Maintaining optimum energy levels while losing weight is one of the most important factors in your long term success.

It’s one of the reasons many fad diets which require a drastic cutting of calories and food groups don’t work; participants have such a lack of energy that they struggle to continue.

Our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge is all about losing weight in a healthy and sustainable way.

To help you make the right choices to reach your goals, we’ve worked with Kathleen, one of the Healthy Mummy Nutritionists to compile a list of the top 10 weight loss foods that will also keep your energy levels stable and boost your metabolism.

Contents

Top 10 weight loss foods for maximum energy

1. Rolled oats

Oats are low on the glycemic index and a rich source of fibre giving you a sustained bout of energy. Oats also contain stress lowering B vitamins, which helps transform carbohydrates into usable energy. For the best nutrition kick, steer clear of instant oats or sugary flavoured varieties. Choose natural rolled oats and sweeten with yoghurt, fruit and cinnamon or add into your Healthy Mummy Smoothie.

2. Lentils

They’re cheap, versatile and a brilliant kitchen staple. Lentils provide both carbohydrates and protein, making them a balanced addition to any meal. They’re also low in fat and a good source of iron – an important mineral for maintaining energy levels. Boost your intake by incorporating these humble delights into salads, vegetable patties, or pies.

We love this delish Spiced Roast Pumpkin, Chorizo & Lentil Tagine

3. Leafy greens

Salad greens are abundant in chlorophyll – a compound used by plants to convert sunlight into usable energy. A big, flavourful salad is rich in fibre, vitamins, and powerful antioxidants, particularly vitamin C. Getting enough Vitamin C is not only crucial to staying healthy, it also helps your body to absorb iron, a key nutrient to fending off fatigue. Have a salad before a meal and you’ll be satisfied with smaller portions.

If you’re struggling to squeeze in enough of the green stuff, make sure you check out the new Healthy Mummy Super Green Supplement.

Packed with over 37 natural ingredients, including Spirilina, Flaxseed, Pea Protein, Organic Barley Grass , Chlorella, Chia, Goji Berry, Kale, Spinach, it’s a potent source of iron, vitamin C, Calcium and Vitamin B12.

4. Avocado

Creamy, delicious avocados are one of my daily staples. The healthy fats contained in avocados are highly beneficial to cognitive functions, such as memory and concentration. They’re also jammed packed with vitamin C and E, which are powerful antioxidants to help keep your skin smooth and youthful.

Combine them with tomato slices, tossed into a salad, or use as a dip with your favourite wholegrain crackers to enjoy a much-needed energy boost any time of day (we love this Spicy Guacamole).

5. Bananas

No, bananas are not fattening or bad for weight loss – in fact, they contain virtually zero bad fat and are a convenient source of potassium, which helps boost energy levels by maintaining normal blood pressure and heart rhythms. Bananas also provide beneficial carbohydrates giving you a natural energy boosting capability that will help to keep you on track between meals.

For a perfect work-out recovery food, add bananas in your Healthy Mummy Smoothie.

6. Almonds

Chock full of magnesium – a mineral vital to converting the foods you eat into energy. Also high in filling protein and healthy fats making them a perfect snack to help conquer your appetite. Aim to eat around 10-15 almonds per day or use them in recipes like these Almond & Date Protein Balls.

7. Red meat

Aside from being an excellent source of protein, lean red meat is particularly high in iron and B vitamins. Iron plays an essential role in transporting oxygen around the body. An iron deficiency means less oxygen is delivered to the cells, which can leave you feeling wiped out. To maintain healthy iron stores, treat yourself to a high-quality steak two to three times a week.

8. Eggs

Egg yolks are naturally rich in B-vitamins which are responsible for converting food into energy.

They also contain the highest quality protein, which is needed particularly after an intense training session when muscle breakdown occurs the most. Poached or boiled eggs are a perfect choice for a healthy snack. I also love a hard-boiled egg as a snack or added to salad, like in these Egg Salad Cups.

9. Yoghurt

Yogurt is an excellent source of tyrosine which is a type of protein that helps to produce adrenalin and dopamine: key chemicals in the brain that perks you up and maintains mental alertness. Try organic or Greek yoghurt since it’s less likely to be loaded with artificial ingredients, sugar, and preservatives.

10. Water

Without water, your body cannot generate energy, and even mild dehydration can lead to fatigue and lack of concentration. Drink enough water so your urine is pale yellow – not clear or dark yellow. Start your day with a large glass with breakfast and always carry around bottle of water to sip throughout the course of the day to keep your energy levels up.

If you want to supercharge your water, try adding the Healthy Mummy Super Greens Energy Boosting Supplement to your glass. Packed with over 37 whole food ingredients, easily digestible and safe for breastfeeding, they deliver a potent blend of nutrients to give busy mums the energy they need!

Join our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge

Our Challenge is designed by mums FOR MUMS – to help them reach their goal weight and tackle their health and fitness.

The 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge is home to customisable meal plans, 24/7 social support and realistic exercises mums can do AT HOME.

Our Challenge entails:

  • 28 days of at home exercise routines (no gym needed) – with video instruction
  • Customisable and breastfeeding friendly meal plans
  • Time-efficient exercises for busy mums – under 30 mins
  • Challenge combines Pilates exercises with interval and circuit training (HIIT)
  • Suitable for basic to advanced fitness levels.
  • Home to thousands of EASY-TO-MAKE recipes.

To find out more on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge .

20 Ways to Lose Weight and Gain Energy

There is no such thing as good diet.

In fact the first three letters in the word diet are DIE. Is it any wonder why diets never succeed?

We get to a certain point, feel like we are going to die and quit before the grave site bears our bones. You have the power to change your life simply by the daily choices you make.

So, today in every way commit yourself to a healthy lifestyle:

