Many of us know that we should be eating healthier by focusing on fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats. We also know that exercise is good for us an an essential part of staying healthy and maintaining a healthy weight. However, knowing what to do and doing it are two different things. Reaching your goals comes back to one, if not all of what I call the 3 P’s – preparation, planning, and persistence.
We often will take months to plan a party or vacation, giving attention to every detail. But when it comes to our own wellness goals, we often start a diet or exercise plan without much thought to how it is going to fit into our schedules in the short and long term, if we have the proper foods available, or what we are going to do when faced with those life situations like eating on the go, extracurricular activities, a sick kid, a bad night sleep, and the list goes on.
For that reason, taking the time to prepare and plan is the first step toward long term success. Making meal plans and grocery lists, making a plan for what you will do for exercise and scheduling each session on your calendar, having a back-up plan when unexpected things pop up, planning how you handle nights out, parties, and holidays and how you will measure success and progress (weight loss, improved endurance/strength, improved body composition, etc.).
Persistence is being willing to change it all when things aren’t working how you want them to. What works for your friends or your family isn’t necessarily what works for you so tweaking and trying again to find a moderate and consistent plan that fits is key.
While it might be obvious that not getting enough sleep could hinder you energy levels during exercise, not getting enough sleep can effect your ability to lose weight in many other ways. First, feeling sleep deprived is hardly a recipe for having great workouts, taking the time for meal preparation, and healthy stress management – which are all must haves for successful weight loss. In addition, when you are tired, your body tends to crave simple carbohydrates in order to get energy (and quick!) as well has hinders your ability to make healthier food choices or cook a meal vs. taking the quick route of picking up something or popping a pre-packaged meal in the microwave. During sleep your body also regulates the hormones gherlin (the hunger hormone), leptin (the satiety hormone), cortisol (stress hormone), and insulin (hormone to help regulate blood glucose) altering each in different ways. Bottom line, you may be hungrier, crave simple carbs, and your metabolism won’t be working at it’s best. If you are struggling to see progress toward your goal, first start with getting consistent and restful sleep. If you have trouble with sleep you may want to try some natural sleep supporting essential oils in addition to maintaining a bedtime routine. Check out more about how sleep can effect weight loss and performance.
Of all the essential oils I have used, Peppermint is by far one of my very favorites! Not only does it smell delicious, it has all different kinds of uses. Some of my favorites include:
- Add to water for a boost of energy
- Diffuse to enhance concentration and boost feelings positivity
- Mix with a carrier oil and rub onto the skin to help alleviate for sore muscles, especially after exercise!
Avoiding temptations this time of year could be a full time job! Some tricks you can use to help manage your calorie intake during the holiday season include:
- Have a snack or small meal before attending a party or big dinner to avoid overeating
- Drink water before and during a meal
- Bring a healthier dish to parties for all to share
- Use the plate method (1/2 plate veggies, 1/4 lean protein, 1/4 complex carb)
- Eat consistently throughout the day to avoid crashes in blood sugar then overindulgence.
- Use low or no calorie mixers for alcoholic drinks. Alternate each alcohol drink with water to limit extra calories.
- Survey the buffet before serving yourself to decide what are must have foods and those you don’t mind forgoing.
Research is showing a connection between the things you eat and an improved ability to manage stress. Dark chocolate is on the list, so I’m already on board! Check out the rest here.
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