Exercise alone is not enough to guarantee weight loss. To lose weight it’s typically necessary to combine exercise (physical activity) with good nutrition.
Are you disciplined about going to the gym, or were you before COVID hit? Do you have an exercise routine in place or are you regularly physically active? If you’ve been active consistently for more than a month, have you experienced a change in body shape and lost weight?
If you answered yes, wonderful! Keep it up! If you haven’t seen any noticeable changes, I recommend you continue your exercise regimen AND take a close look at what you eat.
Recommendations and tips:
- Cardio workouts increase your heart rate and help burn calories. Burning calories helps you lose weight. Maintaining the proper weight puts less stress on your body.
Click here to calculate your body mass index, BMI, to see if you are overweight, normal or underweight
- Strive for 30 minutes of high intensity aerobic activity 5 times a week or 90 minutes of moderate aerobic activity.
- On those days, or weeks, when you can’t seem to find the time to exercise, get creative!You can burn calories climbing stairs, grocery shopping, house cleaning, mowing the lawn, gardening, engaging in active play with children, walking the dog, and etc.
- If you have a smart watch, keep track of the steps you take and the calories you burn during the day.
- Incorporate strength training into your routine to build and maintain healthy bones. As you age, bone mass, especially among women, is reduced. Lifting weights can help.
- Building muscle helps you maintain a healthy metabolism. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so if you build muscle and reduce fat, you’ll burn more calories.
Don’t have an exercise regimen? Start one today. You could begin by increasing physical activity and move into more traditional forms of exercise as you are able.
You may need to change your relationship with food. Food is meant to fuel the body not to provide pleasure. When you think differently about what, how, and why you eat it can make a big difference. Just like an exercise regimen, changing food habits can take time. Make a commitment to eat healthier, more nutritious food and stick to it.
Food for thought:
- If you aren’t putting healthy, nutritious foods in your body you can exercise all you want but will, most likely, not see a change in body shape or experience weight loss.
- Skip fad diets. They don’t work. Your body needs fat, carbohydrates, and protein. The source you receive them from is important.
- Incorporate more whole foods into your diet. That means food in its original form. Vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes and nuts.
- Cut down on or eliminate sugar, including artificial sweeteners. They typically end in “ose.” Fructose, sucralose, and etc. Sugar is addictive and the more you eat it the more you crave it.
- Reduce sodium. Read labels and purchase foods with no sodium added or choose ones with the lowest sodium. Just because it says low sodium on the label doesn’t mean it’s so.
- Replace the food in your pantry and refrigerator with healthy alternatives. Be sure to read labels carefully.
- Create a meal plan and shop accordingly. Invest in new cookbooks and/or seek online resources for healthy, nutritious recipes.
Changing the foods you eat does not mean sacrificing flavor and taste. Since switching to a plant-based diet I have created many dishes that are as good, if not better, than the ones I used to make. There are foods I ate every day that I loved. Now, I don’t miss them a bit!
Are there days or times when I struggle? When I’m tempted to eat something not on my “menu”? Absolutely! Occasionally I indulge myself but not often. At times like these I think about my WHY. It can be very beneficial in helping you stay committed.
Know your personality. Can you immediately change the way you eat or do you need to ease into it? Pick the system that will work best for you. Set yourself up for success.
Remember whole health is achieved through balance. It encompasses physical, emotional, environmental, spiritual, and social well-being.
If you haven’t picked up my guide on how to promote a good night’s sleep, click here. You want to be sure you’re getting the proper amount of sleep so you have the energy to exercise and prepare delicious, healthy meals.