  1. Focus on protein. Consume at least one gram of protein per kilogram of lean body weight on a daily basis (athletes need to adjust this to body type and sport). Break the total amount you need up into four or five meals to allow for a constant, available amino acid pool to grow muscles and healthy tissue. Get a wide variety of protein as eating too much of one type (i.e. chicken) can create an allergy to the protein (i.e. acid reflux). Plus, diversification allows for the wide array of amino acids that are necessary for building good solid muscles and healthy tissues. If you are not physically fit or have confounding medical problems, you need to discuss your intake of protein with your physician.
  2. Monitor your carbohydrate intake. Consume no more than 150 carbohydrates per day (except in extreme circumstances with mega-calorie burners and extreme aerobic athletes). What we really need to know is the power of the glycemic index and how it plays a role in allowing our bodies to burn fat as fuel.
  3. Realize that fat is an essential nutrient. Every cell in your body has an outer membrane of essential fatty acids/phospholipids (omega 3’s or fish pills). Fatty acids are important sources of fuel because, metabolized, they yield large quantities of ATP, also known as energy. You must intake at least 10% of your caloric load in good fats. Up to four grams of omega three fatty acids daily may be recommended for your optimal wellness. Sources of good fats and oils are nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, etc), olive oil, and avocado.
  4. Eat your fiber. Each of us needs about 25-30 grams of fiber a day. Try to add up or calculate the amount you get in a day and you will notice you are severely lacking in your fiber needs. A simple addition of a tsp of psyllium hulls or flax seed meal every day can solve the shortage. Fiber has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, help lower cholesterol, and minimize absorption of bad cholesterol. Soluble and insoluble fiber stabilize blood sugar level and support the health of the colon, preventing constipation and potential intestinal complications.
  5. Obtain a nutrition almanac. for calorie, protein, carbohydrate and fat content. It is not always easy to change your eating habits. One reason to keep with old habits is that the learning curve can be enormous in the first couple of months. A good almanac can be obtained at any of the large book stores and is a great reference guide for getting started. This helps you determine grams, calories, as well as the macro and micronutrients that are in any given food.
  6. Understand that all calories count. You can ingest a significant amount of sugar and fat and not even know it. Learn to label read and understand all of the items in packaged foods, how they can help or harm you. Additives and preservatives all add up. This is not a calorie counting program but an attention to detail program. Being mindful of what you are consuming makes the difference.
  7. Eat frequently. Consume at least five small meals daily. These five meals should be about 150-500 calories, depending upon your fitness level and your basal metabolic rate. Our bodies are designed to graze. Your stomach is not much bigger than your fist and is really about the amount of fuel your cells can fully handle at any one sitting without turning into adipose (fat), unless you are an athlete or have a very physical job. Small frequent feeds keep blood sugar from skyrocketing as well as from bottoming out with long hours in between. Eating every 2-3 hours ensure a steady supply of energy and amino acid uptake for muscle growth all day long.
  8. Increase your pure water intake. Your body is 60% + water. Unless you have a kidney or heart problem and are unable to process and get rid of water like one should, take your weight in pounds, divide it by two and this leaves you with the amount of water in ounces you should intake in a day. If you are overweight, subtract the number of pounds from your weight that you are overweight and then divide that number by two to get an accurate result. Drink water without all of the added taste-good items. These contain additives and preservatives that are hard on the liver and the bodies’ natural detoxification process.
  9. Make exercise a part of your daily routine. The number of days that you wish to eat is the number of days you should be active. The number of days you should exercise is unique to you. It varies if you are training for an athletic event, trying to gain strength, improve your mobility, or just trying to stay in motion. Start small and work big in order to avoid injury. This may mean hiring a personal trainer or obtaining an accountability partner. Increase your level of activity by simple tasks, such as: parking in the far corner, taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking your animals for an extra ten minutes. Develop an exercise plan and get it on paper. Choose what activity you will do (yoga, kettlebells, vibram walking or jogging, pilates, swimming, etc), decide the days you will participate in the activity and set a time goal of 30-45 minutes. To make progress, do the activity at least three times a week.
  10. Watch what you eat before bedtime. This can be a touchy subject but calories late at night can do you more harm than good. If you are trying to maintain lean mass or build lean mass, 30-40 grams of a beef (grass fed, grass finished, hydrolyzed), whey isolate (cool processed non- denatured whey), or pea (for the vegetarian lifestyle) protein shake with 2 TBSP of nut butter will help you maintain a positive nitrogen balance for the next 4-6 hours depending on the breakdown process of the ingested protein. The answer is not to stay awake to eat but to ingest the proper foods just before going horizontal for the night. Slow digesting proteins and essential fats help slow digestion and provide a steady supply of amino acids for fuel. By doing this you will avoid catabolism (your body eating itself for fuel). If you eat dinner late you will also want to be very selective on the type of carbohydrates you eat after about 4:30. Not only will you store the calories from high glycemic carbs as fat, your insulin levels are soaring through the night and your body will not be able to access its fat stores during your night time fast.
  11. Take a free day. Stay away from the all you can eat buffet! Don’t make this an opportunity to go crazy and destroy all of your progress. It does not mean devour everything in sight but to have something that you really enjoy in a moderate quantity and then get right back on track the following day.
  12. Set smaller goals to achieve the large goals. If all you focus on is big picture, the painting becomes a blur and your process becomes a mess – then you return to the old habit patterns because it all seems so hopeless. Small continuous change ends up in large successful projects.
  13. Obtain an accountability partner. Be it your wife, your sister or brother, your physician or your best friend, success increases with accountability and the amount of fun you have with the process increases. If you enjoy being around someone, engage them in your path of wellness. These ideas will double your chances of achieving your goals. Engaging an accountability partner can be a time that you can strengthen relationship and have fun while you are getting fit. Keep a diet journal and be accountable for what you allow past your two front teeth.
  14. Get plenty of rest. This is Mother Nature’s natural healer and stress reducer. Cortisol (a stress hormone) levels soar when the body is sleep deprived, setting your hard work up for failure. Cortisol is another reason for your bodies’ inability to see fat and use it as fuel. If high levels of cortisol are around for extended periods everything starts breaking down, including muscle, bones and skin.
  15. Chew your food. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to link up with the food in your stomach. If you scarf your food in a hurry you are likely to overeat. Overeating causes food to sit in your stomach in a big bulk quantity. The stomach is paralyzed because it does not know what to do with the overload. Slowly the food you ingested putrefies and even before it leaves you begin to pile on the next meal. No wonder for all the acid reflux! Think about it – your poor stomach does not even have the voice to tell you to back off or slow down. It just keeps on taking it, meal after meal. If you have not turned your bites into soup, you have eaten it too fast.
  16. Weigh only once a week. Excessive focus on the scale can be a very self defeating event. You must give long term weight loss appropriate time. Weight that will be lost forever will come off slowly and will be a product of a consistent nutrition program over time. Look at yourself in the mirror on a routine basis. If you don’t like what you see, use it as motivation to add fuel to the fire of success to keep you going and on the right track.
  17. Measure your progress. It is a good idea to take your measurements before you begin. This is a great tool for you to remember where you have come from. Take a photo or a snap shot of yourself when you start your wellness program. Put your photo on the refrigerator as a constant reminder to continue with your micro goals with the approaching macro goal in mind. Take your photos from the front, the side, and the rear. Hide nothing and be honest with YOU. Watch the sizes of your clothes change, notice how your shoes are fitting. There are many signs of good change and they are not all focused on weight.
  18. Time your nutrients. This is a very important concept that allows for the appropriate ingestion of high glycemic index carbohydrates. High glycemic index carbohydrates elevate the total amount of insulin that is produced. Insulin is important after an intense workout due to the fact that it will drive glucose into the muscle and liver cells more rapidly and replenish depleted glycogen stores. This means more energy.
  19. Stay up on your preventative healthcare. Inbody (body composition analysis), paps, breast, mammograms, prostate, rectal, CMET (cardiometabolic testing), lab work, micro and macronutrient testing (cholesterol, blood sugar, kidney and liver functions, thyroid etc).
  20. Make use of dietary supplements. Plant sterols, viscous fiber, multi-vitamins, anti-oxidants, liver flush, detoxification, and probiotics.

