I had a lot of fun over the holidays! From Thanksgiving to after New Years Eve I didn’t work out one time, and I ate and drank everything I wanted to. No joke, I did not hold back at all!! If I wanted to eat Christmas cookies all day long I did. If I wanted to eat a huge dinner and a bottle of wine at 11:00pm then have dessert after I did. Let me just say, I enjoyed myself and I don’t regret it! :)
All that fun caught up to me and when I stepped on the scale on January 2nd and I had gained 9 pounds. More importantly than the scale going up, I saw a noticeable difference when I looked in the mirror and my clothes didn’t fit the same (meaning I could barely button my jeans). In additional to my body changes, I didn’t feel my best. My head was cloudy, I was always tired, bloated, overall just yuck!
I used to love doing an intense diet or cleanse or detox to get immediate results and shock my body back into where it was. As I get older that does not appeal to me. I’d rather take it easy on my body and make a few small changes at a time that I can actually do and maintain, and not feel like garbage from it being so drastic.
Here are the few things I always start with that I can start seeing results within 2 weeks. They are small adjustments that make a big change in my life. So far, I have lost 5 of the 9 pounds. Then after I have made these things my lifestyle I can build on them; tighten up my diet even more or add more to my work outs.
- Eat dinner at least 4 hours before bed and do not eat anything after dinner. This makes a huge difference! Late night snacking is the worst thing you can do. It adds weight quickly and makes you bloated. It can be hard the first couple of nights not eating after dinner, I usually go to bed hungry. But my body adjusts after about 5 days and I don’t feel hungry any more at bed time.
- Do not eat candy or anything sugary all day long. I have a major sweet tooth! And when I let myself eat anything and everything I want, I snack on candy and cookies all day long. When I say all day I really mean it. Like breakfast, lunch, dinner, after dinner and snacks all day long. This constant intake of sugar is so unhealthy. Since I have such an intense sweet tooth I still allow myself to have something each day. I have a small portion only once a day and I eat it in the morning or early afternoon.
- Move your body for at least 30 minutes, 3 times a week. Ideally this would be going to the gym or some kind of work out. If you have slacked at the gym or your work outs then get back to them! But if you’re not a gym/work out person, trying to add that to your lifestyle may be something you can’t commit to long term. Instead, do something you can stick with. Make this a walk outside or doing something active with your kids, go on a bike ride. Do anything that moves your body.
- Switch your alcohol drink to vodka or tequila. Red wine, beer and dark liquors have a lot of sugar and/or carbs. If you want to have an alcoholic drink, have vodka or tequila with as little sugar added to the drink as possible. I loooooove red wine! I used to drink it every night at the end of the day. But I learned drinking red wine every night adds weight to my waistline. I switched my drink to vodka, soda with lemon or lime (no sugar) and my waist stays slim. I drink Tito’s vodka, its very clean and gluten free.
- Drink lots of water. Lack of water or being dehydrated makes your body bloat and stay swollen. The body thinks it’s going thru a drought and holds onto all the water it has. Drinking a lot of water flushes out the body and helps with weight loss. And the added bonus, drinking a lot of water hydrates the skin and gives you a healthy glow.
- Get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Getting adequate rest is everything! Our bodies need enough sleep to reset and recharge. I’m sure we have all seen the commercials about cortisol being flushed out of our system when we sleep. And if we don’t get enough sleep the cortisol isn’t fully flushed out and it causes weight gain. Well, it’s true! Our bodies need sleep to reset our systems and wake up with energy. That energy helps us make healthier food choices and get some exercise.
- Eat healthy during the week, splurge on the weekends. Eating healthy makes me feel great, and the food tastes delicious. But some times it feels like a job and I just want a piece of pizza or a burger and a milkshake. This is why I allow myself to splurge and eat what I want on the weekends. This mentally makes it easier to make healthy food choices during the week. If I’m craving chocolate cake, I know I can have it this Saturday. It makes it much easier to eat healthy now. Plus, it’s all about balance. I want to be able to enjoy my life and not feel like a slave to a diet.