weight loss is getting ultra-clear on why you want to lose this weight. The clearer you are, the more motivated you will be to succeed. Get at the reasons behind the reasons. If you want to be healthier, why? If you want to get off your medications, why? If you want to be healthier for your kids, why? If you want to set a good example for them, why?
Get Enough Sleep
Adequate sleep is about a lot more than promoting optimal cognitive function. Numerous studies have found a strong link between the amount of sleep we get and our weight. Not surprisingly, the less sleep we get, the harder it may be for us to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Research suggests lack of sleep may be problematic on numerous fronts—it has been linked to decreased fat burning, insulin resistance (which increases fat storage) and increased cravings for unhealthy foods that can derail weight loss efforts, such as sugar and processed carbohydrates.
We all know that nasty thing called stress can wreak all sorts of havoc on our health—it messes with our hormones and produces all sorts of physical changes that can lead to disease. According to WebMD, research suggests it may also lead to weight gain. In people who are already overweight, high stress levels were linked with packing on even more pounds. The mental effects of stress can also be detrimental to weight loss—when we feel stressed, we feel crappy. When we feel crappy, we are more negative and pessimistic and we care less about our health. All of this is a recipe for binge eating, neglecting exercise and overall just giving up on trying to be healthy.
While we want all that extra weight gone yesterday, weight loss can often be a slow process. It can take awhile to adopt the changes necessary to support weight loss. When we think of all the weight we need to drop, it can seem overwhelming and we may give up. But, if you set mini-goals, you may find it easier to stay the course. Little bits of progress will motivate you to keep going. Perhaps, you can set a goal to fit into the dress from last summer; instead of going from never exercising to saying you will run five miles a day, commit to walking a mile four days a week.
Promote Healthy Digestion
Your digestive health may impact your ability to lose weight on several fronts from metabolism to properly absorbing the nutrients that affect our weight. Cutting back on sugar not only cuts out empty calories, it can prevent the growth of candida, which inflames the digestive tract and can lead to cravings for unhealthy foods—so one more great reason to reduce consumption; improper balance of gut flora can also thwart weight loss and you can help correct this problem by taking probiotics. Eating plenty of fiber can also support the growth of friendly bacteria; you might also consider Chinese herbs for digestion.
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who blogs about all things natural health; she recommends visiting SolsticeMed for a quality selection of Chinese herbal remedies to support weight loss and a variety of other health issues.