Shelve the Excuses, Focus on Now to Lose Weight
The holidays are coming or I’m going on vacation can all be excuses we often come up with when it comes to working on losing weight.
Instead of focusing on all the reasons we can’t fit losing weight into our lives right now, let’s focus on all the great reasons why right now, this summer, is a great time to lose weight.
One of the obvious reasons to do so is we’re finally coming out of what feels like a long winter’s hibernation and actually have a few months of weather that makes the outdoors more attractive. Let’s face it: when you get outside, you tend feel better, and you might not have known that research has shown exercising in nature (versus indoors) has additional benefits, including increased energy and better mood.
Exercising outside, even if it’s just a long walk, is shown to lower stress levels and shift your mood in a positive direction. When it comes to losing weight, that stress level is a key; many people who face stress also face the weight-gaining hormones that come with it.
Soaking up the sunshine can lead to your body to create its own vitamin D, an essential nutrient for your metabolic, immune-system and bone health. Being active outdoors can also be significantly cheaper and allow you to turn exercise time into family time.
A Great Time to Eat Better
Another obvious benefit to start a weight-loss journey now is that during the summer months, the abundance of fresh produce can make changing eating habits easier.
Get out to a local farmers market or grow your own produce, and you’ll be replacing processed packaged foods or less healthy options with more fresh fruits and veggies. Adding them to your diet is a great tool for weight loss, and it’s not only one that helps you lose weight, but it also optimizes ones health.
Fresh foods tend to contain fewer calories, offer more hydration for your body and they’re loaded with nutrients to support your body as you lose weight. Fruits and veggies are rich in fiber; that can help you feel full longer and decrease sugar cravings.
While you may find yourself surrounded with many unhealthy options at your neighborhood barbecue, challenge yourself! Bring a healthy entrée or salad to share, and you can use fresh produce in these dishes. You’ll enjoy it – and feel less guilty – and there certainly will be others who were glad you brought it along.
Summer Food Miracles
Summer veggies and fruits have many other health benefits, and if we look at just one, such as blueberries, we can see the evidence. They are one food known for their anti-oxidant content, but you may not know why that’s important.
Antioxidants literally are anti-aging and anti-cancer nutrients. They are also anti-inflammatory, so they help decrease inflammation in your body. For some people, this means less pain. Foods like blueberries also are neuroprotective which means they are good for your brain. Actually lots of berries – raspberries, strawberries and blackberries – also are loaded with these benefits in varying degrees.
Leafy greens like spinach, kale and Swiss chard are great examples of exceptionally rich-in-nutrients vegetables, and they also pack in plenty of anti-aging and anti-cancer qualities. Cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, watermelon and other melons are also in the anti-inflammatory group, and they provide that benefit while being heart-healthy, anti-aging, disease fighting, immune boosting foods.
All of these foods also help your body to detoxify, removing accumulated toxins and waste materials from your blood and gastrointestinal tract. From weight loss and beyond, start looking at all the ways these foods can help you and find ways to incorporate more into your diet.