People generally rush into diet and exercise “all guns blazing” without really thinking about what is manageable. After all, you don’t want to do all the work and effort to lose the weight for just a month only to gain it right back again. Hence, change needs to be manageable.
To create change that lasts, each of us must become more intentional about forming habits that stick. To sustain your progress and achieve long-term success you must be slow and deliberate.
Weight loss and maintaining the weight loss for an extended period of time requires some simple lifestyle adjustments. Starvation, derivation or over exertion should never be a part of a healthy lifestyle or weight loss endeavour. All actions and plans need to be based around your ability to adhere to your changes and create new healthier habits.
Here are four ways to a healthier day that can help you slim down on weight without slimming down on your free time. Make sure you implement one action at a time so you are more likely to maintain this behaviour and achieve life long success.
1) Move It or Lose It
Create a routine where you perform 20 to 30 minutes of exercise every day. Alternate between cardiovascular exercise and resistance work.
Either wake up 30 minutes earlier or perform the exercise at lunchtime. Whenever you decide make sure it’s the same time every day so it becomes routine. It can be as simple as completing a circuit of lunges, push ups, sit ups and a pulling exercise at home before having your morning shower. Vietnam has an abundant amount of opportunities to get active. Why not participate in the local culture of taking a stroll, light jog or join the one of the many ‘aerobic’ or t’ai chi groups in the park in the cool morning air. Saigon offers many sports throughout the weekend; cycling groups, touch rugby, football, Ultimate Frisbee, running groups and art tours. These are examples that provide great social outlets and exercise opportunities.
Our societies are becoming more and more sedentary (motionless). We all possess amazing bodies that are designed for movement and play. Get out of your chair and experience the world around you to build optimum health and feel your best.
2) Eat Real Food
This should be your food motto! No one ever got fat eating vegetables — real food as nature designed. The ever-increasing amounts of processed food on the market with clever marketing campaigns are the reason why over 66 percent of western societies are overweight, and why the middle and upper class Vietnamese are quickly following suit. Each time you go to eat something ask yourself the simple question — is this real food?
3) Don’t Skip Meals
The times you eat are just as important as what you eat. You body needs fuel to burn fuel so by skipping a meal your metabolism slows down. By eating at regular intervals throughout the day you will normalise blood sugar levels and prevent ‘dips’ in energy and concentration. A good low glycemic breakfast will kick-start your energy burning systems and create a fat burning state within your body.
4) Sleep Well
Sleep is one of the four main cornerstones of our health. The other three cornerstones are healthy eating, regular exercise and a positive mindset… if these four aspects are executed well you will probably not know the name of your doctor.
Try to get to bed at the same time every night. Aim for eight hours of quality sleep and ensure you’re asleep before midnight to allow adequate time for your natural detoxification systems to complete their cycle.
By making the conscious and deliberate effort to action these habits into your life, you will be much more likely to be effortlessly healthier, leaner and happier.