Food for weight loss: Boost energy, lose belly fat in healthy way

If you are anything like us, it’s a given that you’re forever strapped for time. Despite having a gold membership card to the tony health club in town, you haven’t availed of the facilities and dieting doesn’t feature on your 10 must-do list. However, looking after your health should be on the top of your list. So how does one solve this conundrum? Simple: Baby steps. One of those steps leads right up to your kitchen and into your refrigerator or your pantry. Consider this: superfoods could help you move your weighing scale in the right direction and you’d hardly have to break into a sweat. Certain foods can help you slim down or help you maintain a healthy weight while simultaneously packing your body with nutrients that aid in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, protecting your heart, reining in type-2 diabetes and keeping your energy levels high. Nutritionist Romy Nagpal, The Right Appetite Health Centre, believes that “these superfoods help you accelarate weight loss by boosting your metabolism to burn fat and by curbing cravings for fatty foods. “She goes on to list the top seven that always manage to work their magic for her.
1. Fruits for weight loss2. Vegetables for weight loss3. Nutritional information about food4. Best food for muscle building5. Food to burn belly fat6. Food for instant energy7. Food that maximises your workout results8. Not just managing your diet well, you also need to do a few other things to lose weight

Fruits for weight loss

Oranges

Whether you’re looking to lose two-and-a-half kilos or 10 kgs, you need to burn more calories than you eat each day to burn fat. A deficit of 500 calories daily means you’ll lose roughly half a kilo of fat weekly. The nutrient content and low calorie count of oranges supports weight loss.

Best way to have them: Have them as a breakfast snack, or blend to make a smoothie.

Berries

They’re loaded with nutrients and antioxidants which help detoxify the body. These vitamin and mineral-dense berries have natural sugars and thus salvage you from those unhealthy sugar cravings.
Best way to have them: Have them with probiotics, as a smoothie, or in a pudding.

Avocados

Although avocados are high in fat, they are an excellent addition to any weight-loss program as they make you feel full for long. They have L-carnitine, an amino acid used in metabolising fat. They also have good amounts of soluble and insoluble fibre, which are effective for weight loss.
Best way to have them: It is a great green base for any fruity smoothie. Have it as a savoury snack by adding it into your favourite salad. Or spread it on a toast.

Lemons

Add half a lemon to regular water to turn it into an energy drink loaded with electrolytes. Our body needs electrolytes to replenish the lost energy from the cells. This is also a good way to keep yourself hydrated. According to a study published in The Journal Of Nutrition in 2011, women who are mildly hydrated get fatigued easily.

Best way to have them: Squeeze one lemon in a glass of warm water and have it in the morning. Or you can sprinkle it on your salad for a tangy taste.

Bananas

Bananas give you a quick boost of carbs and nutrients, along with nine per cent of your daily potassium needs. The potassium helps you avoid muscle cramps while exercising. They will help you finish a strenuous workout kink-free.
Best way to have them: Banana pancakes, banana chocolate pudding or banana smoothies, there are many ways to have this fruit.

Almonds

Almonds are an excellent source of protein, healthy fats and the amino acid arginine, which improves blood flow throughout your body while working out. Almonds will help you burn more calories during the workout, according to a study by the International Journal Of Sports Nutrition.
Best way to have them: Add them to yoghurts, have as a snack or use them to boost up your smoothie.

Nuts

Nuts are rich sources of magnesium, which is key to converting fat into energy. As they are rich in fibre, they also keep blood sugar levels steady and the high amount of protein in them keeps hunger pangs at bay.
Best way to have them: You can add them to your salads to make them crunchy, or make into a paste and spread it on the bread.

Apples

Apples make a great pre workout bite. They’re rich in vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre. Polyphenols, i.e. healthy compounds found in apples also help in promoting a healthier immune system.
Best way to have them: They are delicious when baked, eaten raw or added to a salad.

Vegetables for weight loss

Spinach

The green leafy vegetable is low calorie but densely packed with nutrients. It is an excellent source of iron, a mineral that the body needs to produce oxygen in the blood and boost energy.
Best way to have them: Spinach makes a filling yet low-on-cal smoothie, soup, sandwich base or salad.

Carrots

They’re rich in beta-carotene and dietary fibre, and are juicy as well. Beta-carotene helps eliminate free radicals in the body while fibre helps detoxify and get rid of the toxins.
Best way to have them: Try carrot and orange salad, or caramelised carrot soup. Bake yourself a carrot-ginger cake.

Kale

It is vitamin and fibre-rich and aids weight-loss goals by regulating the digestive system, feeding your body with healthy nutrients and removing impurities.
Best way to have them: Kale and cauliflower bites are a healthy option, or go for kale-celery soup. You can also saute a kale and garlic vegetable dish.

Peppers

They’re known to be rich in vitamin C, which helps wash out retained fat from the body. Additionally, they help create a sensation of fullness because of their pungent and spicy nature.
Best way to have them: Try stuffed peppers or go for a muhammara (hot pepper dip). A pepper steak is also a good way to incorporate it in your diet.

Cabbage

Cabbage contains vitamins and minerals which help wash away the toxins. The green leafy vegetable is also rich in fibre which helps cut down fat from the body.
Best way to have them: Shred and put them in a stew or turn it into a soup. You can even put them in a roll and have it for a healthy snack.

Mushrooms

They’re filling, juicy and most importantly fibrous in nature. Having mushrooms can fill up your stomach without adding on to too many calories and fat.
Best way to have them: Boil them and make a soup, or bake them to maximise the health benefits. You can also add them to your risotto or make fritters out of them.

Nutritional information about food

Almonds

They’re high in beneficial nutrients like magnesium, vitamin E and copper. And while almonds aren’t a low-calorie food, they can fit well into a weight loss diet.

Avocados

They are full of monounsaturated fats which help satisfy hunger and make you feel full. Moreover, avocados are rich in L-carnitine, an amino acid used in metabolising fat. In addition, they also have good amounts of soluble and insoluble fibre, which are effective for weight loss.

Lemon

They are rich in pectin and potassium, which help reduce blood sugar levels. Lemons also contain Vitamin C which keeps the immunity strong. They also have ample amounts of Vitamin B 6 which converts food into energy, burning calories.

