Waking up to a Healthier Life

My first step to a fitter me was to be awakened to the idea that all those so called diet plans, gimmicks or magic pills were all just a way for someone to make some money. Sure they may work and you may lose some pounds but then when you stop you gain all those pounds back and sometimes a bit more. I was so tired of playing the losing and gaining game.

I stumbled across a nutritionist that said that the way we eat should not be a diet but a change in lifestyle.  That really spoke to me and I began to study about nutrition and what I needed to do to change my lifestyle. I wanted to lose the pounds I needed and help keep it off for good.

I realized that diets focus on changing “what you eat” but not necessarily your habits.  Diets also seem to be a “controlled starvation” tactic which makes you feel tired and hungry all the time. I wanted to establish a long term eating strategy and not be on another so called “diet”.   I knew that I needed to change my eating habits and not just what I ate.  It was going to require hard work and dedication on my part but I was determined to move forward and not look back.  I wanted a new me and I wanted to feel healthy and fit.

As I started to implement healthy eating principles over a period of time, I slowly started to see the weight dropping off.  The first thing I did was to determine how many calories my body needed to function or what they call your BMR. The formula I used was:

English BMR Formula

  • Women: BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)
  • Men: BMR = 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years)

I don’t count calories now but for the first two weeks of my lifestyle change, I measured, weighed and counted my calories.  I did that because I wanted to see what my calorie intake should look like.  I was shocked to see that I was eating double what my body really needed to survive. So by counting my calories I was able to start visualizing how much I should be eating for my meals. It took a week or two to shrink my stomach down from its enlarged size to something normal but once I did so I started feeling pretty good. I began to be able to see the appropriate proportions and serving sizes that I needed for someone my size.

Secondly, I changed when I ate.  Before I began being healthy, I would eat when I was hungry. Meaning that sometimes I would skip breakfast and my eating habits were very irregular.  I had read that to help boost your metabolism and keep it working hard you needed to eat more often and on a regular basis. This would help with any long-term weight loss and keep you from not feeling hungry and sluggish. So I went from eating sporadically to eating Breakfast, a morning snack, Lunch, an afternoon snack and Dinner. All about 2-3 hrs apart.

Thirdly, I added a lot more water to my lifestyle. I read that people don’t take in enough water and we all live in a dehydrated state.   You should be drinking half your weight in ounces a day.  For me at this time of my life, that was about 85oz a day. At the time I  was only drinking maybe 16oz a day.  I was shocked to see how much I was supposed to be drinking.  You may be asking, “Why so much water?” That was my question as well.

This is where I learned about the liver and how it functions especially when it comes to weight loss and weight management.  The liver helps in metabolic processes, in supporting the digestive system, controlling blood sugar and regulating fat storage. But the most important thing it does when it comes to weight loss, is it helps breakdown everything that enters your body.  It is the livers job to distinguish between nutrients that need to be absorbed and toxins that need to be filtered out of the body.  So if we are constantly filling our body with toxins, then the liver gets bogged down and cannot effectively process the nutrients and fats. If it is busy flushing out toxins then it won’t have time to break down fats, and pull out the vitamins we need out of the foods we eat. Also, if it gets too overwhelmed with toxins then the liver will store those toxins away in fat cells which will then cause the body to be weakened and open up to bacteria and viruses.

One vital key to flushing toxins as well as fat out of the body is “WATER”.  It is the magic potion to ensure weight loss.  Water is needed to help metabolize stored fat and rid the body of waste.  If you don’t drink enough water than your body is not ridding itself of unwanted fat and toxins.

So to summarize, the three initial things that I did on my way to a “fitter me” was to:

  1. Determine my BMR and start to visualize what I should be eating for someone my size.
  2. Started eating at regular intervals. Pretty much every 2-3 hrs.
  3. Started drinking half my weight in ounces of water on a daily basis.
    (So if you weigh 170 pounds, that’s about 85 ounces of water each day!)

This was not the end of my journey but just the beginning. I will keep sharing about my journey to becoming fit in other posts.  I hope these stories help you on your journey to “a fitter you”. If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you. I’ll try to answer any questions you may have so feel free to shoot them to me on facebook or in the blog comment section below.

Here are some resources you may find helpful:

  1. http://www.active.com/nutrition/articles/5-liver-health-tips-for-weight-loss-875431?page=1
  2. http://livlong.ca/374/the-livers-crucial-role-in-weight-loss

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