Hey Angels and Alphas,
When you’re trying to achieve weight loss, it’s sometimes easy to get caught up in all the specifics: specifically which foods you should eat, your precise meal timing, and silly details such as whether white rice is better than brown. But the thing is, it’s usually the fundamentals that will make the biggest difference for your weight loss efforts.
Here’s one way to think about it. Imagine your time as a jar.
If you have rocks, pebbles and sand in your hand, and you have to fill up the jar as quickly as possible, you’re going to use the big rocks, right? Those are the key habits that are going to make the most significant difference in moving you forward toward your goals.
Many people tend to focus on the minute-to-minute of their weight loss efforts and latch onto restrictive diets as a legitimate means for quick weight loss. The problem with this “sand and pebbles” approach is that spending time and energy focusing on the details will not be sustainable in the long term.
Many people find that by focusing on the “big rocks”, they will get better long-term results. Their efforts will feel more doable.
That’s why we’re here to explore some of the “big rocks” you can focus on to train your long-term thinking and keep your eyes on the long game.
#1 STAYING ACTIVE
People can get so caught up in how they should be working out (and for how long,) and this will often get in the way of their training itself. What (and how much) exercise you do will completely depend on what your goals are.
But if your goals are leading a healthy lifestyle and achieving weight loss, then just developing the routine of moving daily is a great place to start. This could mean walking, bodyweight training, running, or following a strength-training program.
But to start, the specifics won’t be important. Once exercise is one of the main parts of your routine, you can always make it more challenging. But don’t let this “finding the perfect workout” stop you from moving every day.
#2 GET IN ALL YOUR VEGGIES AND FRUITS
There’s a lot of talk about superfoods in the weight loss community nowadays. There’s always debate on which fruits and veggies are best, but simply ensuring that you get some of the produce at every meal can be a total game-changer.
Weight loss will require you to eat fewer calories, but people will still want to see a full plate and feel that their stomach is full. Eating more veggies and more fruits will help you feel fuller without feeling deprived because of all the added fiber. If you make eating healthy food a habit, you’re winning the game.
#3 MANAGE SLEEP QUALITY AND STRESS
Most people tend to underestimate how important managing stress and getting enough sleep are in terms of weight loss. When you’re chronically stressed – be it from not getting enough sleep or piling on physical/mental stress – your stress hormone (cortisol) will be elevated.
This will cause a cascade effect on other hormones that are related to weight loss. This can also promote chronic inflammation, negatively impacting many of the tissues inside your body and making weight loss an even bigger challenge.
#4 EAT MINDFULLY
One of the biggest factors to successful weight loss is being a mindful eater. A lot of the time, we’re going to be preoccupied when we eat and hardly be paying any attention to what we’re eating.
This can easily lead to overeating and not feeling satisfied after your meals. Being mindful is having that added awareness of what you’re eating and how much you’re going to eat, giving you the feeling of being present in the moment. When you’re more aware of what you’re eating, you’re going to be more likely to use moderation.
#5 REDUCE ADDED SUGAR AND PROCESSED FOODS
Another small change that can have a massive impact on your diet is reducing added sugar and the amount of processed foods you consume. This doesn’t mean eliminating them entirely, but simply reducing them will help you focus on foods that fill you up more, satisfy you, and thus help you lose weight on a calorie budget. Added sugars will increase the caloric content of food, all while providing little to no nutrients. Plus, added sugars won’t impact your hunger levels.