Banana

They are a good source of fibre, potassium, Vitamins B6 and C, antioxidants and phytonutrients. They contain high amounts of resistant starch which is good for intestinal health. The potassium in bananas is good for heart health.

Oranges

They are a good source of fibre, Vitamin C, thiamin, folate and antioxidants. The fibre in oranges improve the functioning of the digestive system, promoting weight loss and lowering cholesterol levels.

Kale

Kale is rich in dietary fibre, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, Vitamins A, C, K, B6, calcium, potassium, copper and manganese. It is rich in antioxidants which help counter aging, reduces cholesterol and boosts heart health. Also, it is very low in calories, with just 49 calories per 100 grams.
Apples contain high amounts of fibre, vitamin C and antioxidants which make it a healthy option. The nutrients present in apple have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties and improve brain and muscle function. They also lower blood sugar and cause weight loss.
Spinach is said to be very rich in nutrients, especially vitamins and iron. It is great for eliminating toxins from the body. Every 100 g of spinach contains only 23 calories.

Cabbage

It is rich in Vitamins K, C, B1 and B6. Cabbage also has generous amounts of manganese, dietary fibre, folate and copper. It has only 25 calories per 100 grams, making it perfect for weight loss.

Mushroom

They contain only 22 calories per 100 g and are free of fat, cholesterol and gluten. Mushrooms also provide important nutrients like selenium, potassium, riboflavin, niacin and Vitamin D among others.

Peppers

Peppers are a good source of Vitamins A (in the form of carotenoids), C, B2, E and B6. They also have folate, molybdenum, dietary fibre, pantothenic acid, niacin and potassium.

Berries

Berries contain flavanoids and have antioxidant properties. They are high in polyphenols and have only 57 calories per 100 g.
They are a good source of beta-carotene, fibre, Vitamin K, potassium and antioxidants. They contain pectin which helps lower blood sugar levels by slowing down the digestion of sugar and starch. Carrots also contain biotin which plays an important role in fat and protein metabolism.

Best food for muscle building

Eggs

Each eggs has a protein content of six to eight grams. Eggs are also full of iron, zinc, vitamins, and calcium which help you build muscle mass.

Oil

Fish oil has anti-inflammatory benefits which help you recover faster from a heavy workout so that you can exercise more frequently. Fish oil also helps increase metabolism so you also burn fat.

Water

If you want to build muscles, you will need to hydrate. The human body contains 70 per cent water and muscle tissue is around 75 percent water. Drinking adequate amounts of water will boost strength and energy levels and help in digestion.

Pineapples

They are full of bromelein, a protein-digesting enzyme. Pineapples also reduce muscle inflammation, making them the perfect post-workout snack.

Quinoa

Quinoa is a great source of carbohydrates, and has protein, including the crucial amino acids, making it perfect for muscle building.

Sweet potato

They contain vitamins A, C, B6 and riboflavin, along with potassium, copper, pantothetic acid and folic acid. They help replenish the body’s energy reserves and aid the muscle-building process.

Food to burn belly fat

Milk

In 2010, researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham found that, women who had the most calcium-rich foods lost a considerable amount of fat. For every 100 milligrams of calcium they had every day, they lost an inch of intra-abdominal fat–research has shown that intra-abdominal fat increases the risk of heart disease and cancer.

Green leafy vegetables

They are low calorie, fibre rich and contain ample amounts of vitamins and minerals which reduce water retention and helps ease bloating.

Watermelon

Watermelon contains 82 per cent water, making you feel full for longer. It is also rich in vitamin C and removes excess sodium from the body, reducing bloating.

Cucumber

Besides being low in calories (one cucumber has only 45 calories), cucumbers have 96 per cent water content, making it a great choice for reducing fat around your belly.

Food for instant energy

Your energy levels depend on what you eat. Foods high in fat and calories can leave you feeling fatigued as your body works hard to digest them. Make sensible choices to recharge your batteries and stay alert and productive throughout the day.
Quinoa is rich in amino acids, apart from being high in folate, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese. So it is densely packed with both proteins and carbohydrates that give you long lasting energy levels.

Beans

Beans contain proteins which keep blood sugar levels steady and keep you feeling full and energetic. The complex carbohydrates in beans provide energy to the brain and body.

Yoghurt

This is not only a good breakfast add on but can also be your in between meals snack option. It’s rich in magnesium that’s essential for energy release it the body. The protein in yoghurt also helps repair muscles post workout. Dig into unsweetened yoghurt to replenish your energy storehouse.

Whole grain cereal

Whole grain cereals are high in fibre. They slow down the release of glucose into the bloodstream, helping the body produce energy consistently throughout the day.

Green tea

Green tea has a compound called thymine which keeps you focused and alert. Besides, it also helps burn belly fat.

Oats

Carbohydrates account for 60 percent of the energy that your body needs. They are also packed with complex carbs, vitamins and minerals and keep you full for longer. Eating oats for breakfast means fewer energy crashes during the day.

Food that maximises your workout results

Just working out is not enough, you need to ensure that you give your body the right amount of proteins, minerals, carbohydrates and other nutrients so that it can maximise your exercise routine. These foods will give your fitness routine a boost.

Greek yoghurt

It is low calorie and has double the amount of protein compared to a regular cup of yoghurt. A cup of Greek yoghurt will give you 15 g of protein. This will ensure that you get enough energy while working out and also help you build muscles.
Oats provide you with the necessary carbohydrates that are required to build muscles and lose fat. They also keep your energy levels high during and after the workout. Moreover, a cup of oats also has 11 g of protein.
Chuck that bottle of sports drink and grab a bottle of water instead. Water serves as the perfect hydration drink. Have loads of water during and after the workout.

Peanut butter

Peanut butter is a great source of protein. Have a peanut butter sandwich post workout to give your body an extra dose of protein. You can also spread it over crackers or mix it in smoothies. Two tablespoons of peanut butter will give you 8g of protein.

Black coffee

Black coffee, when had with coconut oil, is a great way to lose weight if you are following the ketogenic diet. If not, skip the coconut oil. Black coffee has natural caffeine which prevents headaches that are a result of intense workouts. It also gives you energy for the workout.
A cup of fat-free milk has 8 g protein. Add milk instead of water in your smoothie, and add some fruits. The burst of protein will make your workout effective.

Not just managing your diet well, you also need to do a few other things to lose weight.

Sleep well

If the body doesn’t get enough sleep, you’ll put on weight. You need to get seven to nine hours of sleep every day to give your body enough time to heal. When you don’t sleep well, you drain out energy, which makes you crave for comfort foods throughout the day.

