The holidays are now over. Phew! With all of the parties, gatherings, and good food, did you put on a few pounds? Are your favorite jeans feeling a little snug? Well, you’re not alone. Eating an extra 500 calories a day (which is pretty easy to do) can put on one to two pounds a week. Plus, if you’ve been indulging in foods higher in sodium and carbs, you could be retaining a few pounds in water. Rather than be bummed out over the weight gain, take the bull by the horns and do something about it!
Drink more water: First, stop drinking your calories. Put down the juice, smoothies, coffee drinks, soda, and alcohol; fill up on water, green tea (which will increase your calorie burn), and herbal teas. Staying hydrated will increase your metabolism, help your liver with its detox, and prevent you from feeling hungry. Keep a bottle of water with you at all times – in your purse, gym bag, car, and on your desk. Out of sight is out of mind.
Eat more fruits and veggies: You’ve heard this one before – eat more fruits and veggies. It shouldn’t require much explanation, but fruits and veggies are low in calories and high in fiber and disease-fighting antioxidants. Make sure half of your plate is fruits and veggies at every meal. To really speed up the weight loss, eat more veggies than fruit throughout the day.
Plan your meals: You’ve heard the expression, “Prior planning prevents poor performance,” and it applies to your success with weight loss. Plan your meals out for the whole day and prepare everything you need so you can be successful. If that planning includes a trip to the market, make a list and stick to it. If your kitchen is well-stocked, you will be more successful.
Get moving: Lace up your sneakers and get your body moving to burn calories and increase your metabolism. It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you do – just pick something you like to do. Walk, run, cross train, bike, swim, tennis, yoga, pilates, Cross fit, boot camp, weight train – they will all give you great results if you are consistent and work hard enough that you feel challenged.
Catch some zzzzzs: Getting enough sleep is key to successful weight loss. Aim for at least 7 1/2 hours of sleep each night, which is easy to do if you create an environment that’s conducive to sleep. That means shutting off all electronics (tv, computer, iPad, smart phone) at least one hour before bed so your brain can produce the melatonin necessary to make you feel sleepy. Lower the lights and do some slow, deep breathing for about 5 minutes before bed, and then dab a little pure lavender oil on your pillow and off to dreamland you’ll go.