My church, The Journey, is going through a teaching series entitled “Bod4God” after the similarly-titled book by “anti-fat” Pastor Steve Reynolds. After losing 100 pounds, Reynolds shares his weight loss journey with four principles to a better body in his book and encourages readers to dedicate their bodies to God in order to live the fullest life.
Whether you believe in a higher power or not, there’s no doubt that we are meant to live the best life possible with the best version of ourselves. The best possible life for you can mean having a successful career, being married, trying something new every day, winning an award, climbing Mount Everest… Whatever your dreams may be for a fulfilling life, they can’t happen if you’re not living. And if you’re not healthy, you’re unable to enjoy them to the fullest if you’re not healthy.
So on that note, here are a few tips gathered by personal trainers, nutritionists and health coaches who attend The Journey.
On Eating Healthy:
- Change Your Attitude. Don’t think of it as a diet, but as a lifestyle change.
- Cook more instead of eating out. It’s healthier and less expensive.
- The fewer ingredients the better. When shopping, buy products that have minimal ingredients. For example, canned beans should say “beans.”
- Read the back of the package. Check ingredients, sugars, and calories before purchasing.
- Go shopping when you are full, not when you are hungry.
- Give yourself permission to “cheat” one meal each week.
- Think more, not less. Eat five to six small meals a day every three to four hours to regulate bloog sugar levels and speed up your metabolism.
- Eat a healthy scheduled meal even if you are not hungry. If you don’t, you will overeat at the next meal and justify eating bad foods.
- Have healthy snacks available all day, like fruits and veggies. It will keep you from being so hungry at meal time.
- When eating out, most portions are too big. Ask for a doggie bag to go. Then it becomes two meals for the price of one.
- Eat green foods everyday. Any green vegetable will do.
- Go raw. Eat as many raw foods as possible, as they are rich in enzymes and nutrients.
- Quit eating white products. Keep the consumption of starchy carbohydrates (rice, pasta, potatoes, bread, etc) to a minimum and preferably only at breakfast or lunch to avoid fat storage.
- Eat more seafood. It is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Drink plenty of water. Drink eight to nine eight-ounce cups of water a day.
- Drink clean water every day, not bottled water, which is expensive on your wallet and the environment. Filter your own water.
- Don’t punish yourself. It’s ok to reward yourself with a treat every now and then.
- Wait at least ten minutes before you go back for seconds or get dessert. It takes a few moments before your body feels full.
- Eat something within thirty minutes of waking up. It will get your metabolism going first thing in the morning.
- Have fun. An enjoyable activity that is 80% effective beats a 100% activity that is never practiced.
- Be consistent in your workouts. It’s better to work out two days a week for a year, than five days a week for two months and then quit.
- Exercise in the morning. It is a great way to start your day.
- Take the stairs instead of the elvator.
- Walk instead of taking the subway or catching a taxi.
- Take a walk every day at lunchtime.
- Listen to your body. If an exercise is painful beyond general muscle fatigue, stop and move on to something else.
- Move to live. Movement energizes the muscles and nervous system and stimulates the brain.
- Mix it up. Make sure to include cardiovascular, stretching, and strength exercises to ensure a balanced routine.
- Listen to music. Make sure to have fun when you are exercising.
- Make it part of your life. Make exercise a daily activity.
- Schedule it. Schedule your workouts in your planner just as you would schedule work appointments.
- Disciples of discipline. An accoutability partner can offer you support and encouragement.
- Forgive yourself. Understand that you will mess up. There’s no need for self-punishment to get back on track.
- Sleep. The average adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep a night.
- Take time to rest. If diet or exercise feels like work, keep the Sabbath holy by taking the seventh day off.
- Drink water. It is important to always be hydrating yourself.
- Take a multi-vitamin every day.
While many of these are “easy” and may not be new to many of you, it doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves of the simplest things to help us accomplish our weight loss goals or to maintain our healthy lifestyles. I definitely needed to be reminded of #17 in eating and was challenged by #12 in exercise. I think I will tape these tips into my food journal. Even a goddess needs a reminder every now and then.
What two things do you need to work on?