10 Top habits for weight loss

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“Top 10 Habits” you need to start doing in order to heal your body and lose weight. Although seemingly basic, they are incredibly powerful once made into a new habit.  If you struggle with weight loss programs, it is usually because you are constantly fighting your usual routine.  You are either fighting the urge to go back to an old way of eating, an old resistance to exercise, or an old way of thinking about nutrition, your body, and your self-worth.

1 – Breathe Deeply

Start with taking 5 minutes a day to take deep belly breaths, and increase to 3x a day after some practice. Feel your body relax with each breath.  You can do this when you wake up, before you go to sleep, or after a hectic or stressful event to relax your body and mind. Breathing is extremely versatile (it’s free and you can do it anywhere!) so create a time and place that works best for you. Then, just chill and breathe. And there you have it: the foundation for all the other habits. The rest will be a piece of cake.

2 – Hydrate

Find a method that works best for you, but make sure you’re drinking at least 64 oz. of water daily. Remember, it’s best to drink large amounts of water between meals and have a cup of green tea after meals to help with digestion.

3 – Eat Healthy Food First

Plan to have fresh vegetables and fruits, healthy fats, and quality proteins in your diet every day. It’s best to focus on eating these foods first, and then only add in the less healthy carbs after if needed. You can be as simple or as creative as you want. I know it doesn’t look like an extensive food list, but you really can do a lot with it. Look online and you can find thousands of amazing recipes with these whole foods.  Just Google gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free recipes. The key: crowd out the bad stuff with the good stuff!

4 – Take care of Your Gut

Happy belly = happy life. Start a daily habit of adding healthy gut flora food to your diet, and eliminating the things that feed bad bacteria. Add: Prebiotic foods that that feed gut flora and probiotic bacteria (like onions and garlic) and probiotic foods (kombucha, yogurt , sauerkraut), or take a probiotic supplement. Subtract: Overusing antibiotics and NSAIDs (if permitted by your doc), processed sugar, and stress.

5 – Eliminate Toxins

Work to eat a clean, whole food diet. Use glass and BPA free products so you don’t accidently ingest harmful plastic, and try using some simple vinegar for cleaning up in place of harmful chemical cleaners. This new habit may seem not as important as some of the others, but let me tell you, in terms of your long-term health, it could save your life!

6 – Get Moving

If you work on a computer, set a timer to remind you to get up and move every 20 minutes or use a balance ball or standing desk. Start exercising at least 3 times a week for 10 minutes a day. Increase when you feel ready. Routine exercise will help transform your health and happiness incredibly fast! It’s a must!

7 – Get Goals

Come up with one short-term and one long-term goal to strive for. Go through each S.M.A.R.T. step and break your goal down.  Then write it out, put it up where you can see it every day, and kick butt on your goals!

8 – Unlock Your Vision

Gather a poster board, scissors, glue, and pictures (photos or magazine cutouts) and make a collage of what you want your life to look like. Think about your job, hobbies, body, family, house, car, vacations, feelings, etc.  Try finishing sentence like “I wish I were…” or, “I wish I had…” to get started.  -Look at the poster board every day and smile. This will be your life. If you’re digitally savvy, you can make this collage on the computer in Photoshop, PowerPoint, or any other digital art program.

9 – Create Affirmations and a Mantra

Spend some time thinking about what you are grateful for and make a list. Read that list every day. Then create a few affirmations about how you feel (or are trying to feel) about your health and other areas of your life.  If you want, put them altogether in a mantra and repeat it often. The more you say it the better! If it helps, put these affirmations around your house, car, or computer so you can be constantly reminded to say them aloud. Take note of the difference in how you feel when you say them versus when you don’t say them. Remember, the more you say them the more they will feel true… and eventually be true.

10 – Nurture Yourself

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Take some time every week to nurture yourself.  Spend some time alone and do something just for you, something whose sole purpose is to fill you up inside, relax you, and help you truly connect with yourself. This skill takes time and effort to develop, but is incredibly priceless.