About three years ago I decided to make a change. At that time, I was 280 pounds and knew I was on the edge. Either live the rest of my life as an unhealthy person with mounting health issues or try and turn it around. It took about a year to get down to 220 and since then I drift between 208 and 213 depending on what is going on. The benefits have been numerous. Here is the regiment that anyone can follow and have success with. It best described as a philosophy rather than a diet or exercise routine.
Routine Over Metrics
I don’t use a Fitbit or calorie counter of any kind or keep records of any sort. Instead I focus on having a routine and executing. Personally, I think keeping track of weight, calories, food, reps, and all else can be a counterproductive trap. The trap of feeling bad and disappointing yourself. Because you didn’t burn as much as yesterday, or you enjoyed a night out at a restaurant, or you have unreasonable standards to maintain. My routine is to work out 11 out of every 14 days. No plan for when the days off will be. If I am tired that day I don’t work out. But on each workout day do 30 minutes or 1 hour of cardio. For me that is either on the stepper, the elliptical, or treadmill. On each day I hit every muscle group for weights. 3 sets for every exercise. At least 1 exercise for muscle group. Simple.
Why Am I Eating This?
Instead of adhering to a complex diet or a set of foods or a calorie count I approach diet with a certain philosophy. I ask myself every time I eat, “Why am I eating this?” This develops an appreciation for food. It also develops your awareness in terms of hunger versus pleasure or stress eating. Am I not hungry but eating this anyway? Is this nutritious or just a salty pleasure snack while I watch Curb Your Enthusiasm? Is this part of a meal towards the calories I need or something else? Thinking of food this way has lead to better health for me. It also always you to go ahead and indulge when you want to. Because you are not fooling yourself and indulging is not bad.
Was This Made in a Machine?
Another tactic I use is to ask myself was this food made in a machine? If so it probably has a lot more chemicals, a lot more sugar, and a lot more sodium. If a food is closer to its natural state then it probably has higher nutritional content, less chemicals, less sugar, less sodium, less carbohydrates, and your body can digest it better. This tactic will also lead to better health. It also makes you think of a box of Cheese-Its differently as it does a box of Bisquick. It will make you think of the available products in the store differently. You will start seeking out more raw and natural foods. Understanding that the easy choices are heavily processed.
Minimal Intake After 7:00 PM
If you don’t want to gain weight and you want your body to work better don’t intake food after 7:00 PM. Your body will work better, and you will sleep better, and you won’t be making as much fat during hibernation. Your body will also react better the next morning when you do eat.
Water and Sleep
Drop processed drinks and sleep more. Replacing your sodas, and juices, and carbonated beverages with water does wonders. As does making sleep a priority. If you can’t get enough sleep during the week schedule a couple days during the month to catch up on sleep. It works and it is worth it. Better pillows and better mattresses. View sleep as something to get better at.
Make diet and exercise a philosophy instead of a set of instructions to follow. This will result in better health. The goal is constant incremental lifestyle changes that you can live with and not immediate results. Also, when you don’t have a goal to achieve there isn’t a finish line. Instead keep getting better at each piece all the time.