Did you know that Body Fat is a way of life?
From love handles to cankles, body fat is just one of those pieces of daily life that we need to get used to. It’s here to stay. It never goes away. It’s insidious, evil, and completely invincible!
No, wait, it isn’t! Excessive body fat doesn’t have to be a way of life any more than bad romantic comedies or cheesy puns. Like almost everything in life, excessive body fat tends to be a choice for most of us. Our habits define who we are, physically and mentally, so we need to build better habits to see improvements.
So what can you do to improve your health and cut out the excess fat? Let’s start with…
1. Eat Better to Feel Better!
Nutrition is, by far, the most important factor in any plan; that’s why it’s first on my list. Fitness isn’t just about exercise; it’s about treating your body with respect. So, rule number one is: Garbage In, Garbage Out. Get your eating habits on track, and the rest will follow much easier than you may think. I would say that nutrition alone accounts for 75% of your overall health and wellness, just based on what I’ve seen in my life and my clients.
In late April 2012 I decided that I needed to eat better and started building a plan. I researched every “diet” out there, but none of them were geared for permanent improvement. Some were too complicated, others too restrictive, and others just bizarre. What I needed was a Lifestyle, not a Diet.
Enter the Paleo Diet. Sure, it’s got “diet” right there in the title, but it’s much more about the Lifestyle you live, rather than a magic “diet” plan. From May 1st, 2012 to June 1st, 2012 I followed a Paleo Lifestyle and saw the results I was aiming for:
I dropped 5% body fat in 30 days. No, seriously.
And it isn’t just me with great results. One of my clients saw positive improvement in her sulfite allergies after cleaning up her diet Paleo-style, with fewer reactions and less severe reactions when they did occur. This isn’t just a Paleo thing, I would never claim that; it’s a clean eating thing. Paleo just makes it simple.
Paleo in 30 words or less: Cut the bread and pasta; cut the processed junk; eat the natural stuff like meat, veggies, and fruit. Toss in some nuts and seeds; go easy on the condiments. See results.
Seriously, it’s that simple and it works. Don’t worry, we’ll be covering Paleo in an upcoming post! I won’t call it easy, because it’s still a Lifestyle change, but it is worth it once you make it.
2. Get Up and Move!
Piggybacking on nutrition, regular exercise is the next 25% of good health and overall wellness. To put it simply: go do something!
The American College of Sports Medicine, one of the major health-related certifying bodies in the U.S., recommends 30 min of moderate to vigorous exercise, 3-6 days per week for healthy populations. This could be something as simple as a 30 min power walk every other day, or could scale up to resistance (i.e. weight) training several days and cardio several days per week.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. If you don’t exercise, or if you have health concerns, talk to one of them first. Don’t do anything silly.
3. Keep Positive
This can be the hardest part of any plan and is involved in all 100% of your success: As much as possible, stay positive and look on the bright side. The diet may be a little hard now, but with time it gets easier. The exercise may leave you a little stiff, but you’ll be stronger soon. Everything you’re doing right now, will have positive impact on your in the near future.
You just need to stick with it.