Summer is coming and for many of you, you are still thinking about how to shed a few pounds in time for the beach. While most people know to eat less calories and exercise more, did you know there are other things you can do to boost your weight loss efforts? Here are some of the lesser-known options that can help you get fit and stay fit.
Drink Red Wine (In Moderation)
The chemicals in red wine can help you burn fat. Just one drink a day for women is enough to enjoy these benefits. Specifically, the resveratrol in red wine helps your body process and break down fats. Alcohol is a natural diuretic and when used only a few times a week, will not harm you. The diuretic effects can help you remove excess fluid from your body. Some people prefer a cold drink or an iced drink like you can get from Sliq, just be sure not to overdo it, and to replenish with water and electrolytes as needed.
Have you heard of intermittent fasting? It is where you do not eat food during certain hours of the day, and you instead eat during what is called “eating windows”. It is meant to be done occasionally, and you still eat enough calories during the eating window to sustain you for the day. Intermittent fasting is not about starvation. It is about giving your body a rest, and time to get into fat-burning modes. One Intermittent Fasting Method is to fast for 12 hours, and then start and end your meals in the next 12 hours. This one is very easy to do. You stop eating at 7 or 8 PM and then resume eating at 7 or 8 AM. You do most of the fasting while you sleep.
Do Not Workout Too Much
Exercise is good, but too much exercise can have the opposite effects of what you are expecting. Unless you are training for an event like an ironman or marathon, there is no need to exercise for hours a day. In fact, if you continue exercising without a good diet, it can force your body into a stress response and stall weight loss or even cause you to gain weight. Instead, just 60 minutes a day of activity can boost your weight loss. Some of the best exercises are bodyweight for strength and walking/jogging for cardio. If you enjoy classes, there are many options for dance, HIIT, Pilates, Yoga, and more. Keep it fun, and make sure it is something YOU enjoy.
Stress hormones are notorious for causing weight gain and stalling weight loss. If you want to drop the pounds, focus not only on food and exercise, but on ways to reduce your stress levels. People who are less-stressed are able to lose weight more easily. Some of my favorite ways to destress is to practice mindfulness and gratitude. It is easy to focus on all the bad things that happened in a day, but something special happens to your body when you can find the silver lining. Take a few minutes at the end of a day to say all the things you are thankful for. Some people even like to keep a gratitude journal to put the practice on paper.
Sleep 8 Hours A Night
Well, 7-9 hours is ideal, but let us say 8 hours a night is optimal. The truth is most people do not get enough rest, or their sleep is not very restful. Some of the problems you may encounter is technology, caffeine consumption, stress, and medications. All of these things can make is difficult to sleep at night.
Most experts recommend turning off all technology at least an hour before bed. The blue light from phone screens, computers, and some televisions interrupts your body’s ability to make melatonin which is needed for sleep. Additionally, you want to sleep in a room as dark as possible. Any light in the room or coming from the window can cause problems.
During the day you also want to get as much natural sunlight as possible. It helps your body clock stay working effectively so your sleep cycles do not get interrupted.
While weight loss can often feel elusive, it is also possible to drop those extra pounds when you do enough of the helpful things regularly.