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7 Quick Ways to Lose Weight Before Summer

7 Quick Ways to Lose Weight Before Summer

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    It’s that time of year again when everyone wants to lose a few pounds, to get ready for summer and no doubt there will be an array of diets in the media. Many of these diets are unrealistic for the average individual due to not being able to afford countless ingredients, having the time to make meals that require a a lot of prep is difficult, or the diets that restrict the intake of food can be hard to maintain. Not only are they unrealistic, but they’re incredibly bad for you. If you do manage to lose weight on them it’s only a matter of time before you put it back on.

    What’s my take on quick ways to lose weight for summer? It’s the right way, and by that I mean it’s the healthy way.

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    There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to weight loss, as many people take the approach of less food and huge amounts of cardio. This couldn’t be more wrong. The main contributor to weight loss is in your food. Quite possibly the reason you’re not losing any weight is that you’re not eating enough. You should aim to have three main meals, three snacks and eight glasses of water each day. You’re made up of roughly 70% water, so it is essential to try and drink at least eight cups a day. It will help flush out toxins, is great for your skin and your heart, boosts your energy levels, and helps aid digestion. So drink up!

    While cardio is important for weight loss, it’s a combination of strength work and cardio that have the most impact on weight when it comes to exercise. When you strengthen and build your muscles your body will burn off more calories while you’re doing nothing, as it increases your metabolism. Now I know a lot of women don’t like to do a lot of strength training because they don’t want to get “bulky” but you need not worry about that. Women’s muscles are completely different than men’s and are naturally smaller, so you’ll feel stronger be more toned and have less fat. Why would you not want that?

    Exercise should be enjoyable. It should be fun and something you look forward to. If you don’t like the gym or don’t have a huge amount of time spare to attend classes, there are plenty of at home workouts available online that don’t require equipment or take up too much of your day. Check out this great beginner’s guide to at home workouts:

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      If you can afford a gym membership, try out a variety of classes and see which ones you like best. There are all kinds of classes out there, from beginners to advanced, from Zumba to Combat. If you can get a friend or family member to go with you, that will make it even more enjoyable!

      It goes without saying that food is by far one of the hardest things to have full control over thanks to the un-ending amount of temptation and media fixations. There are so many labels and articles saying to eat something one week and then next week it says to avoid it like the plague. It’s confusing right?

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      A great way to start adjusting to healthy eating is to not go mad all at once. It’s the gradual approach that works best. As opposed to eliminating foods, try substituting food instead. When it comes to rice and pasta, opt for the brown versions, as they’re higher in fiber and generally a whole lot better for you. The same goes for bread–swap the white bread for some whole meal; it tastes so much better with less calories! You can also swap those white potatoes for sweet potatoes. Add vegetables to your meals, try some salads, try to eat fruit in between your meals to stop snacking on food that aren’t helping your waistline!

      If you eat properly throughout your day, ensuring you eat decent-sized meals that are full of nutrients and vitamins and have healthy snacks you’ll be less like to go on a late night food bender. After dinner have a snack prepared to eat later, so you’re not tempted to just grab a load of biscuits or that last slice of cake. It’s perfectly fine to have something sweet during the day and have a cheat meal every now and again–the key is moderation!

      Emotional eating is becoming increasingly more popular due to the stressful nature of our lifestyles. Exercise will help reduce stress, and eating healthier will no doubt make you feel better, but we all still have those days when we just feel down and don’t want to do anything but eat a tub of ice cream, devour a cake, or order a deep-dish pizza and watch our favourite movies. The key to dealing with emotional eating is to consciously take control of the situation. When you’re just about to delve into whatever you’ve chosen, walk away and run a bath, paint your nails, or simply step outside, take a few deep breaths and ask yourself if you really want to eat it.

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      If you really struggle with controlling you’re eating I would advise you to keep a food log. Record everything you’ve consumed each day and at the end of every day write how this made you feel, whether it was a good day or a bad day so when you feel like eating because of your emotions you can read it and write down what it is you want to eat and why. Chances are that once you’ve walked away and taken control, you’ll realize you didn’t actually want it in the first place.

      Also ensure that you’re getting enough sleep. You should be aiming to get between 7-8 hours per night. This will help also help reduce stress and make you feel more energized and refreshed during the day. Those who tend to have less or worse quality of sleep find it more difficult to concentrate and do simple day to day tasks. This has a negative impact on how they feel and can lead to emotional eating habits. Get into a routine, with exercise, the times you eat, go to bed at the same time, wake up at the same time, and try to avoid using your phone while in bed. You’ll soon develop a healthy sleeping pattern and have a good night sleep every night!

