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THE BIG 7

Filed Under: This & That
Posted on: June 8, 2013 12:17 PM
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If you walk into a room full of nutritionists, dieticians and fitness professionals, and yell something like 'fat burning zone' or 'organic', not only will everyone stare at you (for yelling, of course) but you will probably have unwittingly begun at least 27 separate debates (that may or may not end in bloodshed).  You may have already realized that one of the most frustrating things about fitness/nutrition is that everyone seems to contradict each other! In an effort to clear away some of the noise, Legally Fit has compiled seven of the most well- known, healthy, and consistently proven  weight loss 'tricks' known to the industry.  All of these tips have been proven time and time again in a variety of studies... some have been backed by medical professionals... and most are simply common sense.  Your challenge this week is to go through this list, point by point.  Give yourself a great big hug for all of the suggestions that you already implement on a daily basis... and put the rest of the list on your refrigerator as a goal!  Pretty soon, these minor changes will become part of your everyday routine... just like waking up, looking in the mirror and saying, "I look pretty darn good!".  ☺

1)Food Journal
No matter what dieting fad is in season, weight loss will always come down to one simple equation... you must expend/burn (exercise) more calories than you consume (eat)!  Well, how the heck are you going to know how many calories you are consuming each day (or burning for that matter) if you don't keep track of them!?  Lucky for us, calorie counting no longer has to involve tedious calculations in a little notebook that you carry everywhere.  Although the miracle of modern science has not come up with a way to burn calories while sitting in a recliner eating chips, it has devised a number of ways in which to track your calories electronically (most, with apps). Through 'food journaling', you will quickly become more aware of portion size, healthy substitutions, and the pure joy of 'allowing' yourself more calories in exchange for more exercise. 

2) Drink. Water.
Would you bathe in a tub full of soda?  Probably  not.  Why water (and Mr. Bubble)?  Because water is pure... it is natural... it is cheap (when it comes from a faucet), and it is healthy.  Drinking at least 8-10 glasses of water a day has been shown to reduce aches and pains (unknowingly caused by dehydration), improve skin elasticity/appearance, improve mood, increase energy, increase metabolism by aiding digestion, lubricate joints and muscles, and, most importantly, to help you lose weight!  Often, our bodies mistake thirst for hunger.  Drinking water will help to curb your 'appetite' while flushing toxins and bi-products out of your system.  All of these benefits, with 0 calories!  So... stop drinking all of those crazy, fabricated products (i.e. soda, sport drinks, etc.) that are loaded with sugar and calories.  Like Sheryl Crow says, '... the water's still free'!  Save money, save calories, save your health... one glass at a time.  ☺

3) Exercise.  Yes, Exercise.
You would think that this point would go without saying, but many people sit at their desk all day, faithfully consuming their Paleo diet requirements, and wonder why the weight loss does not simply take care of itself.  Yes, bodies are sculpted in the kitchen as much as in the gym, however, one must have both components to that equation.  It is recommended that each person complete at least 30-40 minutes of cardio, 3-4 times per week, at least 2-3 sets (of 8-12 reps) of strength training per muscle group, 3-4 times per week, and at least 2-3 instances of 'flexibility training' (aka 'stretching') per week (or after all of the above).

 

4)      Get Your Beauty Sleep!
Believe it or not, what could be holding you back from losing those last few pounds may have absolutely nothing to do with your diet or exercise! So... take a deep breath, relax, get a good night's sleep... and watch those pounds melt away!  How is it possible that allowing yourself to relax and get an adequate amount of sleep has such a dramatic effect on weight loss?  Well, to be honest, the jury is still out on exactly why this phenomenon occurs... but a few possible explanations include cortisol, ghrelin and growth hormone levels (discussions best left for another day). 
 
5) Switch to Whole Grains
Yes, you need carbs.  No, they will not make you blow up like the Goodyear Blimp... if you are smart about what kind of carbs you are eating.  I will make it as easy as possible for you... basically, by making the simple switch from processed flour/bread/rice (basically anything white) to whole grain (not white), you will get lots and lots of the following: vitamins, minerals, that comfy 'full' feeling (so that you eat less), increased energy, and disease prevention (heart disease, type II diabetes)!  Yeah!  Cheers to wheat toast!

6) Eat Breakfast
... speaking of wheat toast... why not add that wholesome goodness to your breakfast routine!  Not only will you reap the benefits described above, but you will join the ranks of breakfast eaters that reduce their chances of becoming obese (and developing diabetes) by 35-50%!  When you don't eat breakfast... get ready for some scariness.  First, in sensing a lack of available calories, the body's metabolism lowers in order to conserve expenditure of energy, which means you will automatically burn fewer calories during the morning hours. Secondly, in response to this perceived deprivation the body increases production of cortisol, the stress hormone that leads to fat storage, particularly around the midsection. Moreover, with glucose levels low and cortisol levels high you are poised to become ravenous as the day goes on and it becomes nearly impossible for you not to overeat later.  Do you need more?  Well... eating breakfast within an hour or so of waking leads to clearer thinking, less stress, and more energy.  Plus, your metabolism has been kick started for the day... so you can burn more fat and calories as you take a seat at your desk!  Now... let's try that again with a little more enthusiasm... cheers to wheat toast!  ☺
 
7) Brush Your Teeth
Wanna burn calories, cut your cravings and maintain a stellar smile?  Brush your teeth!  It's not just for mornings and bed time anymore!  Brushing serves as a physical and psychological cue to stop eating... and you already know that nothing tastes good with 'toothpaste mouth'. ☺ Guess what else... brushing your teeth for 2 minutes, 3 times a day (as recommended) burns approximately 5,500 calories a year... and that, my friends, is more than one pound of fat.  Now are you smiling?  ☺
 
Legally Fit encourages law firms to strive for physical, mental and spiritual wellness in order to improve client service, productivity, and provide healthy stress relief. Learn more about our corporate wellness program and find out how it can work for you!

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