Control your portion

Stick to limited portions at every meal. Keep measuring bowls handy while taking out snacks. Pour them in a bowl instead of eating out of a bag. Use smaller plates when eating and stay away from second helpings.

Meal intervals

Don’t give huge gaps between meals. When you eat after a long period, you tend to eat more, consuming more calories than required. Eat meals and snacks at regular intervals to also avoid low blood sugar levels, which can leave you exhausted.

Exercise regularly

If you like gymming, join one near you. Else, find an outdoor activity like swimming or running, that you enjoy doing. Exercise for at least an hour every day to be able to achieve your weight-loss goals.

Early dinner

Keep your dinner to about 25 per cent of your daily calorie needs. Have it at least two to three hours before going to bed. Eating too much too late causes indigestion and sleep issues, which makes it difficult to stick to your weight-loss goals. Subscribe to our YouTube channel

1.6Kshares

  • Facebook1.2K
  • Pinterest394
  • Email

This is the first in a series of reader stories that I’ll be sharing this month, and maybe even beyond, depending on how much you guys like them! Today’s story is by Emily Allen with That’s What I Eat. Thank you, Emily, for sharing your inspiring story with us! If you’d like to submit your story, you can do so here.

I didn’t recognize myself.

I’ll never forget the day I looked in the mirror and realized that I didn’t recognize the person who was looking back at me. It was about a year after my youngest was born, I was clinically obese, felt sick all the time, and was simply miserable in my body. As I looked at my reflection, I was shocked and horrified that I had let it get to this point. At that moment, I decided that I didn’t want to feel that way anymore.

I had tried to lose weight several times throughout the years, trying every different diet plan out there. The problem was that nothing ever stuck. For some reason, this day in the mirror was different, and it changed everything. I decided that I wanted to do this right.

I wanted to actually nourish my body and focus on health rather than calories and the size of my jeans. So I started researching what I should feed my body, and the more I learned, the more I realized that what I needed to do was cut out processed food.

My study naturally led me to Michael Pollan’s book, In Defense of Food, and to Lisa and 100 Days of Real Food. I started cooking more from scratch and found lots of great recipes, and without even really trying, 70 pounds simply slipped off my body.

70 pounds! Gone!

What Helped Me

Cutting processed food was definitely not an easy process, but here are a few things that helped my family along the way:

  • Baby Steps
    First and foremost, we had to cut ourselves some slack. If we had thrown away all processed foods from the beginning, we would have failed, big time! Instead, we took baby steps, replacing one thing at a time. I started with cereal, making granola as a replacement. Any little improvement is still a success!
  • Lots of Produce
    The easiest way to eat real food for us is to reach for fruits and vegetables. We always have tons of apples, oranges, carrot sticks, etc. on hand for those times when we want to eat but don’t want to do any prep work.
  • Planning Ahead
    Meal planning has been essential! I put our meal plan in my Google calendar so I can see the family’s weekly activities as I plan. For example, I know that on Wednesdays I need to have a crock pot meal planned because that night we have dance class and otherwise would be hitting a drive-through.
  • Making My Own Convenience Food
    Batch cooking and stocking the freezer helps so much! Everyone has days where they simply don’t want to cook. I love knowing that when I have one of those days, I can grab a lasagna from the freezer because the last time I made lasagna, I made three of them and froze the extras.

It has now been more than five years since we started the process of cutting processed food, and my weight loss has been very easy to maintain. I have had such an incredible change in the way I feel that I had to share that feeling. So I went to school at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a Holistic Health Coach. I love teaching other people how to nourish their bodies with real food! I share my journey and my recipes on my site, www.thatswhatieat.com.

Eating real food has changed my life in so many ways. Most importantly, it has completely changed the way I feel. I’ve never felt healthier, happier, or more capable of handling whatever life throws at me. Everyone should get to feel this good!

Emily Allen is a former obese girl turned Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. She lost 70 pounds by cutting processed food, an experience she documented on her site, www.thatswhatieat.com. Emily now teaches families how to cut processed foods and live their healthiest lives. She teaches cooking classes, does public speaking about healthy living, and has even appeared on local news programs featuring her recipes. Emily believes that anyone can live a healthier life, no matter their schedule or budget.

1.6Kshares

  • Facebook1.2K
  • Pinterest394
  • Email

7-Day Diet Meal Plan to Lose Weight: 1,200 Calories

Lose weight, eat well and feel great with this easy weight loss diet plan. This simple 1,200-calorie meal plan is specially tailored to help you feel energized and satisfied while cutting calories so you can lose a healthy 1 to 2 pounds per week. Each day of this 7-day diet plan features the best foods for weight loss, being high protein, high fiber foods (a combination that research shows can help with weight loss by keeping you feeling fuller for longer), and strategically balances calories throughout the day so you won’t feel starved. The calorie totals are listed next to each meal so you can easily swap things in and out as you see fit. Couple this healthy meal plan with daily exercise and you’re on track to lose the weight.

Browse More: Weight-Loss Diet Recipes

How to Meal Prep Your Week of Meals:

  1. Make a batch of the Baked Banana-Nut Oatmeal Cups to have for breakfast on Days 1 through 3. Freeze any leftovers.
  2. Meal prep a batch of the Chipotle-Lime Cauliflower Taco Bowls to have for lunch on Days 2 through 5.
  3. Hard boil 3 eggs to have for snacks on Days 2, 5 and 6.

See More: Healthy Weight Loss Meal Plans

Day 1

Image zoom

Breakfast (271 calories)

  • 1 serving Baked Banana-Nut Oatmeal Cups
  • 1 medium apple

A.M. Snack (35 calories)

  • 1 clementine

Lunch (325 calories)

  • 1 serving Veggie & Hummus Sandwich

P.M. Snack (105 calories)

  • 1 medium banana

Dinner (468 calories)

  • 1 serving Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajita Bowls with 1/2 cup cooked brown rice

Daily Totals: 1,203 calories, 66 g protein, 177 g carbohydrate, 34 g fiber, 32 g fat, 1,186 mg sodium

Day 2

Image zoom

  • 1 serving Baked Banana-Nut Oatmeal Cups
  • 1 medium apple

A.M. Snack (192 calories)

  • 1 oz. Cheddar cheese
  • 1 hard-boiled egg

Lunch (344 calories)

  • 1 serving Chipotle-Lime Cauliflower Taco Bowls

P.M. Snack (35 calories)

  • 1 clementine

Dinner (373 calories)

  • 1 serving Zucchini-Chickpea Veggie Burgers with Tahini-Ranch Sauce

Daily Totals: 1,215 calories, 45 g protein, 158 g carbohydrate, 30 g fiber, 50 g fat, 1,488 mg sodium

Day 3

Image zoom

  • 1 serving Baked Banana-Nut Oatmeal Cups
  • 1 medium apple

A.M. Snack (70 calories)