      So, here’s a summary of all that:

      • You don’t have to eat less, you just have to eat right.
      • Enjoy your exercise, aim to combine strength with cardio three times a week for 30-60 minutes.
      • Eat three meals a day and snack in between.
      • Water is your new best friend. Drink it!
      • Avoid late-night binging.
      • Take control of emotional eating.
      • Get at least 7-8 hours sleep per night.

      Follow these 7 simple steps and you’ll have that summer body you’ve always desired. By doing it this way you’ll inevitably change your lifestyle for the better and reap a number health benefits that come from eating right and exercising, what you’ll look like is just a bonus! And don’t forget to have fun!

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      Effective Ways To Stop Negative Thoughts From Getting You Down Get Healthy and In Shape: 15 Diet Myths Debunked! 10 Things Only People With Orthorexia (Eating Disorder) Would Understand When You Start To Pick Up Running, These 13 Amazing Things Will Happen 15 Simple Exercises and 20 Easy Recipes That Keep Your Heart Healthy

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      1 Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (and What to Do About It) 2 8 Best Multivitamins For Men, Women And Kids 3 How to Stop Overeating the Healthy Way (Step-by-Step Guide) 4 10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today 5 10 Books On Health That Increase Your Eating And Body Awareness

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      Last Updated on November 12, 2020

      Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (and What to Do About It)

      Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (and What to Do About It)

      If you find that you’re feeling tired all the time, it’s important to understand that it’s a common problem for many. With all of the demands of daily life, being tired seems to be the new baseline. In fact, two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week.[1]

      If you’re tired of feeling exhausted, then I’ve got some great news for you. New research is helping us gain critical insights into the underlying causes of feeling tired all the time.

      In this article, we’ll discuss the latest reasons why you’re so tired and practical steps you can take to finally get to the bottom of your fatigue and feel rested.

      What Happens When You’re Too Tired

      If you sleep just two hours less than the normal eight hours, you could be as impaired as someone who has consumed up to three beers.[2] And you’ve probably experienced the impact yourself.

      Here are some common examples of what happens when you’re feeling tired:[3]

      • Trouble focusing because memory and learning functions may be impaired.
      • Experience mood swings and an inability to differentiate between what’s important and what’s not.
      • Dark circles under your eyes and/or your skin make look dull and lackluster in the short term and over time your skin may get wrinkles and show signs of aging because your body didn’t have time to remove toxins during sleep.
      • Finding it more difficult to exercise.
      • Immune system may weaken, causing you to pick up infections more easily.
      • Overeating because not getting enough sleep activates the body’s endocannabinoids, even when you’re not hungry.
      • Metabolism slows down, so what you eat is more likely to be stored as belly fat.

      Why Are You Feeling Tired All the Time?

      Leading experts are starting to recognize that there are three primary reasons people feel tired on a regular basis: sleep deprivation, fatigue, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

      Here’s a quick overview of each common cause of fatigue and feeling tired all of the time:

      1. Tiredness occurs from sleep deprivation when you don’t get high-quality sleep consistently. It typically can be solved by changing your routine and getting enough deep, restorative sleep.
      2. Fatigue occurs from prolonged sleeplessness, which could be triggered by numerous health problems, such as mental health issues, long-term illness, fibromyalgia, obesity, sleep apnea, or stress. It typically can be improved by changing your lifestyle and using sleep aids or treatments, if recommended by your physician.
      3. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a medical condition also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis that occurs from persistent exhaustion that doesn’t go away with sleep.

      The exact cause of CFS is not known, but it may be due to problems with the immune system, a bacterial infection, a hormone imbalance, or emotional trauma. It typically involves working with a doctor to rule out other illnesses before diagnosing and treating CFS.[4]

      Always consult a physician to get a personal diagnosis about why you are feeling tired, especially if it is a severe condition.

      You can learn more about some causes of fatigue in this video:

      Feeling Tired Vs Being Fatigued

      If lack of quality sleep doesn’t seem to be the root cause for you, then it’s time to explore fatigue as the reason you are frequently feeling tired.

      Until recently, tiredness and fatigue were thought to be interchangeable. Leading experts now realize that tiredness and fatigue are different.

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      Tiredness is primarily about lack of sleep. However, fatigue is a perceived feeling of being tired that is much more likely to occur in people who have depression, anxiety, or emotional stress and/or are overweight and physically inactive[5].

      Symptoms of fatigue include:

      • Difficulty concentrating
      • Low stamina
      • Difficulty sleeping
      • Anxiety
      • Low motivation

      These symptoms may sound similar to those of tiredness, but they usually last longer and are more intense.

