Even during crazy times, you can start to drop the pounds
For the past year, most of us have been trying to maintain our weight and failing miserably. And I use the word “maintain” because losing weight during a pandemic that holds us prisoner seems almost impossible.
I avoid the scale as much or more than I avoid large crowds, restaurants, and other gatherings. I can’t bring myself to see the numbers I know have gone up since the last brave moment I weighed myself.
Have you been doing the same?
I’m guessing you have.
And I’m also guessing that you don’t need the confirmation of the scale to be miserable.
You feel the extra pounds every time you put on your clothes, and you see them each time you look in the mirror.
And with each passing day, these things are ripping your self-esteem to shreds.
You feel hopeless and powerless.
But you’re not.
You can make changes, and I’ll show you how. But first, let me give you some facts that will help you put things in perspective.
You are not alone.
Participants in the poll cited many various reasons for the extra pounds. Of the participants, “about 72% reported a lack of exercise. About 70% said they’ve been stress eating. An overwhelming 59% said both a lack of exercise and stress eating were a problem, and 21% attributed it to “extra alcohol consumption.”
There can be little doubt that these numbers have increased in the time that has passed.
The second thing is that some of the weight loss hurdles you face will soon lessen.
The coming months are going to make it easier to implement a weight loss plan.
Vaccines are rolling out slowly but surely, and spring is just around the corner. Because of these facts, most of us will start to feel a little more comfortable being out and about.
Lessened anxiety about catching the virus will enable us to be more proactive and less emotionally vulnerable to the world around us. Also, warmer temperatures and added sunlight will provide more exercise opportunities and a more positive mental and emotional outlook.
Small changes can help you lose the extra weight
As much as the coming months will aid you on your weight loss journey, right now is the best time to face your weight issues head-on.
The environmental shifts I mentioned above will make it easier for you to make good choices, but they will not magically remove the pounds.
After all, you’ve got a lot of bad habits to reverse, which is not an easy task to accomplish.
So, please don’t start your weight loss journey expecting the pounds to melt off effortlessly.
As author Margaret Mitchell stated, “Life’s under no obligation to give us what we expect.”
But life will give you what you work for.
So here are some minor changes that you can begin making now to kick some of that extra weight to the curb.
Start small. We’re still in an emotionally draining and physically limiting world, so putting undue pressure on yourself to make enormous physical and nutritional changes will most likely backfire.
When we have such high expectations for ourselves and fail to meet them, we feel like complete failures. This feeling allows the sense of powerlessness and hopelessness that first stalled our weight loss attempts to reawaken.
The solution to avoiding this sense of defeat is to make small, easily managed changes to your diet and activity level.
Because it is simpler to implement and sustain these changes, not only will you lose weight, but your sense of power will return. And feelings of power and increased confidence will help you implement bigger changes in the future.
So here are some slight adjustments that will start the weight loss ball rolling.
- Cut one bad eating habit. Dr. Leslie Lutes, psychology professor and specialist in obesity prevention at the University of British Columbia, recommends listing your five worst food choices and deciding to erase one of these a week until you’re down to only one or two.
- Eat more protein. An article in Healthline explains the reasons adding more protein into your diet aids weight loss. The article states that incorporating additional protein sources reduces your hunger hormones and increases the hormones that make you feel fuller faster. It also says that “a high protein intake has been shown to boost metabolism and increase the number of calories burned by about 80 to 100 a day.”
- Drink more water. Medical News Today details why added water intake increases your weight loss potential. They explain that water (especially cold water) improves calorie burning because the body must heat the water internally to digest it. They also mention that water helps metabolize fat and carbohydrates. However, water’s most significant benefit is that it makes you feel fuller. In one study, people who drank two glasses of water before meals reduced their weight by almost ten pounds over three months.
- Incorporate movement during usually sedentary activities such as watching television. Bustle’s article entitled “Exercise Moves You Can Do While Watching Television” gives you various simple activities to choose from that can be done while watching your favorite show or between commercial breaks. Some of the options they mention are lunges, sit-ups(two sets of twenty-five during a show), or jumping jacks, which burn eight calories in one minute.
- Take more steps. Even though studies state that 10,000 steps a day are optimal, personal trainer Esther Avant urges those trying to move more during the day not to get caught up in numbers but to only focus on taking more steps. Prevention’s article “25 Ways to Fit in 10 Minutes of Exercise” mentions a few things such as doing a few dumbbell repetitions while treating yourself to a facial, performing small exercises while cooking, and walking up and down the street after you check the mail or pick up the newspaper.
- Clean your house. Very Well Fit states that “standard housecleaning burns about 100 calories in 30 minutes.” Shape gives specifics such as vacuuming (35 minutes burns 100 calories), cleaning your tub (25 minutes burns 107 calories), and scrubbing your bathroom or kitchen floors (15 minutes burns 115 calories). Other home improvement projects such as painting burn calories as well. And the best part is you get the satisfaction and happiness that having a tidy home brings.
The bottom line:
Author Robert Collier said, “Success is the sum of small efforts-repeated day in and day out.” You don’t have to disrupt your whole routine to make the bodily changes you want. Right now, you’re dealing with more significant changes than ever before, so why add undue stress to your already challenging world?
Start slow. By consistently taking small, manageable steps towards better eating and increased physical activity, you’ll soon look in the mirror and see a healthier, more confident you. What’s more important? You’ll be so proud of the person you see staring back at you.