Welcome to Fall! It’s a season of harvest and gratitude. My challenge for us all is to make (not just “take”) time to reflect upon what we’re truly grateful for. One of my favourite tools to reinforce this is my “gratitude jar”. I start one in January and usually by this time of year, it starts getting pretty full! You can start today though!!
The goal of the Gratitude Jar is to add a daily note in the jar of something small and specific that makes you happy and grateful. Sometimes I forget a day or get busy so the next time, I write more than one thing! Then on New Yr’s Day, you read all the notes. I adapted the “rules” slightly because sometimes I need a little boost of positivity, so whenever I feel like it, I read a few notes and refold and put back in the jar. They always put a smile on my face as I’m reminded of something that I may have forgotten about relating to something sooner in the year or need a reminder of. For example, one note says I am grateful for Terry always wiping down the kitchen counter after me! I usually have been doing some “creation” or so and despite my effort to “clean as I go”, he’s just better at picking up a cloth and wiping down counters than I.
Another item I recently wrote I was grateful for was my new kitten jumping up on the bed daily when I come home from work as he waits for me to flop down beside him and pet his chin and belly or anything really as he just loves the fuss and gives it back unconditionally as most pet owners know. Pets are great therapy and show unconditional love! What’s interesting though is that this specific act truly makes me slow down and foster a sense of gratitude. From this new “habit”, I now close my eyes for a few minutes and have developed a new little meditation practice. Come to think of it, being grateful for taking time to meditate is another item I wrote down and put in my jar a few weeks ago. The key is the item you’re grateful for should be specific and short. Even though we’re three quarters of the way through 2017 (yikes!), I encourage you to grab a Mason Jar (so prevalent this time of yr, right?!) and put it in a prominent spot ie. on your desk, kitchen island, bathroom shelf or wherever you will see it regularly. Be sure to also keep a pen and paper (less excuses when you’re organized – true for everything in life!) right beside it.
Fall is also representative of letting go. As the leaves are shed, ask yourself what you can consciously shed from yourself- perhaps items in your house to let go of or an issue within you’ve been holding onto but don’t need anymore. Can you let go of old hurts? Do you have thoughts that cause you to suffer that you can shift and let go of? If weight loss is one of those things, below are 6 Simple Tips to help you Get a Jump on Weight Loss BEFORE The Holiday Season (including the fast-approaching Thanksgiving!)
#1- Keep it simple. Don’t overeat. Don’t eat “crap” that isn’t food. And make sure you get enough sleep. Don’t get caught up in the “latest & greatest” weight loss trend.
Hitting the hay at a decent hour is surprisingly important when it comes to weight loss. Columbia University researchers discovered that people who sleep fewer than seven hours a night tend to weigh more, struggle to lose weight, and gain more weight as time goes on. So aim for seven to nine hours of sleep a night.
#2- Workout AND Eat Right. My point here is often people do one or the other, but not both. When it comes to weight loss you simply must work out and eat right to get results.
Think of your body like a car. If you aren’t working out or eating right you are in reverse and probably actively gaining weight. If you’re working out but not eating right (or vice versa) you can get stuck in neutral or weight loss moves at a really slow pace. If you’re working out and eating right, the weight actively comes off at a steady pace. Speed up your progress by doing a variety of group fitness classes lead by certified and highly motivating instructors like we have at NRG 4 Life. You might also want to consider hiring a Personal Trainer as this approach will give you the accountability and teach you what you should be doing. Whether it’s the recommended 2 or 3 x’s/week or even just 1 session, you will really accelerate your progress as your trainer will write up a specific program towards your weight-loss goals.
Always look for ways to add vegetables into your creations. This isn’t limited to just switching out ½ your mayo for Greek yogurt in your tuna or chicken salad, how about a decadent apple kale cake. This creation will impress your friends and family…check out this video from Cityline. You will find more on a Google search (but this one isn’t green!) so use some of the tips suggested to make it even healthier by switching up the sugar for applesauce and use a healthier icing or just a sprinkle of icing sugar on top! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSoeDGFaoeQ There’s inspiration everywhere and you CAN survive the holidays by modifying meals and planning ahead.
#3- Pick a Workout You’ll Actually Do. The “best” workout you can do is whatever you’ll do consistently whether that’s Zumba, walking, running, elipticals or even swimming for cardio COMBINED with strength training to help boost your metabolism. Cardio alone is not recommended as we all need to focus on increasing our lean muscle mass to help boost our metabolism. My personal favourite form of exercise for weight loss: HIIT intervals (high-intensity interval training), resistance training, plyometrics, bodyweight training, and movements that incorporate multiple muscle groups, like squats, lunges, burpees, and pushups. These exercises burn the most calories during and after the workout.
They also help you get into shape the fastest, which is a huge bonus, modified, of course, for beginners—to ensure you get the best results in the fastest amount of time.
#4- Cut Down on the Alcohol – and if you don’t love it, get out of the social habit. Alcohol is the worst when it comes to fat metabolism and can actually inhibit it by 73 percent I read. Not to mention the fact that alcohol tends to be very high in sugar and that it tends to lower our inhibitions, making us eat more when drinking alcohol. Research now, however, has shown that when you’ve consumed alcohol, your body prioritizes metabolizing the alcohol, which means burning fat and carbs take a backseat. Experts also believe that alcohol breaks down amino acids and stores them as fat. All bad news if you want to lose weight.
#5- Use the 80/20 Rule – The number-one mistake people make when it comes to weight loss is following an intense fad diet that is not sustainable. These drastic eating plans ultimately damage your metabolism and instigate a vicious cycle of yo-yo dieting.
Instead make your own diet that is balanced. Allow yourself treats daily. Deprivation and extremes don’t work. Mine is dark chocolate (80% cocoa) Try the 80/20 rule. Make 80 percent of your daily food intake high quality and then let 20 percent be treats.
#6- Make Lifestyle Changes – The key is how you lose the weight. If you lose weight through common-sense eating choices and physical activities you enjoy, maintenance is far easier. And that means you’re much less likely to put the pounds you lost back on.