      Unfortunately, there is no definitive reason why fatigue occurs because it can be a symptom of an emotional or physical illness. However, there are still a number of steps you can take to reduce difficult symptoms by making a few simple lifestyle changes.

      How Much Sleep Is Enough?

      The number one reason you may feel tired is because of sleep deprivation, which means you are not getting enough high-quality sleep.

      Research suggests that most adults need 7 to 9 hours of high-quality, uninterrupted sleep per night[6]. If you’re sleep deprived, the amount of sleep you need increases.

      Get the right amount of sleep to stop feeling tired.

        The key to quality sleep is being able to get long, uninterrupted sleep cycles throughout the night. It typically takes 90 minutes for you to reach a state of deep REM sleep where your body’s healing crew goes to work.

        Ideally, you want to get at least 3 to 4 deep REM sleep cycles in per night. That’s why it’s so important to stay asleep for 7 or more hours.

        Research also shows that people who think they can get by on less sleep don’t perform as well as people who get at least seven hours of sleep a night[7]

        If you are not getting 7 hours of high-quality sleep regularly, then sleep deprivation is the most likely reason you feel tired all the time. That is actually good news because sleep deprivation is much simpler and easier to address than the other root causes.

        It’s also a good idea to rule out sleep deprivation as the reason why you are tired before moving on to the other possibilities, such as fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which may require a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

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        4 Simple Changes to Reduce Fatigue

        Personally, I’m a big believer in upgrading your lifestyle to uplift your life. I overcame chronic stress and exhaustion by making these four changes to my lifestyle:

        1. Eating healthy, home-cooked meals versus microwaving processed foods or eating out
        2. Exercising regularly
        3. Using stressbusters
        4. Creating a bedtime routine to sleep better

        After I made the 4 simple changes in my lifestyle, I no longer felt exhausted all of the time.

        I was so excited that I wanted to help others replace stress and exhaustion with rest and well-being, too. That’s why I became a Certified Holistic Wellness Coach through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute.

        Interestingly enough, I discovered that Dr. Sears recommends a somewhat similar L.E.A.N. lifestyle:

        • L is for Lifestyle and means living healthy, including getting enough sleep.
        • E is for Exercise and means getting at least 20 minutes of physical activity a day, ideally for six days a week.
        • A is for Attitude and means thinking positive and reducing stress whenever possible.
        • N is for Nutrition and means emphasizing a right-fat diet, not a low-fat diet.

        The L.E.A.N. lifestyle is a scientifically-proven way to reduce fatigue, get to the optimal weight, and to achieve overall wellness.[8]

        Living Healthy

        Getting enough high-quality sleep every day is the surefire way to help you feel less fatigued, more rested, and better overall.

        In fact, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body isn’t getting the time it needs to repair itself; meaning that if you are suffering from an illness, it’s far more likely to linger. In fact, long-term sleep deprivation has been linked to an increase in Alzheimer’s later in life[9].

        As unlikely as it sounds, though, fatigue can sometimes make it difficult to sleep. That’s why I’d recommend taking a look at your bedtime routine before you go to bed and optimize it based on sleep best practices.

        Here are 3 quick and easy tips for creating a pro-sleep bedtime routine:

        1. Unplug

        Many of us try to unwind by watching TV or doing something on an iPhone or tablet. However, tech can affect your melatonin production due to the blue light that they emit, fooling your body into thinking it’s still daytime. This won’t help you stop feeling tired all the time.

        Try to turn off all tech one hour before bed and create a tech-free zone in your bedroom.

        2. Unwind

        Use the time before bed to do something you find relaxing such as reading a book, listening to soothing music, meditating, or taking an Epsom salt bath.

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        3. Get Comfortable

        Ensure your bed is comfortable and your room is set up for sleep.

        Make sure you room is cool. 60-68 degrees is the ideal temperature for most people to sleep. Also, it’s ideal if your bedroom is dark and there is no noise.

        Finally, make sure everything is handled (e.g., laying out tomorrow’s clothes) before you get into your nice, comfy bed. If your mind is still active, write a to-do list to help you fall asleep faster.[10]

        This article also offers practical tips to build a bedtime routine: How to Build a Good Bedtime Routine That Makes Your Morning Easier

        Exercise

        Many people know that exercise is good for them, but they just can’t figure out how to fit it into their busy schedules.

        That’s what happened in my case, but when my chronic stress and exhaustion turned into systemic inflammation (which can lead to major diseases like Alzheimer’s), I realized it was time to change my sedentary lifestyle.

        I decided to start swimming because it was something I had always loved to do. Find an exercise you love and stick to it to stop feeling tired all the time. Ideally, get a combination of endurance training, strength training, and flexibility training during your daily 20-minute workout.

