“Even if you usually eat well and exercise, chronic high stress can prevent you from losing weight—or even add pounds,” ~Pamela Peeke, MD
Trying to come up with the information part of an infographic, I started writing the list below. Within minutes I had 1000 words down and thought, why don’t I just make it a blog post. I have been trying to keep my blog post to 500 words so,when I realized I had double that, I decided to divide it into two parts. This is part one. Oh and the infographic, it turned out to be a big waste of time. The person I hired to do it did a terrible job. It s basically a exact version of the list below but with color and icons.
1) Never go hungry.
I know you have heard of “starvation mode.” Well, it’s legit. Your body will be under the impression that food is not available and it will hold on to stored fat for as long as it can via the stress hormone, cortisol. If you are hungry, eat. Listen to your body.
2) Don’t count calories.
Actually, I’m referring to restricting your calories based on some random number. There are too many holes and variables in these types of diet programs such as Weight Watchers and My Fitness Pal. I used to use one of these apps and lost weight as a result but there were many nights when I went to bed hungry, which, if you have been paying attention so far, you know is no bueno. As soon as I stopped restricting my calories, I gained back all the weight I lost, every time.
If you don’t do any other type of “exercise,” let this be the one you do. As humans, we are designed to walk. So, when you do, it makes your body very happy. Set a goal to walk 20 miles a week and watch what happens. Vary the distance, time, frequency, terrain, and footwear (go barefoot on occasion) for the best results.
4) Don’t work out so much.
Walks don’t count. I’m talking about those butt-kicking workouts you put yourself through. If you are overweight, chances are these workouts are not going to have the effect you want. In fact, they are going to have the exact opposite effect. They will put physical stress on your body, causing cortisol to be released, putting you in that “starvation mode” mentioned above. Not only that, these workouts deplete your glycogen levels and make you hungry, specifically for sugary and starchy carbs to replace the glycogen you just depleted.
5) Eat more fat.
It’s hard to be in “starvation mode” when you are consuming something that has twice the amount of calories as carbohydrates and protein. Not only that, fat is very satisfying. You will get full from eating very little and will not be hungry for many hours – the exact opposite of what happens when you eat carbs. This can be tricky but just keep in mind that fat and sugary starchy carbs are a bad combo for weight loss.
6) Have fun.
If you haven’t caught on yet, a big part of weight loss is related to stress relief. Go out and do stuff you enjoy. Have fun. Just make sure your idea of fun is not counterproductive, like binge drinking. I believe firmly that doing what you love will have a positive impact on everything in your life.
7) Visualize the body you want.
This one may sound silly but there are countless stories of people who achieved their goal by using visualization. If you once had the body you now desire, this will be easy for you. Look at pictures of you from that time. If you are looking to achieve a weight you have never before reached you are going to have to close your eyes and imagine it. This may be the most powerful of all the steps.