Weight loss? We see this popular thought everywhere. But what does it really mean? Bean sprouts for breakfast? Grueling, pre-dawn jogs? Lettuce-leaf lunches? Zen Master training? Hardly! Healthy living isn't about starving yourself or testing your limits. It's all about achieving balance between the physical, emotional, nutritional, and spiritual elements in your life.
Take a quick "balance" inventory. What foods do you eat or crave most? Fruits, vegetables, lean meats, along with plenty of water and a limited intake of alcohol and caffeine make a pretty good recipe for nutritional balance. Too much fat or too many carbs can easily affect it. How much exercise are you getting? Even a short walk has some physiological benefits. What about rest? Unless you make a concerted effort, you probably don't get enough. These factors and others can directly affect your weight, mood, attitude and general sense of well-being-your "balance."
Striking a Balance. (Tips to restore your body's balance)
Exercise: Exercise has also been proven to improve cardiovascular function and reduce your risk of certain health conditions. If you're not getting any, you're missing out. Regular exercise-even for brief periods-can help you feel more energized and more alert. So get up and get moving!
Nutrition: With the proper nutrition, your body will function more efficiently, resulting in more stamina and more energy for the things you want to do. In a recent review of food intake surveys by the USDA, experts declared that it should be a moderate approach. Moderate Intake of high-carbohydrate base foods predicts successful weight loss. With the proper nutrition, your body will function more efficiently, resulting in more stamina and more energy for the things you want to do.
Stress: Prolonged periods of mid- to high-level stress can have detrimental effects on your body. Everyone experiences a certain amount of stress. That's life. Stress reduces immune function. Be aware of your stress factors and develop strategies for managing them.
Rest: If you don't snooze, you lose. Pick a bedtime that will allow you to wake up naturally, without an alarm. Forty winks? Most people get twenty, if they're fortunate. But a good night's sleep can make all the difference in how good you feel. Avoid alcohol and caffeine before bed. Turn in at the same time every night. If possible, sneak a nap in on the weekends.
Attitude - Attitude - Attitude: Try to cultivate a positive outlook. No one expects you to walk around giddy and grinning all the time, but your emotional responses can affect your physiological function. Hang out with fun, positive people. Read motivational or inspirational literature. Re-read the tips above! Even small behavioral changes can produce big attitudinal improvements.
Most of us know that we should eat five servings of fruits and vegetables each day to achieve a healthy diet.
But here's an even easier five-a-day concept that provides several tangible ways to temporarily escape the demands of the day. At least five times a day, whenever you get a small window of time, treat yourself to a little mental break, choosing from the activities below. Distracting yourself for a few minutes a day is a great way to regroup and refocus, and recharge your mental batteries.
* Give yourself a facial.
* Take a short "book break."
* Experiment with new hairstyles in front of the mirror.
* Browse your favorite magazine.
* Watch part of your favorite TV show.
* Go into the garden to smell or pick flowers.
* Pour a tall, cool glass of water and daydream out the window.
* Pet your cat or dog and reflect on your favorite "pet memory."
* Cuddle up with the .kids and ask about their day.
* Put on a favorite CD - and either dance or kick back, depending on what song you choose.
* Sit outside and feel the fresh air on your face ... and let your mind wander. Take a few minutes and create your own list of "mini-escape" activities.
Remember, just as five-a-day fruits and vegetables nourish your body, five-a-day mental breaks can do wonders for your mental health.
Committing yourself to a healthy lifestyle means changing long-established eating patterns-some of which have been in place for decades. The change requires knowledge, vigilance and support. Your friends and family may want to help, but not know how. To help them help you, print out this list:
Focus on my successes-not my failures. Please notice when I make the right choice and don't be afraid to comment.
If I slip up, don't berate, nag, threaten or bribe me. Remind me, instead, that this was a one-time indulgence, not a complete "diet buster."
Don't bring sweets or salty snacks into the house or try to force me to have "just a bite" of a food I've already rejected.
Don't expect me to bake for you. Instead, praise me for preparing healthy meals that make you feel better, as well.
When I'm tired, stressed, bored, and angry or frustrated, I may be more inclined to eat. Please recognize these times and help me choose an alternative activity.
Exercise with me. Think of new ways we can get out and play.
Remember, when you help me, you'll be helping the family. Supporting my efforts will also make you look and feel better.
Readers take action now! Get this encouraging and positive book to give you weight loss that you need.
To your weight loss and happiness...