Who doesn’t want to lose weight in 2014? I am sure that most of us have that as our top resolution for the new year, whether it be 5 pounds or 50 pounds or more. Of course we all want to lose fat, especially around our middle, but maintain muscle. These are the tricks that have worked for me in the past. I, like everyone else I know, tend to eat and drink many things I normally would not over the holiday season, and so when January hits find I need to lose a few pounds.
Research shows that fat storage in women’s bodies is directly linked to two hormones: insulin and cortisol. Insulin is controlled by the food you eat, and cortisol is controlled by the amount of stress in your life.
Eating the wrong carbohydrates (sugar, bread, pasta, cereal, crackers, processed snacks etc) causes increases of insulin in your body. Eating good carbohydrates (quinoa, fruit, vegetables, bread with sprouted grains) controls your blood sugar and insulin levels.
To help keep your insulin level in check and keep your body in a fat burning zone, follow these simple steps:
Read labels: avoid -processed and packaged foods like cereals, muffins, chips, crackers, genetically modified corn, soy and wheat, hydrogenated oils, canola oil, corn syrup, margarine, sugar and artificial sweeteners.
These products not only increase your blood sugar and insulin levels, they are treated as foreign toxins in your body, causing inflammation in many organs. Avoiding these products will not only make you lose weight, but other health issues such as eczema, asthma, arthritis, will improve too.
Stick to the outer aisles in the grocery stores; they contain the fresh produce, meat, dairy etc, while the inner aisles typically hold the bad stuff.
Clean out your kitchen pantry: get rid of any of the above items.
To control cortisol levels, try to reduce the stresses in your life by following these steps:
- Get enough sleep: Sleep deprivation stresses your body. Your body repairs itself while you sleep.
- Get some, but not too much exercise: An exercise regime that is too strenuous will temporarily stress your body, causing a spike in your cortisol level.
- Surround yourself with positive people: Negative people are stressors you do not need.
- Spend more time doing the things you like to do: Take up a new hobby or rediscover an old one. If you really hate your job, look for a new one. If you can find or create a job where you get paid to do something you love to do, do it!
Other points to remember:
Good fats burn body fat: Avoid hydrogenated oils, margarine, and canola oil. Choose eggs, olive oil, avocado, and coconut oil.
Stay hydrated: drink lots of water. Carry a water bottle around with you while running errands, chauffeuring your kids etc Add a splash of lemon juice to your water to liven up the taste and cleanse your colon at the same time!
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.