I’ve been thinking a lot about…
I don’t want to think about it in January. I want to think about, and talk about, it NOW.
I actually have a whole lot to say on this subject. And (shhhh!) I’m a bit of an expert. Not only have I supported many people though their weight loss journeys, I’ve managed to lose and keep off quite a bit of weight myself.
Weight loss is tough. And keeping it off is even harder. If you undertake an exercise routine with the goal of losing weight, I’d like you to contemplate the following 5 truths (5 more next month, ok?):
- People who ensure they have goals other than just weight loss are far more likely to continue to exercise and ultimately get fitter, happier, healthier, and leaner. So: What else matters to you? Does exercise reduce your stress levels? Focus on that too. Does it give you more energy to play with your kids? Bingo! That’s an awesome reason to keep moving. Does it make you feel more powerful, more capable? That’s an awesome reason too.
- Exercise alone is typically not enough to elicit significant weight loss. You will need to make changes in your diet too. Small, sustainable changes are typically best. My top 3? Eat MORE vegetables, make and bring your own breakfast and lunch as often as possible, and reduce sugar and starches.
- Alcohol inhibits your body’s ability to burn fat. Not much else to say there. My advice: Select 2 or 3 nights a week ONLY when you enjoy a drink or two. Drink slooooowly. Avoid sugary mixes.
- Strength Training is protein sparing, and will help keep your metabolism revving. Reducing your intake often results in decreased metabolism. So LIFT, LIFT, LIFT! Once you’ve got a solid foundation and good technique, the heavier the better. (More on this at another time)
- Sleep. Is. Vital. 7+ hours per night. I will spend more time on this in the New Year – but, in brief, lack of sleep increases cortisol (which encourages the body to store fat), increases sugar cravings and hunger in general (your body is asking for more energy and better brain function), and tired people are less likely to make it to the gym!
No matter what, don’t give up.
I’ve been eating…
… 2 breakfasts.
I love starting my morning with a smoothie (I set up the blender including my frozen berries the night before!) but by 10:30am I need a little something more. The following “Quinoa Sundae” would be a delicious midafternoon energy boost as well! (Note: the recipe makes 5 servings! It keeps beautifully, so I make a batch every Sunday night, pack them in 2 cup glass containers, refrigerate, and have one for every day of the week!)
Meg’s Quinoa Sundae
1 cup Quinoa
1 ½ cups unsweetened coconut milk (you could use cashew, almond, or plain water if you prefer)
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
- Toast quinoa in saucepan until lightly browned (optional – but adds a really nice taste to the quinoa)
- Stir in milk, cinnamon, and salt. Bring to boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until liquid is absorbed stirring midway once (about 20 minutes)
- When cooled, divide quinoa into 5 glass bowls. You can then add whatever you like to this nutritious base. I have a sweet tooth, and am always keen on a little extra protein in my foods, so here’s my personal favourite:
Add to each:
½ cup wild blueberries (frozen ones are amazing, always “in season,” and far less expensive than fresh)
¼ cup chopped raw walnuts
1 tbsp hemp seeds
1 tsp Chia seeds
1 tbsp unsweetened coconut
1 tsp maple syrup
Approximate nutritional information per serving:
12 g protein
25 g fat
38 g carbohydrate
10 g fiber
6 g sugar
Keeps in the refrigerator for 7 days!
Happy eating, happy sweating everyone.