As girls often do, we bitch about our bodies. For whatever reason, I can’t hang out with my girlfriends without the topic of diet and exercise coming up. I listen to their honest attempts to try to lose weight and it makes me want to smack them. It sounds harsh, I admit, but it comes from a place of love. Instead of writing about self-love, I am so annoyed by this topic that I wanted to share my three biggest tips for maintaining a healthy weight, staying happy, and keeping calm. The best part? It requires almost no effort and you get to indulge. Seriously. Read on.
Good intentions are just good intentions if we don’t actually make an effort to stop sabotaging ourselves. Here’s how:
1. Fuel your day.
So many of my friends who want to lose weight sabotage themselves by making this mistake. They say, "If I'm not hungry when I wake up, I can save a whole meal's worth of calories by skipping breakfast." FALSE.
The mistake: We all know that skipping meals is a bad idea, period. But the most common time—also the worst time—to skip a meal is in the morning. The truth is that the people who are best able to achieve and maintain a healthy weight are those who eat breakfast. Why? When you skip breakfast, not only will you indulge later in the day way more than the caloric deficiency, but the blood-sugar peaks and valleys will cause mood swings, more hunger, and low energy. And guess how we compensate? By craving sugar. So why make it harder on yourself?
Some people just aren't hungry in the morning. My advice? Be aware of how much you're eating the night before. Are you going out and indulging beyond what you really need? Try cutting back slightly the night before.
And no, breakfast doesn't need to be a feast. Start with an apple and a nut butter of your choice. Breakfasts with protein, fiber, and healthy fats can reduce hunger throughout the day.
2. Have a drink…of water.
It sounds obvious, but water is way more important than we give it credit for. Water makes up 60% of our body mass and 80% of our brain. Even mild dehydration influences mood, energy levels, and the ability to think clearly. While we often use thirst as the indicator for when we need to hydrate, it’s too late at that point to avoid the negative effects.
Don’t know how much you need? It’s your weight (in pounds) divided by 2. That’s the number of ounces. So if you are 160 pounds, you need 80 oz or 10 glasses of water per day.
So, we all know that we need to drink more water, but we don’t give it to ourselves. What’s the solution? Accountability. Most of us, myself included, need someone to be accountable to even to do some of the most basic things. So who’s my hydration accountability buddy? My iPhone!
I use the free “Water Lite” app on my iphone to track my water throughout the day. It gives me a grade each day, and who doesn’t like to see an “A”?! Wow, I’m so Indian. I can’t believe I just wrote that.
3. Listen to your body unapologetically.
When you stop fighting against your body, it becomes your ally and not your enemy.
Listening to your body allows you to eat consciously, actively nourishing yourself without guilt.
The biggest mistake we make when trying to eat healthily is focusing on what not to eat. That is the recipe for deprivation, yo-yo dieting and a crappy mood.
Instead of focusing on what you “can’t” have, use the “crowd-out” method.
Crowding out means adding in nutrient-dense foods like dark, leafy greens, high quality protein, and non-processed foods. When your body get the nutrients it needs, it naturally stops craving the crap.
Cravings, when they aren’t caused by dehydration, are information we can either acknowledge or ignore. Cravings for carbs, salt, and sugar are about nutrient deficiencies and spiritual misalignment, not a bad breakup.
And when you truly want that warm cookie, enjoy it. Savor each bite. The guilt we feel after indulging has a significantly worse effect on our body and mind than the extra calories.
I said I wouldn’t make this about self-love, but I can't help myself. It’s the root of everything. Ultimately, nothing prevents you from losing weight, being happy or stressing less than the way you feel about yourself. So let go of the negativity and change your inner dialogue.
Self Love + Breakfast + Water + Listening =
Better mood + More energy + A Hotter body