3 Lifestyle Changes to Master for Weight Loss
Almost everyone I know has been on some type of diet, eating only certain types of food, and maybe adding in some exercise. Sometimes they get the results they want, but more often they don’t, and this is super frustrating!
In the first post in this blog series on weight loss, I cover some of the dietary factors important to weight loss. In this post, I will discuss some of the lifestyle choices that can impact your weight. Fortunately, you can always make lifestyle choices that support rather than diminish health!
#1 Restorative Sleep
Sleep is the first factor on the list because it impacts so many different areas of life. There are several reasons why sleep loss can impact your eating habits or even your ability to function at a good capacity.
The first reason is that without restorative sleep, you just won’t have the energy to eat well. You know the day where you need coffee to wake up, you buy takeout food because you don’t want to cook, and you skip exercise because you’re so tired.
Another reason that sleep affects your weight is that lack of sleep slows your metabolism to conserve energy. When our metabolism slows down, a hormone called cortisol is released into our system to make you want to eat MORE!
Finally, lack of sleep causes your body to release more of the hormone that tells us we are hungry (grehlin) and less of the hormone that tells us we are full (leptin). So the less you sleep, the more you’ll want to eat and eat.
But it’s not just the quantity of sleep, but also the QUALITY of sleep that matters to your weight. Do you feel fully rested and refreshed after you wake? Try the remedies below, but also consider getting evaluated by a sleep doctor for sleep apnea or hypopnea if you also snore. So many of us are not sleeping well, and don’t even know it!
#2 Stress & Stress Eating
Almost everyone who is trying to lose weight knows about stress eating. We eat large amounts of food in order to feel better and counter stress. Unfortunately, stress also releases more cortisol, leading you to want to eat more. This cortisol makes you feel hungrier, even when you really aren’t!
Stress can also make it so much harder to lose weight because negative emotions often make you more pessimistic and lethargic. Pessimism and low energy make you lazy and wanting to eat unhealthy food. Emotional eating is another name for stress eating, and this is a huge problem for many of us. Stay tuned, because I will get to this in the next blog.
Committing to healthy lifestyle changes and finding a good support system can help you make it through your stress.
#3 Finding Supportive People
Living without supportive people is another reason it can be hard to lose weight. Do you have supportive family and friends when it comes to your healthy food choices and positive lifestyle change? If not, it will be difficult to reach your weight loss goals. Constant negative critique, pessimism, or even outright sabotage won’t help you on your weight loss journey!
That’s one reason finding people to cheer you on can help you lead a healthier life. Positivity is infectious! Having a group to turn to for support can help you reach any of your goals with a lot more ease than you can on your own, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. If you don’t believe me, check out this excellent article demonstrating that the most effective weight loss efforts are those that we do with the support of others!
Now that you know some of the key ingredients for sustainable weight loss, here are some things you can do TODAY to get started.
- Go go to bed at a set time, and wake up at a set time to establish better sleeping patterns.
- Turn off your screens at least one hour before bed, and get some black out curtains.
- Avoid eating 3 hours before bed.
- Aim to sleep for at least 7 hours every night.
- Set your thermostat to 65F for the optimal sleeping temp.
- Take regular breaks, and RELAX.
- Try meditation & breathe! One easy way to begin is with the Headspace or Calm apps.
- Stay positive and create and/or keep in touch with your support system.
- Talk with your friends and family about your struggles.
- Spend some time together.
- Find a counselor or therapist if it’s hard to talk with friends and family.
- If you need more supportive people in your life, join my Healthy Happy Lifestyle Mastermind Group, where we will help each other achieve food freedom and become our best selves.
If you need help with your eating plan or one-on-one coaching, call me for a FREE 20-Minute Consultation, and let’s talk about how I can help customize YOUR weight loss plan!