This is a 5-step health plan I created in February 2007. Shedding much of my extra weight quickly, I felt lighter in body, mind and spirit. My concentration, energy and overall well-being tripled!
After consulting your doctor, I encourage you to try incorporating any or all of the following steps into your individually designed health plan.
STEP #1: THREE IMPORTANT WEIGHT-LOSS FACTS
1) To lose weight you MUST burn more calories than you consume
This means eating whole foods (not packaged or processed) in healthy, balanced meals and being physical. Also, try slowing down while you munch. I became more conscious while I ate and eventually, depending on how active I was during the day, my portions were cut almost in half. I was eating almost every two hours: a small, healthy snack (e.g. half a banana and some nuts) once in the AM and once in the PM. This kept me satisfied throughout the day so I wasn’t binging come dinner time. Some experts say this raises metabolism.
2) Building muscle raises your metabolism
The higher your metabolism, the more calories you burn when you’re doing nothing! And you don’t even have to use weights, just your own body weight! (see below). When you’re ready, try building up to pumping iron 3 times a week so you’re continually building lean muscle mass.
3) Activity is supposed to be fun
I did what I wanted to do and took it easy at first (most people overdue it at the beginning ‘cause they’re all psyched up to lose weight – the fat burning heart rate zone is where you can comfortably talk during your activity).
I DID NOT focus on losing weight but rather my goal was to feel healthier and stronger. I did what I could on my low days, making sure that I fulfilled my commitment to myself to do physical activity everyday (it’s more important at this stage to make it a daily habit) and when I could not meet my daily minimum, I congratulated myself for at least trying. Then I made sure to capitalize on my good days by doing even more!
STEP #2: THE POWER OF PROTEIN IN WEIGHT-LOSS
I started off with protein powder in my morning fruit smoothies (I LOVE my blender and use it every day) – and I NEVER skip breakfast (I have many smoothie recipes from the net to ensure variety). Lean protein sources are the best because they tend to be lower in calories. Try turkey, chicken, fish, nuts, seeds and grains.
STEP #3: THE MOST MAGICAL LIQUID
I have LOTS (like 4-6 pints depending on my activity level) of lemon water throughout the day (starting with a warm glass of it first thing in the AM to kick start the kidney). Oh, yes, and herbal teas.
STEP #4: POIGNANT PROMISES
Do light to medium cardio (walking, biking, swimming, rollerblading) for a minimum of 30 minutes per day. If I felt good and energetic, I’d treat myself to an extra ½ hour, sometimes more.
Strengthen the core. All movement starts here, besides, it corrects posture which shows your confidence and actually makes you look even better! I took a personal trainer’s advice but made my own minimums to start with. I took it slow and started with one set of 10 reps, and eventually I worked my way up to his suggested 3 sets of 15 reps per 5 core exercises. I did these exercises everyday for about 20 – 30 minutes. I did them while I watched TV! And, of course, I stretched and felt like a million bucks! It helps SO much with stress.
STEP #5: CLEANSING
After researching the topic of cleansing, and instead of following one program, I made my own up with the aid of Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fourth Edition, which explains why you should cleanse and gives you lists of the best natural cleansers (herbs, foods, supplements, etc.) for the blood, kidneys, lungs, skin and bowels.
This is my individualized cleansing program (for 1 month):
(Week 1-2) Preparing to fast:
I weaned myself off sugar, other stimulants (coffee, cigarettes and alcohol), meats, fish and dairy. Slowly, by the third week my diet was down to fruits, veggies, and nuts (I did have hard-boiled eggs, though, and looked online for Vegan recipes which helped).
(Week 3) Baby Food – Fast – Baby Food
Three days before the fast, I blended all my food. This prepared my digestive system for the fast so it wouldn’t be shocked with a lack of food. Plan your fast days on the weekend to allow for relative inactivity; your body isn’t getting food to convert into energy. I didn’t eat anything but drank 6 pints (each day) of lemon water with 2 tbsp. of natural maple syrup and some cayenne pepper (recipe from the Master Cleanse).
After the two day fast, I followed it up with more blended raw foods. If you’re interested, here’s my Safe, Enlightening 3 Day Fast for more detail.
(Week 4) Back to the beginning…but on a much lower key
I slowly introduced food back into my system, beginning with the juice from boiled veggies, pure fruit juices cut with water, and a blended vegan diet for three days, eventually moving towards solids.
By the end of the month, I felt light, energetic, clear-headed, decisive, confident, and for the most part: calm, cool and collected. Hey, the bonus was that I didn’t have ¼ of the gas that I did before and my poop didn’t stink anymore! LOL
Just remember, nature craves to be at its most efficient. If you aim for health, listen to your body, question habits, weight loss will follow.
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