  • 2 clementines
  • 1 serving Chipotle-Lime Cauliflower Taco Bowls
  • 1 medium banana

Dinner (401 calories)

  • 1 serving Easy Salmon Cakes over 2 cups baby spinach

Daily Totals: 1,190 calories, 59 g protein, 176 g carbohydrate, 35 g fiber, 36 g fat, 1,534 mg sodium

Day 4

Image zoom

Breakfast (287 calories)

  • 1 serving Muesli with Raspberries
  • 1 clementine
  • 1 serving Chipotle-Lime Cauliflower Taco Bowls

P.M. Snack (32 calories)

  • 1/2 cup raspberries

Dinner (521 calories)

  • 1 serving Chicken & Cucumber Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce

Daily Totals: 1,220 calories, 62 g protein, 159 g carbohydrate, 42 g fiber, 46 g fat, 1,109 mg sodium

Day 5

Image zoom

  • 1 serving Muesli with Raspberries

A.M. Snack (135 calories)

  • 1/2 oz. Cheddar cheese
  • 1 hard-boiled egg
  • 1 serving Chipotle-Lime Cauliflower Taco Bowls

Dinner (454 calories)

  • 1 serving Mediterranean Ravioli with Artichokes & Olives

Daily Totals: 1,220 calories, 51 g protein, 161 g carbohydrate, 39 g fiber, 49 g fat, 1,478 mg sodium

Day 6

Image zoom

  • 1 serving Muesli with Raspberries

A.M. Snack (95 calories)

  • 1 medium apple
  • 1 serving Veggie & Hummus Sandwich

P.M. Snack (77 calories)

  • 1 hard-boiled egg

Dinner (405 calories)

  • 1 serving Curried Sweet Potato & Peanut Soup
  • 1 (1-in.) slice whole-wheat baguette

Daily Totals: 1,190 calories, 47 g protein, 168 g carbohydrate, 38 g fiber, 46 g fat, 1,281 mg sodium

Day 7

Image zoom

Breakfast (285 calories)

  • 1 serving “Egg in a Hole” Peppers with Avocado Salsa

Lunch (345 calories)

  • 1 serving Curried Sweet Potato & Peanut Soup

P.M. Snack (220 calories)

  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 oz. dark chocolate

Dinner (371 calories)

  • 1 serving Spinach & Artichoke Dip Pasta

Daily Totals: 1,221 calories, 47 g protein, 139 g carbohydrate, 32 g fiber, 58 g fat, 1,741 mg sodium

WATCH: What to Eat on a 1,200-Calorie Diet

Meal Plan for Weight Loss: A 7-Day Kickstart

Ready to step it up with your Fitbit tracker and set some new health and fitness goals? That’s awesome! Cue the fireworks! But if your ultimate goal is to lose weight, unfortunately, activity alone isn’t going to get you there—you also have to change what you eat. That does not mean you need to do a cleanse or detox. But it is possible to get a jump on weight loss, the smart and healthy way. Fitbit Dietitian Tracy Morris developed this kickstart one-week meal plan to help her clients see results, fast. Disclaimers: Please don’t try to lose more than 2 pounds per week, or dip below 1200 calories per day, which can compromise your metabolism. This is not a long-term plan, so you definitely don’t want to eat this way every week. But it’s a great way to kick off a weight loss goal, with specific meal and snack ideas, so you’ll see an initial drop—and be extra motivated to keep the momentum going this year. Increase your drive to succeed, and see how many consecutive days your can stay on track, by using Fitbit’s food logging feature.

Here’s the full shopping list for exactly what to buy, and check to make sure you have a few pantry staples on hand. Morris recommends starting on a weekend, so you can make a big pot of veggie soup, and give your body a chance to adjust before diving into a busy week. Her plan cuts carbs for the first couple of days, before slowly reintroducing whole grains. And if you want to mix it up, there are lots more options for healthy snacks, just make sure to get a serving of fruit or vegetables, along with protein.

Meal Prep

Before you start the meal plan, make a pot of the Veggie Soup. Make 2 servings of Overnight Oats, so they can soak in the fridge. It’s also super helpful to prep your veggie snacks—make 4 bags filled with baby carrots and sugar snap peas, and 3 bags filled with broccoli and cauliflower, for alternate days. And if you really want to get ahead, you could also grill the chicken breasts and cook the quinoa and brown rice in advance.

Breakfast: green smoothie (made with ½ banana + ½ cup frozen mango + 1 cup kale + ½ cup plain, low-fat Greek yogurt + ½ small avocado + ½ cup nonfat milk)

Morning snack: 1 apple + 1 oz nuts

Lunch: 2 cups Veggie Soup

Afternoon snack: 1 cup baby carrots & sugar snap peas + 2 tablespoons hummus

Dinner: 4 oz salmon + 1 cup steamed carrots + 1 cup steamed broccoli + 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce + 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Notes: Bake the salmon at 400°F (200°C) until firm to the touch, 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness. Chop the carrots and broccoli and steam until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes for the carrots, 3 minutes for the broccoli. Drizzle everything with the teriyaki sauce and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

1,226 total calories for the day

Breakfast: berry smoothie (made with ½ banana + 1 cup frozen strawberries + ½ cup plain, low-fat Greek yogurt + ½ cup nonfat milk)

Morning snack: 1 banana + 1 oz nuts

Lunch: 2 cups Veggie Soup

Afternoon snack: 1 cup broccoli & cauliflower + 2 tablespoons tzatziki

Dinner: 4 oz grilled chicken + ½ cup roasted sweet potatoes + 1 cup roasted Brussels sprouts + 1 tablespoon olive oil

Notes: Chop the sweet potatoes and halve the Brussels sprouts, and place on a sheet pan. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Roast at 450°F (230°C) until tender, about 15 minutes. Brush the chicken with 1 teaspoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over medium-high heat until marked and no longer pink in the center, about 5 minutes per side.

