January is a critical month to starting the year off right. It sets the tone for the rest of the year and helps build the foundation for all of your wellness and healthy living goals. We are now entering the fourth week of the month and statistics show that 25% of us have already abandoned our weight loss & wellness resolutions, and by the end of the month, that number will climb to nearly 50%. I am here to help you on track, especially this month so that we can work together to build a proper foundation for the new you! Here are 12 steps to keep you moving and feeling better:
Step # 1 – Snap a Selfie!
Taking your own picture may not be your favorite thing to do but it will help you lose weight. By tracking your progress with full-body shots and measurements, you are much more likely to stay motivated and lose those unwanted pounds.
Step # 2 – Love the Body You’re In
We are all different shapes and sizes. Having positive thoughts and affirmations about how your body is today and what it will look like in one month can keep you calm and confident as your body is changing.
Step # 3 – Drink Green Tea
By having green tea extract 3x/day you can burn up to 60 more calories/day.
Step # 4 – Pump Iron
Yes, those weights in the gym have a purpose. Weight training is one of the best ways to burn calories. As you make more muscle, your body will burn more calories – even at rest (Basal metabolic rate – BMR). One pound of muscle burns up to 9x the calories as 1 pound of fat.
Step # 5 – Guzzle that Water
A recent German study (1) showed that by drinking 17 more ounces of water within 60 minutes can increase your metabolic rate by 30%.
Step # 6 – Hit the Intervals
Adding small bursts of high intensity training to your workouts will burn more fat. Try adding 30 seconds of high intensity spinning on the stationary bicycle every 2 minutes, a minute of incline to every 5 minutes on the treadmill, or sprint for 30 seconds for every 3 minutes of walking/jogging.
Step # 7 – Take up a New Sport
Tennis, anyone? If your usual routine is walking, take up cycling or pick up a racquet and head for the courts. By using different muscle groups, you will burn more calories and increase your BMR.
Step # 8 – Pump up the Protein
Your digestive system requires more energy to breakdown protein than other fat or carbohydrates. Be sure to limit the total amount of protein to approximately 20-35% of your dietary intake.
Step # 9 – Don’t Skip Breakfast
Studies have found that 80% of people succeeded in weight loss /maintenance ate breakfast every day. Shoot for a 300-400 calorie breakfast like a high fiber cereal with skim milk and ½ cup of blueberries.
Step # 10 – Graze Throughout the Day
By having 5 small meals during the day instead of 3 large meals, you will increase the amount of calories burned. Your body will think it is consistently eating – making your metabolism revved up and not slow down.
Step # 11 – Get your ZZZ’s
One in 3 Americans don’t get enough sleep. Sleep is important for metabolism and physiological and psychological repair. With lack of sleep, your body is “stressed” and will release more cortisol and insulin leading to more fat storage and less fat burning. On average, try to get between 6-8 hours/night.
Step # 12 – Spice it up
Chop up some jalapeno peppers or add a teaspoon of cayenne pepper to your latest culinary concoction. These both contain capsaicin which increases the body’s release of epinephrine. Not only will you fire up your taste buds you’ll temporarily fire up your BMR as well!
As I have said before…Small changes done daily over time will lead to huge steps – in weight loss as well as many other areas of our lives! Would you like more tips on losing weight and eating healthier? Check our 10 Tips to Cut 100 Calories (Or More!).