If 2018 is the year for weight loss, both diet and exercise are the answer. Remember though, the bathroom scale rarely marks the milestones along your path to a fitter, healthier body. Long before we lose weight, small signs of progress sprout…
You feel satisfied after meals - As we digest food, the gut sends signals to the brain about how much energy we’ve consumed to trigger satiation (fullness) so we know when we’ve had enough. Unfortunately, processed food, with its intense salty/sweet/fatty/crunchy/creamy tastes ransacks this gut-brain relationship. As your health plan includes more whole foods including protein, fats, and complex carbs you will start to feel satisfied easier and for longer periods between meals. If you’re a smaller — and younger — guy trying to put on muscle, this may not apply to you. Being hungry all the time may be a good thing. Keep eating and lifting heavy!
You have more energy - Maybe you can’t remember a time when you didn’t feel exhausted…you wake up tired, mid-afternoon you need a caffeine and sugar, and by 8pm you’re crashing in your La-Z-Boy. Maybe your brain and body are getting too much processed food, too much sugar, or not enough nutrients. A good nutrition plan gives you constant, steady, all-day energy rather than a brief buzz and a crash.
You’re sleeping better - There can be many reasons for poor sleep but proper nutrition and exercise play a crucial role. If you diet too stringently, over-train (or under-recover), amp yourself up with tough workouts, or over-eat heavy meals late at night, you may not sleep well. You may drink too much alcohol and caffeine. You may not get enough protein (to make the right neurotransmitters), nor enough vitamins and minerals (ditto). You may also have disrupted hormones (such as cortisol, growth hormone, thyroid hormone, and sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone) from stress and poor eating habits, all of which are important for good and restful sleep.
Your clothes feel just a little looser - Muscle and bone are denser than body fat. When we build this lean mass, we often get heavier but smaller (at least in certain areas). This is why, in addition to tuning into how your clothes fit, we suggest using a tape measure to track body changes.
You’re in a better mood - Have people secretly nicknamed you Grumpy? Does it physically hurt you to smile? Our brains and bodies need nutrients and chemical tools to do their jobs — to regulate our emotions, to make our “happy neurotransmitters”, and to send those cheery and calming signals where they should go.
You’re stronger and have more endurance - Around the time you first start your nutrition overhaul, workouts might feel impossible! Maybe you feel weak, uncoordinated and slow. You will notice quickly improvements in range of motion, less muscle soreness, you can do more work overall, and you recover better.
It feels more like a lifestyle than a “diet” - Diets are a chore. They’re another to-do that you superimpose over your busy life, and another boring, strict, overly complicated task you can’t wait to quit. So don’t diet. Instead, chose whole foods that are nutrient dense to offer your body and brain what it needs to work properly!
Let LiveWell help you with your health resolutions!
Buy a 5 session bundle of exercise instruction, customized for your needs, and we will include a complimentary 3 month gym membership or a nutrition plan designed specifically for you. *Offer ends on January 31st*