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Water, Sleep and Friends: Three Keys to Weight Loss

Water, Sleep and Friends: Three Keys to Weight Loss

weight loss

    Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight knows how difficult the whole journey can be. It should be as simple as burning more calories than you consume, but it rarely feels that is all there is to the process. Although calorie intake and expenditure are the basic elements of weight loss, there are other factors that need to be taken into consideration too.

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    In this article, we will look at some of the less considered factors affecting weight loss or weight gain. These factors greatly contribute to a person’s success with losing weight; however, only very few people actually pay attention to them. If you have been dieting and exercising but seem to be stuck with unsatisfying results, taking these factors into consideration may be just what you need.

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    Water And Weight Loss

    Water is a natural appetite suppressant. If you constantly fill your stomach with water, you are less likely to feel hungry all of the time as the human brain is not wired to differentiate between hunger and thirst. Aside from suppressing your appetite and stimulating your satiety, water also helps boost your metabolic rate. While each person’s hydration needs are different, experts generally suggest 64 ounces or 8 glasses of water a day. Although you are free to space out your intake of water all throughout the day, new studies have found that drinking 2 glasses of water before a meal is best for weight loss. Also as the body struggles to separate hunger from thirst you might just be thirsty and water to the route to feeling sated while not adding to your calorie count.

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    Sleep And Weight Loss

    You may think that sleep and weight loss are so far-off, but there is substantial scientific evidence suggesting a strong association between the two. One study reports that people who sleep 5 hours or less per night generally weigh more than those who get a 7-hour sleep.  Other research has shown that inadequate sleep compromises efforts to lose weight through dieting. The link between sleep and weight loss is attributed mainly to hormones.  The production of the hormones leptin and ghrelin which work to control feelings of hunger and fullness is said to be influenced by how much or how little sleep a person has. When you do not get enough sleep, your leptin (satiety hormone) levels tend to be low, and your ghrelin (appetite hormone) levels high. This means that you are likely to overeat as your appetite is stimulated and satiety is suppressed. So if you want to keep your natural weight loss mechanisms in place, make sure to get around eight hours of sleep every night.

    Friends And Weight Loss

    As they say, everything that is happening in your life is in one way or another influenced by the people around you and this includes weight loss. Your friends have a lot to do with the outcome of your weight loss efforts. If you are surrounded with people who have no desire to lose weight, it is very likely that you will end up veering away from your weight loss goals. If the people you hang out with eat a lot of unhealthy foods all the time, it would be very hard for you to integrate the lifestyle changes that you need to get to your ideal weight. So, if you are serious about shedding off those excess pounds, find yourself a set of friends that will help you achieve your goals. Find friends who have the same desire for weight loss or a healthy and active lifestyle this way you can still enjoy great company without compromising your want to lose weight.

    (Photo credit: Peter W.)

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    Last Updated on January 21, 2020

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

    your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

      Why You Need a Vision

      Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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      How to Create Your Life Vision

      Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

      What Do You Want?

      The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

      It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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      Some tips to guide you:

      • Remember to ask why you want certain things
      • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
      • Give yourself permission to dream.
      • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
      • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

      Some questions to start your exploration:

      • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
      • What would you like to have more of in your life?
      • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
      • What are your secret passions and dreams?
      • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
      • What do you want your relationships to be like?
      • What qualities would you like to develop?
      • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
      • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
      • What would you most like to accomplish?
      • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

      It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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      What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

      Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

      A few prompts to get you started:

      • What will you have accomplished already?
      • How will you feel about yourself?
      • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
      • What does your ideal day look like?
      • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
      • What would you be doing?
      • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
      • How are you dressed?
      • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
      • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
      • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

      It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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      Plan Backwards

      It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

      • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
      • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
      • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
      • What important actions would you have had to take?
      • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
      • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
      • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
      • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
      • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

      Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

      It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

      Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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