1,230 total calories for the day

Breakfast: green smoothie (made with ½ banana + ½ cup frozen mango + 1 cup kale + ½ cup plain, low-fat Greek yogurt + ½ small avocado + ½ cup nonfat milk)

Morning snack: 1 cup blueberries + 1 oz nuts

Lunch: 3 oz grilled chicken + ½ cup cooked quinoa + 1 cup cherry tomatoes & chopped cucumber + 2 tablespoons feta cheese + 1 tablespoon vinaigrette

Afternoon snack: 1 cup baby carrots & sugar snap peas + 2 tablespoons hummus

Dinner: 4 oz mahi-mahi + 1 cup steamed carrots + 1 cup steamed broccoli + 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce + 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Notes: Bake the mahi-mahi at 400°F (200°C) until firm to the touch, 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness. Chop and steam the carrots and broccoli until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes for the carrots, 3 minutes for the broccoli. Drizzle everything with the teriyaki sauce and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

1,239 total calories for the day

Breakfast: Overnight Oats with blueberries (made with ½ cup oats + 1 tablespoon chia seeds + ½ cup nonfat milk + ½ cup plain, low-fat Greek yogurt + ½ cup blueberries)

Morning snack: 1 banana + 1 oz nuts

Lunch: 3 oz tuna + 2 cups mixed greens + 1 cup cherry tomatoes & chopped cucumber + 1 tablespoon vinaigrette

Afternoon snack: 1 cup broccoli & cauliflower + 2 tablespoons tzatziki

Dinner: 4 oz grilled chicken + ½ cup roasted sweet potatoes + 1 cup roasted Brussels sprouts + 1 tablespoon olive oil

Notes: Chop the sweet potatoes and halve the Brussels sprouts, and place on a sheet pan. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Roast at 450°F (230°C) until tender, about 15 minutes. Brush the chicken with 1 teaspoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over medium-high heat until marked and no longer pink in the center, about 5 minutes per side.

1,303 total calories for the day

Breakfast: Overnight Oats with blueberries (made with ½ cup oats + 1 tablespoon chia seeds + ½ cup nonfat milk + ½ cup plain, low-fat Greek yogurt + ½ cup blueberries)

Morning snack: 1 apple + 1 oz nuts

Lunch: 3 oz lean deli turkey + ¼ avocado + 1 whole-wheat tortilla + 1 cup mixed greens

Afternoon snack: 1 cup baby carrots & sugar snap peas + 2 tablespoons hummus

Dinner: 4 oz shrimp + 1 cup steamed carrots + 1 cup steamed broccoli + ½ cup cooked brown rice + 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce + 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Notes: Defrost the shrimp under cool running water and pat dry. In a nonstick pan over medium-high heat, toss the shrimp with a little all-natural cooking spray, and cook until bright pink, tightly furled, and warmed through. Chop and steam the carrots and broccoli until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes for the carrots, 3 minutes for the broccoli. Drizzle everything with the teriyaki sauce and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

1,383 total calories for the day

Breakfast: 2 slices whole-wheat toast + 2 hard-boiled eggs + hot sauce (optional)

Morning snack: 1 cup blueberries + 1 oz nuts

Lunch: 3 oz smoked salmon + ¼ avocado + 1 whole-wheat tortilla + 1 cup mixed greens

Afternoon snack: 1 cup broccoli & cauliflower + 2 tablespoons tzatziki

Dinner: 4 oz lean steak + 1 cup roasted sweet potatoes + 1 cup roasted Brussels sprouts + 1 tablespoon olive oil

Notes: Chop the sweet potatoes and halve the Brussels sprouts, and place on a sheet pan. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Roast at 450°F (230°C) until tender, about 15 minutes. Season the steak with salt and pepper. In a frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 teaspoon olive oil. Cook the steak until done to your liking, about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. (Consuming raw or undercooked meats may increase your risk of foodborne illness.)

1,358 total calories for the day

Breakfast: 1 scrambled egg + ½ cup black beans + 1 whole-wheat tortilla

Morning snack: 1 apple + 1 oz nuts

Lunch: 3 oz lean deli turkey + ¼ avocado + 2 slices whole-wheat bread + 1 cup mixed greens

Afternoon snack: 1 cup baby carrots & sugar snap peas + 2 tablespoons hummus

Dinner: whatever you want! (An example, for fun: 2 slices veggie pizza + 1 cup salad greens + 1 tablespoon vinaigrette + 5 fl oz red wine)

1,603 total calories for the day

Most important, at the end of the 7 days, don’t swing straight back to burgers and ice cream! Enjoy that one treat meal, then get right back on track. Figure out how many calories you really need, check out the food logging feature in the Fitbit app, and keep working toward that long-term weight loss goal.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.

Becky Duffett

Becky Duffett is a contributing nutrition editor for Fitbit and a lifestyle writer with a passion for eating well. A former Williams-Sonoma cookbook editor and graduate of San Francisco Cooking School, she’s edited dozens of cookbooks and countless recipes. City living has turned her into a spin addict—but she’d still rather be riding a horse. She lives in the cutest neighborhood in San Francisco, spending weekends at the farmers’ market, trying to read at the bakery, and roasting big dinners for friends.

44 Ways to Boost Your Mood, Improve Your Energy and Lose Weight

Everyone knows that maintaining a healthy weight is an important key in living a long, healthy life. There are so many diseases and illnesses that are tied to being overweight, it just makes sense to do what you can to reduce your risk of falling victim to them.
However, losing weight “at any cost” should never be your main focus because it can actually make you more susceptible to disease. The end does not always justify the means.
For example, embarking on unhealthy fad diets, taking dangerous supplements or starving yourself can backfire and have serious consequences.
It’s important to maintain a healthy weight, but NOT if it means you’ll be malnourished and sickly! Rather than making weight loss your only goal, you may want to look beyond the numbers on the scale and adopt lifestyle habits that not only help you lose weight but also boost your mood, improve your energy, and contribute to vibrant health. Why?

Because while being thin has its benefits, the benefits are much greater if you also feel good, have plenty of energy, and enjoy a positive, upbeat mood.

Down below is a list of some of the most effective tips for boosting your mood, improving your energy AND helping you lose weight at the same time.

You’ll find that most of them are so simple and easy that they can be incorporated into your daily routine without a hitch. Others may take a little more effort, but are well worth it!

Baby-Stepping to Better Health

Even though these tips are easy to incorporate into your daily life, don’t feel like you have to take on all of them at once. In fact, some of them may not apply to you at all, so you’ll skip those.

Others will definitely speak to you, and those can be adopted in stages. Try incorporating one new tip each week, or even two tips a week. Most of them are quick and easy so you won’t feel overwhelmed.

The Results Speak for Themselves

Most importantly, pay attention to how each action makes you FEEL. Your own body’s feedback will be your greatest guide as you lose weight and improve your health. If something makes you feel more energetic, happier, stronger, and slimmer, it’s a good bet that it’s beneficial for you. Your body will let you know if each technique works for you or not.

All right – let’s get to the tips:

1 – Drink water with lemon all day.

Being fully hydrated provides energy and clarity, and the lemons provide vitamin C, electrolytes, and antioxidants. Best part about water? Zero calories!

2 – Snack regularly.

Eating small servings of healthy foods frequently throughout the day helps keep your energy up, makes you feel satisfied, and revs up your metabolism. Opt for snacks with fiber, protein, and healthy fats instead of simple carbohydrates, which will only make you feel hungry and irritable.
See: 7 Healthy Snacks to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

3 – Go nuts.