        If you haven’t exercised in a while and have a lot of stress in your life, you may want to give yoga a try as it will increase your flexibility and lower your stress.

        Attitude

        Stress may be a major reason why you aren’t feeling well all of the time. At least that was the case with me.

        When I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive, I felt chronically stressed and exhausted, but there was one thing that always worked to help me feel calmer and less fatigued: Breathing.

        But not just any old breathing. It was a special form of deep Yogic breathing called the “Long-Exhale Breathing” or “4-7-8 breathing” (or “Pranayama” in Sanskrit).

        Here’s how you do Long-Exhale Breathing:

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        1. Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight and your hand on your tummy.
        2. Breathe in deeply and slowly from your diaphragm with your mouth closed while you count to 4 (ideally until your stomach feels full of air).
        3. Hold your breath while you mentally count to 7 and enjoy the stillness.
        4. Breathe out through your mouth with a “ha” sound while you count to 8 (or until your stomach has no more air in it).
        5. Pause after you finish your exhale while you notice the sense of wholeness and relaxation from completing one conscious, deep breath.
        6. Repeat 3 times, ensuring your exhale is longer than your inhale so you relax your nervous system.

        This type of “long-exhale breathing” is scientifically proven to reduce stress.

        When your exhale is twice as long as your inhale, it soothes your parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates the relaxation response.[11]

        Nutrition

        Diet is vital for beating fatigue if you’re feeling tired all the time – after all, food is your main source of energy.

        If your diet is poor, then it implies you’re not getting the nutrients you need to sustain healthy energy levels, which may lead to daytime sleepiness.

        Eating a diet for fatigue doesn’t need to be complicated or time-consuming though. For most people, it’s just a case of swapping a few unhealthy foods for a few healthier ones, like switching from low-fiber, processed foods to whole, high-fiber foods.

        Here’re 9 simple diet swaps you can make today:

        1. Replace your morning coffee with Matcha green tea and drink only herbal tea within six hours of bedtime.
        2. Add a healthy fat or protein to any carb you eat, especially if you eat before bed.
        3. Fill up with fiber, especially green leafy vegetables.
        4. Replace refined, processed, low-fiber pastas and grains with zucchini noodles and whole grains such as buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, oats, amaranth, millet, teff, brown rice, and corn.
        5. Swap natural sweeteners for refined sugars, and try to ensure you don’t get more than 25g of sugar a day if you are a woman and 30g of sugar a day if you are a man.
        6. Replace ice cream with low-sugar alternatives.
        7. Swap omega-6, partially-hydrogenated oils such as corn, palm, sunflower, safflower, cotton, canola and soybean oil for omega-3 oils such as flax, olive, and nut oils.
        8. Replace high-sugar yoghurts with low-sugar, dairy-free yoghurts.
        9. Swap your sugar-laden soda for sparkling water with a splash of low-sugar juice.

        Also, ensure your diet is giving you enough of the daily essential vitamins and minerals. Most of us don’t get enough Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, Calcium, Iron, and Magnesium. If you are low on any of the above vitamins and minerals, you may experience fatigue and low energy.

        That’s why it’s always worth having your doctor check your levels. If you find any of them are low, then try to eat foods rich in them.

        Alternatively, you might consider a high-quality multivitamin or specific supplement.

        The Bottom Line

        If you are tired of feeling tired all the time, then there is tremendous hope.

        If you are tired because you are not getting enough high-quality sleep, then the best remedy is a bedtime routine based on sleep best practices. If you are tired because you have stress and fatigue, then the best remedy are four simple lifestyle changes discussed above.

        Overall, adopting a healthier lifestyle is the ideal remedy for feeling more rested and energized.

        More Tips to Stop Feeling Tired All the Time

        Featured photo credit: Cris Saur via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] YouGov: Two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week
        [2] National Safety Council: Is Your Company Confronting Workplace Fatigue?
        [3] The New York Times: Why Are We So Freaking Tired?
        [4] Mayo Clinic: Chronic fatigue syndrome
        [5] Very Well Health: Differences Between Sleepiness and Fatigue
        [6] Advanced Sleep Medicine Services: NEW Guidelines: How much sleep do you need?
        [7] Mayo Clinic: Lack of sleep: Can it make you sick?
        [8] Ask Dr. Sears: The L.E.A.N. Lifestyle
        [9] National Institute on Aging: Sleep loss encourages spread of toxic Alzheimer’s protein
        [10] American Psychological Association: Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
        [11] Yoga International: Learning to Exhale: 2-to-1 Breathing

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