During a recent visit (May 16th if my memory serves me correct) to the scale at the gym where I work, I jumped on it and it read 190 lbs. Ouch! That was a shock to me as I had not been trying to gain any weight nor had my workout routine warranted any weight gain. I made up in my mind that day that I had to change a few things in with my lifestyle. Here is what I've changed in the past week and a half that has me down to 180 lbs. and still counting (my goal weight is somewhere b/w 173-175 lbs.)!
#1: Drink more water: My water intake had been slacking. I increased my water intake by at least 50%. I felt the difference the most with this change. I could see the difference in my abdomen area and my chronic lower back pain has been reduced. I recommend drinking at the bare minimum 50 ounces a day. Once you can reach this amount, drink more!
#2: Getting more sleep: My sleep had been absolutely horrific (4-5 hrs. of sleep/day and sometimes less). I have no problem falling to sleep, however, it's getting me in the bed at a decent hour to fall asleep that had been my issue. I've added, on average, 1 hr. to my sleep. I'm still not at the recommended 7-8 hrs. of sleep, but I'm close. Sleep is important because your respective changes that you're trying to achieve take place during sleep. I recently read where 50% of fitness goals take place in your workout and healthy eating, while the other half takes place during sleep. So, shoot for at least 7 hours of sleep everyday, including weekends.
#3: Accountability Partner: My wife has been on a mission to be more consistent with her health. As a result, it has encouraged me to "step my game up" as well. She is doing a program called Power 90, one of Beachbody's (www.beachbodycoach.com/lwellness) exercise programs. It's great for her because she does not care to workout in a gym, so she can do it from the comfort of our home. We have been encouraging and motivating each other to achieve our respective health and fitness goals. I recommend you find an accountability partner that will help you do the same things my wife has.
#4: "Cleaner" eating: My wife, who is an aspiring personal chef and AWESOME cook, has always prepared and cooked healthy meals. However, over the past week and a half, we've included protein with every meal (including our snacks), cut down on the "starchy" (i.e. brown rice, corn, pasta, etc.) carbs, eat our foods slower, cut down on the "added" calories (i.e. sugar, honey, etc.) and do not go back for seconds (unless it's a salad). This has been really great! I recommend you try this for a week. You'll see and feel the difference it makes for sure. Shoot for 5-6 meals every 3-4 hrs. Absolutely do not skip breakfast!
So, there you have it. I believe these four simple suggestions are doable and sustainable. So, if you have a goal of improving your overall health and some weight loss, try them and let me know how it goes!