Fitness,  Health

Health Journey – The “YES” List

I want to state to everyone before you read more into this post. As someone who changed her entire life around by starting my health journey in the weight loss category, I know that some people may not feel the need to do the same. I never focus on a particular number when it comes to weight loss, it’s more about seeing your body thrive and you be able to actually ENJOY your life than dealing with health issues. I recently shared my story and what started my health journey and y’all want more info so here it goes…

Rarely do you hear “DO’s” when you’re trying to maintain a healthy diet and lose weight. Everyone usually focuses on what you can’t have or what you don’t need to eat or do. Here are some things for your “yes” list. This list will focus more so on what you DO need to be eating and doing for your body to thrive. I will share a FULL “yes” list of lifestyle changes you should be making very soon (stay tuned.)

1. DO drink LOTS of water…and not just any ol’ water…ICE COLD water!
When you drink ice cold water your body actually has to BURN calories after you ingest it to warm itself back up! It is also really important that before you eat anything in the morning, the first thing you do is drink a glass of water. It gets everything moving and flowing. Drinking 2-3 glasses of ice cold water 30 minutes before you eat will help fill you up so you aren’t mindlessly eating.

I always ask for two slices of lemon when I’m eating out, and when I’m at home I also put lemon in my water because it has LOTS of health benefits. Lemon naturally boosts the immune system, helps balance the body’s pH level, reduces your body’s overall acidity level when ingested daily, and helps promote weight loss. Lemons are actually high in pectin fiber, which helps fight hunger cravings. It also has been shown that people who maintain a more alkaline diet lose weight faster if you are trying to. (I do urge you to drink filtered water only. Read more about that by clicking here.)

2. DO eat what you want—just revamp your recipes to make them more healthy!
Take your favorite foods and find lower-fat alternatives. If you love burgers, for example, you can make turkey burgers or black bean burgers. If you like French fries, make your own and bake them or cook in coconut oil. Bake chicken instead of frying it. Get almond milk and Greek yogurt instead of the higher-fat versions. While you shouldn’t give up fat completely, and in fact, some types of fat are good for you in moderation, it’s important to remember that fat is high in calories (more than twice as calorie-dense as protein or carbs), and lowering your fat intake to a more moderate amount will also lower your calorie intake. Good fats include things like avocados, almonds, flax seeds, and salmon. Adding fruits and veggies is another good way to lower fat intake, as they take up a lot of space in your stomach without adding too many calories or fat. I also believe in keeping fat releasing foods in your diet. They include things like honey, eggs, and dark chocolate.

3. DO eat five or six small meals or snacks a day instead of three large meals.
A 1999 South African study found that when men ate parts of their morning meal at intervals over five hours, they consumed almost 30 percent fewer calories at lunch than when they ate a single breakfast. Other studies show that even if you eat the same number of calories distributed this way, your body releases less insulin, which keeps blood sugar steady and helps control hunger.

4. DO use vegetables to bulk up meals.
You can eat twice as much pasta salad loaded with veggies like broccoli, carrots, and tomatoes for the same calories as a pasta salad sporting just mayonnaise and white pasta.

5. DO avoid white foods.
There is some scientific legitimacy to today’s lower-carb diets: Large amounts of simple carbohydrates from white flour and added sugar can wreak havoc on your blood sugar and lead to weight gain. While avoiding sugar, white rice, and white flour, you should eat plenty of whole grain breads and brown rice. One Harvard study of 74,000 women found that those who ate more than two daily servings of whole grains were 49 percent less likely to be overweight than those who ate the white stuff. We use all organic sprouted breads and Dave’s Killer Bread is our family favorite.

6. DO focus on eating the rainbow and if you can’t take vitamins!
I am a strong believer that our foods are our medicine. Unfortunately I know that it’s hard to eat real Whole Foods from all the food groups and get your daily dose in. TRY, try, try, TRY to eat one food from each color of the rainbow every single day… if you can’t get a well balanced diet, this is when you should lean into extra vitamins and supplements to take the place of what your body is NOT getting.

7. DO work to balance your hormones.
This is a major contributor to weight gain and not living your best life. Hormones make a large impact on our body and we don’t even realize it. Unbalanced hormones can cause mood issues, fatigue, lower your sex drive and trigger weight gain. As women, we really want to focus on reducing our abundance of estrogen in particular. Estrogen mimicers are commonly found in our personal care products, laundry products and additives in foods. How do you know when weight gain can be the cause from our hormones? Uncontrollable appetite, expanding waistline, being tired all of the time, reoccurring headaches during the same times, decreased sex drive, high blood sugar, and excessive sweating. I strongly urge you to look into a DIM supplement that helps you detox from estrogen abundance. I use this brand and I buy from Amazon. With our foods in mind, eating less sugar, white bread and factory-farmed meats will help and eating more apples, spinach, salmon, almonds and flaxseed like I mentioned above.

8. DO focus on reducing your toxic load.
THIS. IS. HUGE! I’ve actually covered this numerous times over the years. Reducing our toxic load little by little will make a huge difference in our overall health and weight. I know this part of living a healthy lifestyle can seem overwhelming and that always halts us from moving forward. Start SOMEWHERE! Anywhere, I promise, all the strides you’re making are important. Let me share with you one of my favorite posts about switching to a nontoxic lifestyle. I share my experience doing so and small steps that add up to make a big impact.

9. DO optimize your gut health.
Another big issue we face today is an imbalance in our gut health. This can be caused by an abundance of things and most frequently seen from taking antibiotics repeatedly. Our gut bacteria is crucial to our overall healthy and can not only affect your body but your brain as well. I have had so many questions about gut health and why it matters that I wrote a really detailed post that you can read by clicking here.

10. Do go see a chiropractor. I saw a HUGE difference in my weight loss and my overall health when I started getting regular chiropractic adjustments by my husband. I also saw and heard from being in his office, patients going specifically for for weight loss and health issues. It turns out that chiropractic has its effect on not only weight loss but over-all health and well being. Chiropractic realigns the spine in its proper place allowing your body to function at an optimal level. This includes your digestion, and hormone centers that play a role in your health journey and weight loss if needed. I strongly urge you to find a chiropractor (even better if they have a functional medicine background) in your area that you love and you FEEL making a positive difference on your body.

Alright y’all! I hope you use this as a guide to switching to a more healthy lifestyle and if you’re needing help with weight loss. It’s not a “diet” but more so a lifestyle change. Once you get into the habit of focusing on these things, it will become second nature. It will also help you overall with your health.