Every fitness website has their own version of a “Top 10 Weight Loss Tips”. These lists usually come out in January when everyone who is looking to shed at least a few pounds is seeking guidance that will help them reach their goal. There really is no magic bullet or secret to successfully reaching realistic fitness and health goals. All you need to do are three simple things:
- Take good care of your body.
- Get your head in the game.
- Stay positive and motivated.
As part of a series on Weight Loss Tips, we are going to start things off by asking the question, “What simple things can I do to treat my body right?”
No matter how much exercise you do or how drastically you change your diet, if you don’t take care of your body it will fight you every step of the way! It is a matter of doing very simple things that keep your body in balance so it won’t resist the changes you are trying to make by gradually changing your diet and adding physical activity.
Below is a list of simple changes you can incorporate into your daily routine that can help to improve your weight loss efforts.
Drink Enough Water
Water is essential for life. Without water we cannot survive. You can go without food a lot longer than going without hydration. A general “Rule of Three” applies to survival:
- Breathe in air within three minutes
- Find warmth/shelter within three hours
- Drink water within three days
- Eat food within three weeks
The average adult requires 10 cups of water to stay well hydrated in a single day. When our bodies are dehydrated, it non longer functions optimally and can result in:
- Muscle weakness
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Decreased metabolism
With just a 1% decrease in total body water you can experience these effects, all of which effect exercise and compliance to physical activity in a negative way. That’s not good at all!!
When you are physically active it is suggested that you:
- Drink 2 to 3 cups of water, 2 to 3 hours before exercise
- Drink 1 to 1.5 cups of water, 10 to 15 minutes before starting to exercise
- Drink 1 to 1.5 cups of water every 10 to 15 minutes during exercise
- Drink 2 to 3 cups of water for every pound you have lost during your exercise session
Also, if you live in hot, humid climates or you sweat excessively you will need to increase your water intake accordingly.
Milk Does a Body Good!
Not only are the commercials catchy, the tagline is true when it comes to the benefits of drinking milk for increasing muscle mass and decreasing body fat as part of a weight training or exercise program. Researchers at McMaster University have found that women participating in a weight training program who drank milk gained more muscle and lost more fat than those who drank sugary energy/sports drinks.
Milk is a source of nine essential nutrients (calcium, potassium, phosphorous, protein, vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin B12, riboflavin and niacin) but is known primarily for its calcium content and bone health. Calcium is also essential when it comes to muscle contraction and muscular work. Calcium ions are needed for muscles, like your heart, to contract. Without enough calcium in your blood, your body goes to your bones for help. If you are active and don’t include enough calcium in your diet you can become susceptible to Osteopenia or Osteoporosis.
A glass of milk as an exercise recovery drink is ideal. It provides needed hydration to replenish fluids lost through sweat, calcium to go back into the blood and protein required for muscle building and repair.
In “Weight Loss Tips – Take Care of Your Body (Part Two)” you’ll learn more simple ways to enhance weight loss by treating your body right.