By Pat Barone, CPCC, MCC, BCC
You can have a positive effect on your health with some simple, straightforward steps that are easy to implement and simple to follow.
These are health tips, not necessarily weight loss tips, but making sure your body has the nutrients, vitamins and minerals it needs is the first step to losing weight. A body lacking in essential elements is going to stay hungry and get hungrier because it lacks what it needs to thrive.
1. Microwave in glass. Pop-your frozen entree onto a glass plate or dish before microwaving. The thin plastic containers used for frozen foods have already been through several degradations when formed, then loaded with hot prepared food, and then frozen. The degradation of plastics isn’t healthy. NEVER reuse these dishes over and over. The same advice goes for your plastic water bottle. Never freeze it!
2. Avoid aspartame and other sugar substitutes. Otherwise known as nutrasweet, aspartame was pronounced “safe” by the FDA only after political manipulation by the system in 1981. Although the government declared it safe for 20 years, they have now quietly downgraded it to “probably not safe” after several lawsuits were filed against the makers of such items as Flintstones vitamins, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Dannon yogurt, and Wrigley chewing gum.
Think the newest sugar substitute is any better? Splenda, otherwise known as sucralose, is a molecule of sugar chemically bonded to chlorine. Yes, the same chemical that’s in your bleach and has been linked to breast cancer. Canada is considering banning chlorine bleach because of cancer studies there.What’s more interesting is that sugar substitutes don’t even help you lose weight. There is substantial evidence showing that it alters a person’s ability to perceive sweetness and this is detrimental to determining your satisfaction level. The same studies show a rise in the use of sugar by people using sugar substitutes and positive weight loss when the substitutes are taken out of the diet.
3. Can the sodas. Sodas either offer you lots of high-fructose corn syrup (leading contributor to diabetes) or artificial sweeteners. Soda also dehydrates the body, so we actually need more water, not less, when drinking them. Why put dirty brown chemical water into your body?
4. Eat a minimum of 5-6 vegetables and fruits a day. The ONLY positive effect on pre-cancerous cells is a diet high in fruits and vegetables. 5-6 is a minimum.
5. Avoid white in your diet. Not the egg whites! Avoid the whites that are nutritionless: white flour, white sugar, potatoes. A baked potato, if topped with low-fat items might be OK once in a while but white flour and white sugar items like cookies, cake, donuts, scones, muffins and bagels add a ton of empty calories with no nutrition to your diet. You can literally eat these items all day and stay hungry. If you eat bread, make sure it is 100% whole wheat or whole grain.
6. Mind your fats. Not all fats impede weight loss. Good fats such as olive oil and omega-3 oils from fish like salmon and tuna give your body a positive boost in many ways. Avoid solid fats such as butter, lard and shortening. Another fat to avoid: anything used in a fast food restaurant where oils in deep fryers are often used so long they become rancid.
7. Move every day. If you don’t currently exercise, start moving in some way for 10 minutes every day. Our bodies were meant to move and they shut down if they aren’t given a range of motion… joints and muscles begin to atrophy, backs stiffen up, hearts lose strength. Even the busiest executive can find 10 minutes in the beginning of a new fitness plan to take a short walk or hop on a stationary bike. Or put on some music and dance before your day begins or while making dinner. The idea is to make a start, however limited your time.
8. Get into the sunshine. Extreme exposure to the sun can be harmful but human beings need Vitamin D from the sun. Doctors are often prescribing megadoses of Vitamin D because their patients have been using such a high level of sunblock that they wound up deficient in D. In the winter and in northern regions, this is especially important. If the sun peeks out on a grey winter day, run out and grab some rays! Don’t look directly at the sun, however, just bask in the rays and, if temperatures allow, roll up your shirtsleeves and open your collar.
9. Avoid toxic people. Negativity breeds more negativity. Our bodies hear every thought we think, so don’t get sucked into coworkers’, friends’ or family’s toxic venom. Your job is to maintain the best possible attitude about yourself, your health/fitness and the world in general. If we listen to negativity, jealousy and discontent all day, no wonder the gym doesn’t look inviting at 5 p.m.!
10. Address addictions. Feeling compelled to eat, drink or otherwise avoid life limits your power of choice. If you feel you cannot stop certain behaviors that are detrimental to your health and well-being, it may be an addiction. Addictions include food, alcohol, drugs, excuse-making, emotional drama, procrastination, sex, TV, inactivity… anything that impacts health in a negative way but feels uncontrollable.
11. Pop a vitamin. A multi-vitamin cannot make up for poor food choices but it can help you get some of the nutrients you need. Talk with your doctor about a quality vitamin product. Women over 40 may need calcium supplements as well.
12. Get plenty of sleep. First, you’ll need to determine how much you need. It will probably be between 7 and 10 hours per night for an adult. Only about half of Americans get the sleep they need each night. Lack of sleep is one of the biggest components of overeating. When you are not fully rested, you’ll eat more in an attempt to get the fuel you need to make it through the day.
13. Nourish your soul in positive ways. What really feeds you at a soul level? What calms you and makes you feel valued? It might be a bath, a wonderful book or movie, meaningful conversation, time alone, a nap, a cup of tea or playing with your kids or grandkids. The key is to discover what feeds your soul and makes you feel satisfied in life.
It may feel overwhelming to tackle all these changes at once. Changing one thing at a time is just as good, sometimes better, because that allows better focus and concentration on the change.
Which tip will you enact first? You have the power to make your future healthier and happier!
Pat Barone, “America’s Weight Loss Catalyst”, is an internationally accredited Master Certified Coach and Board Certified Coach who works with clients to radically change their relationship to food, their bodies and their lives. She’s an inspiring speaker, author and coach who built her successful coaching business, Catalyst Coaching® LLC by helping her clients confront limiting beliefs, learn new levels of self-care and know true nourishment. Her well-researched educational products, from CD classes to workbooks to e-books, have positively impacted thousands of people and her “enLIGHTen Your Life!™”program is based on a multi-level approach to one of the most complicated subjects human beings face: excess weight.
Pat’s education alone (certifications in personal training, weight management consulting (nutrition) and coaching) is formidable, but it is her personal experience that makes her unique. After 25 years of struggle, Pat lost over 70+ lbs. and has sustained her weight loss since the year 2000. The medical professional defines permanent weight loss as weight loss sustained for 5 years and more. She is featured as NBC15’s on-air life coach in Madison, WI and her website and blog are found at: http://patbarone.com, where fans can sign up to receive her free monthly newsletter. Fans can also like her fan page on Facebook at AmericasWeightLossCatalyst where she posts positive support tips every day.