Five Lifestyle Tips For A Leaner You
by Danna Demetre, author of Scale Down, Change Your Habits, Change Your Life and What Happened to My Life?
…Offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Romans 12:1
For many years, I ate enough to feed a third world village as I battled with emotional eating and bulimia. I know how difficult it can be to put good health first when chocolate and doughnuts seem to be calling your name. But, God created us with a body that is our one and only vehicle for life and it is our responsibility to care for it and offer it back to Him as a living sacrifice—an act of worship. So, let me ask you: How is your body worshipping its Creator?
The tips that follow can help give you a jumpstart to a healthier and leaner body. It’s easier than you think, if you make consistent lifestyle changes. A lifestyle change is something that you can do most days of your life without too much effort or deprivation. Everything else is just another diet.
TIP #1 Change Your Thinking
Do you really believe you can get and stay lean for life? If you don’t…you won’t! Get in tune with your self-talk. Romans 12:2 tells us to be “transformed by the renewing of our mind”. We do that by filling it with truth. In the human brain, the most dominant thought wins. If you tell yourself a new truth long enough, you will start to believe it and your behavior will follow. Memorize a few healthy statements that will erase and replace your old negative ones. You can also try my biblical Healthy Self-Talk CDs if you don’t know where to start. Listen or tell yourself these messages two or more times each day. Within a few months, your new self-talk will reset your “automatic pilot” and lead you down a leaner lifestyle path. This was exactly how I changed my mind, habits and life over twenty-five years ago and have found total victory over my bondage to food.
TIP #2 Change Your Attitude
Get rid of your old diet mentality and legalize all foods. If you can have any food you want, any time you want it…then you don’t need to have it all right now. Give yourself permission to enjoy your favorite foods without feeling guilty. Chances are your cravings will diminish and your will power will increase. And, while you’re at it, get rid of your “all or nothing” attitude as well. It’s not either a “diet day” or a “blow out day”. Every time you think you’ve gone a little too far off the path, start fresh right then and there. Don’t wait until the first day of the week, the first day of the month or the first day of the year. Restart again right now, even if it is Wednesday afternoon!
TIP #3 Increase Your Energy
The higher your energy, the less likely you will be to overeat. There are several important factors that will energize you to the max:
1. Eat to stabilize your blood sugar: Include a good source of protein and fiber with every meal or snack, especially at breakfast and lunch. Shoot for at least 30 grams of fiber everyday. Try to avoid highly processed or sugary foods until after lunch (and then only in small, pre-planned amounts). This will help you maintain a more stable blood sugar and that will significantly diminish cravings.
2. De-stress your life: Stress releases hormones and sugar into your blood stream creating a vicious cycle of fat storage and adrenaline rushes. When the excess sugar released during stress goes unused, (because most of us aren’t being chased by a wild animal) it ends up getting stored as fat. The answer: Decrease your stress. (What Happened to My Life? includes a 40-day journey that will help you de-stress and rediscover your passion, purpose and joy.)
3. Sleep until you are rested: Well-rested people have higher mental, emotional and physical reserves. The body regenerates at the cellular level only during deep, quality sleep. Most people need a minimum of 7½ hours per night. Try it. You’ll be amazed at how well you’ll perform in many areas of your life, including your lifestyle.
4. Exercise for maximum energy: Don’t wait to start exercising until you have enough energy. Get moving purposely every day and you will have more energy. You’ll feel better, more focused and have better self-control. Get at least 10 minutes of purposeful activity every morning before you jump in the shower. In seven days, you will feel a difference which will motivate you to work toward at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.
TIP #4 Burn More Calories
The bottom line to all fat loss is simply: Calories In versus Calories Out. But, most people severely underestimate how many calories they eat and over estimate how many they burn. If you only eat ten calories more than you burn each day, you’ll gain an extra pound of fat every year. It’s the small stuff that adds up over time. Take action and reverse that equation by burning more calories every day.
The average woman eats over 2,000 calories per day, but she only burns about 1,700. That’s the perfect formula to gain about 30 pounds in a year. If you eat 250 calories less and burn 250 calories more each day, you will lose one pound of fat per week without going on a diet or extreme exercise program. Now that’s what I mean by a lifestyle change!
TIP #5 Creative Ways to Eat Fewer Calories
1. Practice portion control: Eat one-third to one-half your normal food portions whenever possible. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to use this simple technique. Consider this: If you’ve been eating an average of 2,400 calories per day, a reduction of only 10% would result in a daily caloric savings of 240 calories. That’s about 24 pounds in one short year. One caution: Never decrease your fruit or vegetable servings.
2. Become a daytime eater: Try eating half as much food as usual after 6:00 p.m. Most Americans would be much leaner if we simply ate less food in the evenings. Think about it…we burn most of our calories in the early part of our day and eat most of our calories just before going to bed. Go figure…no wonder we’re getting fatter.
3. Go to “Calorie College”: Buy a good quality “nutritional counts” book and take one month to determine exactly what you are eating most days (not just when you are dieting). Simply knowing what you eat is essential to making wise choices. We wouldn’t think of neglecting to balance our checkbooks, but most of us don’t have a clue how much we are eating or burning.
4. Practice the ten-minute delay strategy: Whenever you have a craving for something and you’re not the least bit hungry, don’t tell yourself you can’t have it. Simply drink a tall glass of water and wait ten minutes. If you still want it, then have half the amount you usually would. This technique works most of the time…try it!
You can learn more about Danna Demetre and her resources at: www.DannaDemetre.com