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Reach your goals faster with these 5 fixes

Not reaching your goals fast enough? If might be as simple as making a few easy changes. These are five things you can change today.

Your eating “diet” foods

This may seem contradictory but the truth is diet foods are often the most unhealthy foods on the grocery store shelves. Most diet foods are packed with chemicals, artificial ingredients, unhealthy fillers, have very little nutrients and are highly processed. It’s time to ditch the idea of diet foods and jump on the whole food bandwagon. Stick with foods that don’t have nutrition labels and have one ingredient. Here’s a list to get you started:

Carbohydrates: Sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, all veggies and fruits (frozen counts!)

Proteins: Greek yogurt, eggs, lean meats, beans, and fish

Fats: Nuts, coconut, avocado, olives, seeds

Use a variety of herbs and spices to add flavor and fun to your foods and you’ll not only feel satisfied, but you’ll also be getting more nutrition from your food.

Bonus tip: Skip the 100 calories of “processed food” packs and pack your own snack size bag with nuts and seeds or grab a piece of fruit!

You’re “Trying

Yoda said it best “Do or do not, there is not try.” There are very few things in life that we have 100% control over, but what we eat and how much we move our bodies is 100% in our control. That’s pretty cool! You don’t try to grab an apple instead of a candy bar, you don’t try to go for a walk, and you don’t try to order the side salad instead of the fries, you do or you do not. It really is that simple.

Stress

In our multi-tasking society, stress is inevitable in some degree, however, mismanaged stress can be detrimental to your mental fitness. Not only does it affect motivation, it also affects your hormone levels. When we feel stressed, our bodies react by releasing hormones, one of which is cortisol. Our bodies go into “fight or flight” mode, which is a build-in mechanism that is supposed to protect us from danger. However, in times of chronic stress, we experiencing a frequent release of cortisol, which can slow the metabolism, increase blood pressure, impair thyroid function, lower the immune system, and increase visceral (midsection) fat. Reach out to friends and family to help you manage stress and take time to reap the stress management benefits of exercise.

Sleep

How much sleep do you get each night? If it’s not 7-9 hours, you’re making your weightless goals much harder to reach. The importance of sleep is greatly overlooked when it comes to weight loss. Sleep affects everything from appetite to glucose metabolism and hormone balance. It also aids in recovery and gives you energy to be more active during the day.

Lack of sleep is associated with reduced leptin levels and elevated ghrelin levels. Leptin and ghrelin are “hunger” hormones. When leptin levels are low it’s a signal for your body to eat more food.  So be sure to turn off the TV and computer and sign off the social media sites and hit the sack early!

You’ve got a bad case of all or nothing

I believe that we all possess the “all or nothing” mentality to an extent and while I’d love for everyone to be “all” health food and daily exercise, let’s face it, that’s pretty tough. I’m here to tell you that every small change you make makes a big difference in the end. Take a year to reach your goal if you need to. Do it one day at a time, one healthy decision at a time, and you will see the results. It doesn’t have to be “all”, but it has to be more then “nothing”!

Don’t over think these five simple action steps! Take a deep breath, tell yourself you CAN do it, grab an apple and some almonds, and head out the door for a little exercise. Lastly, turn off your tv, phone, and computer a bit early and go to bed! You got this!