Living Well – Losing weight is a combination of good habits

Vicky Trill's monthly column on fitness and weight loss.

How many times have you told yourself: “I’m going to lose weight!”?

Maybe you even started on some sort of weight loss program. Depending on your motivation and level of commitment, you may have found success but often we make a gallant effort at the newest weight loss program and then quit when the bathroom scale doesn’t agree with how hard we’ve worked.

It’s discouraging when we try really hard to eat well and exercise regularly and the scale just doesn’t reward us.

Let me back up a bit though and take a reality check. Sometimes we “say” we’re working hard when in reality we are missing the mark. If you aren’t finding yourself breathless and sweating, then you probably are not exercising. As well, if you are not eating at least three balanced meals (according to the Canada Food Guide) every day, then you are not eating well.

In the last few years I’ve heard from a number of weight loss seekers who are frustrated at their lack of progress.

“I am eating healthy food regularly including a nutritious breakfast and I’m exercising vigorously five times a week, but I’ve barely lost a pound!”

This is discouraging to say the least. “All that hard work and for what?” First of all, that hard work exercising and eating well is reaping all kinds of benefits in your body, benefits that translate into better health. Even though the scale may not be rewarding you, your heart and overall functional fitness is. So, scale weight aside it’s still worth it, but let’s look at the problem of the dreaded scale anyway.

So you’re exercising (the kind that makes your heart pump and your body sweat) and you’re eating balanced meals at regular intervals (including breakfast). But what else are you doing each day? Here are six tips for your continued health and when practiced in conjunction with regular exercise and good eating, should put that scale at a healthy weight.

1. Drink eight or more glasses of water every day.

2. Sleep seven-nine hours every night.

3. Moving regularly throughout the day? (Ideally sitting less than five hours per day.) Cleaning, gardening, walking, woodworking, etc.

4. Less than two hours of recreational screen time every day.

5. Enjoy drinks that have no sugar added.

6. Nurture relationships that make you happy and minimize relationships that cause stress.

All that may be easier said than done, so start with choosing to add one of the above tips into your life at a time, when you’ve made it a habit add another and then another and your hard work will pay off!

Vicky Trill

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