The last time I checked in, I emphasized the importance of making small, conscious lifestyle changes. Continue to think about how these efforts can really impact the big picture—whether you set an intention to go on a walk twice a week, drink more water daily, increase the intensity of your workouts or add more veggies to your meals.
Now, I’m going to hit ya with a little tough love and ask you to take it a step further. I know this might not be very much fun, but you really need to start taking control of—and owning up to—your actions. What do I mean? Well, I’ll put it in language we all can understand these days: Facebook.
Status Update #1 @ 4pm: Third Starbucks trip of the day! #grandesoylattePLEASE
Status Update #2 @ 1:30am: Omgggg Why am I still awake??? #fml
Status Update #3 @ 9am: Need…coffee…now #ughhhh
Ok, so I’m exaggerating a bit to make a point, but I HAVE seen similar updates on Facebook. The thing is, when it comes to your body, everything is connected. Don’t drink multiple cups of caffeine a day—particularly late in the afternoon—and then wonder why in the world you can’t get to sleep at night! Sure, there may be other contributing factors, but trust me, your Starbucks habit is not helping.
People in general tend to make excuses that have them believing there’s just nothing they can do to change. I know, I used to be one of them. But it’s time to get a grip and think about three of the biggest hindrances to weight loss:
Stress: Financial stress, work stress, family stress, relationship stress—I get it, we’re all super-stressed. But what are you doing to minimize it? Have you just succumbed to it? Guess what my friends, reducing stress is essential to weight loss. When you are stressed out, your body hits the panic button and releases the hormone, cortisol. Cortisol negatively affects everything from your metabolism, mood, energy levels and the way your body stores fat.
Sleep: So if your mental and emotional health is out of whack, there’s a good chance you’re not getting enough quality shut eye. Can you make a conscious effort to start winding down 30 minutes earlier for bed? Is there something you can do to help quiet your thoughts when your mind starts racing at night? Think about it, or else you could continue to wake up groggy in the mornings craving….
Sugar! I’ll skip the scientific explanation here, and just say that when you’re running on empty, you eat more. It’s more difficult to make good, clear decisions when you’re tired, and your body has a harder time recognizing when it’s full. Have you ever noticed that you reach for carbs when you’re feeling sluggish? When you eat sugary, processed foods, your blood sugar levels spike, only leaving you to crash (and crave another bagel) soon after.
See how everything is connected? Which of these three areas do you need to work on and how will you do it?
– ELLEN COLLIS
Ellen Collis is a blogger at Wannabe Health Nut and Health Coach in NYC, who is currently enrolled at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free health consultation to discuss how she can assist you with your nutrition and lifestyle goals. She would love nothing more than to help you have more energy, feel fabulous in your own skin and live a healthy life that doesn’t require giving up your favorite foods.