Nuts and seeds make excellent snacks because they contain good-for-you fats and nutrients, and are very satisfying. You only need a small portion (1 ounce) to satisfy.
See: How to Add Peanut Butter to Your Diet the Right Way

4 – Smell something yummy.

Aromatherapy has shown promise in promoting weight loss, soothing stress, and boosting feelings of happiness. Scents that are good for all three include: grapefruit, peppermint, orange, vanilla, and lavender. You can buy essential oils online or in local health stores. Put a few drops of oil onto a handkerchief and carry it with you all day; sniff it a few times when you feel stressed, hungry, or fatigued.

5 – Eliminate sugar and simple carbs.

Simple carbohydrates create chaos with your blood glucose levels, which affects your mood, your energy level, and your ability to lose weight. Rather than eating sugar, opt for healthier sweets like fresh fruit, and stevia if you need a no-calorie sweetener. After a few days without sugar, you’ll notice that you feel stronger, clearer, and more energetic, not to mention losing weight easily.

6 – Eat raw vegetables.

Vegetables contain many important nutrients for energy and well-being, and if you eat plenty of raw vegetables each day you will be fueling your body with potassium, protein, iron, vitamin C, vitamin A, and fiber to keep your digestive system in top shape.

All of these nutrients promote a sense of well-being, happiness, and energy, and they help you lose weight because vegetables are so low in calories that you can eat a LOT of them without exceeding your caloric limits for the day.

Cooked vegetables are also good for you, although they do lose a bit of their nutrients during the cooking process, so eating them raw is beneficial when possible.
See: Top 5 Healthy Green Vegetables

7 – Enjoy some green tea.

Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and has thermogenic properties that are believed to help boost your metabolism. If caffeine is a problem for you, don’t worry – green tea comes in decaf! For that matter, it also comes in capsule form so you don’t even have to drink it.

8 – Stay active.

Taking short, brisk walks throughout the day is a great way to keep your energy levels high, boost your mood, and shed pounds. One of the common arguments people give for not exercising is that they don’t have time – well, anyone can squeeze in a few short 10-minute walks each day! If you can’t go for an actual walk outside, march in place while pumping your arms back and forth, and you’ll burn nearly as many calories.
See: Want to Lose Weight and Feel Great? Enjoy a Morning Walk

9 – Eat whole grains.

Whole grains are a great source of magnesium, and being deficient in magnesium is a common cause of fatigue. When you feel tired and sluggish, you’re less motivated to exercise and take good care of yourself.

10 – Avoid caffeine.

It’s so easy to reach for another cup of coffee, tea, soda, or an energy drink when you’re feeling sluggish, but doing so can severely interfere with your weight loss goals. Caffeine increases your body’s production of insulin, which promotes the storage of more fat. If you think you can’t survive without caffeine, try substituting water with fresh lemon. (See tip #1!) You may discover that you actually feel better without all that coffee!

11 – Surround yourself with color.

Color can be a great helper in stimulating your mood, boosting your energy, and influencing your appetite. The color red is a known energy booster, and can also stimulate your appetite. Orange and yellow are also “high energy” colors. Conversely, the colors blue and green are soothing, inducing calm and helping to reduce your appetite.

12 – Fight fat with fat.

Did you know that some fats actually help you burn more fat? Olive oil is one of the best – just drizzle a few teaspoons over salads, cooked vegetables, and grains like brown rice. Olive oil helps reduce “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and elevates “good” cholesterol (HDL), contains beneficial antioxidants, and has many other health benefits. Best of all, it helps reduce your appetite by making you feel satisfied for longer so you eat less overall.

13 – Eat breakfast.

Even if you don’t feel hungry first thing in the morning, eating breakfast goes a long way in boosting your mood, increasing your energy and promoting weight loss. Choose foods that will provide sustained energy rather than a quick blood-sugar boost. Whole grains (oatmeal, bread), protein (eggs, milk, cheese), and fruit (grapefruit, berries and bananas) are good choices.

14 – Avoid negative people.

Negative people drain your energy, drag down your mood, and put a downer on your goals – including your weight loss goals. Do you have people like this in your life? If so, you may want to limit the amount of time you spend with them. Surround yourself with uplifting, positive people who encourage you and your goals.

15 – Eat light meals.

There’s nothing like a heavy meal to make you feel bloated and sluggish. Eating lighter meals keeps your energy levels high and your waistline feeling slim and sexy. A “light” meal would include plenty of vegetables, fruit, grains, and lean protein – avoid fattening carbohydrates, sauces, and side dishes that will make you overly full and uncomfortable.

16 – Stay active after meals.

Do you often plop down in front of the television after eating? Break that habit and do something physical after eating your meals and snacks. It doesn’t have to be a complete workout; light activities are best – like cleaning, organizing, taking a stroll around the block, taking a quick trip to the store, etc. Staying active helps boost your metabolism and aids digestion.

17 – Beat it.

When you feel sluggish, turn on some music with a fast-paced beat and dance. Take good music with you wherever you go; while you’re walking, doing chores, shopping, driving, and waiting for appointments. The upbeat music helps you feel more positive and energetic, which reduces your appetite.

18 – Spice up your life.

Spices like ginger, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper have thermogenic properties, which means they increase body temperature and boost metabolism so you burn more calories. Spices like these (and many others) are also known mood-enhancers, inducing feelings of contentment and well-being.

19 – Think positive.

A positive attitude has a LOT to do with your overall state of well-being, including your weight. The more positive you can be, the more energy you will have, and the more likely you will be to eat well and exercise each day.

A negative attitude, on the other hand, makes you feel irritable, angry, depressed, and disinterested in making healthy lifestyle choices.

Positive thinking takes practice, so don’t feel discouraged if you don’t take to it like a duck to water. Simply keep working at it day by day and before you know it, it will become a habit.

20 – Visualize the new you.

Visualization is a powerful process used by everyone from business people to pro-athletes to enhance performance and achieve goals. Another benefit you may not know: visualization makes you feel great when you do it right!

Try performing a few “mini-visualizations” throughout the day and focus on the new, slender, healthy body you are in the process of creating right now. How great will it feel to be at your goal weight, wearing clothing that pleases you and looking like a million bucks? Focus on that and allow the pleasant feelings it inspires to flow through you. Within just a few minutes you’ll feel energized and eager to keep moving forward.

21 – Take naps.

Short naps (20-30 minutes) help calm your mind, relieve tension, and recharge your energy. Hormone levels are also affected by your sleep patterns, which have a strong impact on your weight.

22 – Make nightly sleep a priority.

Beyond short naps, make it a priority to get a full night’s sleep each night. It’s easy to skimp on sleep when other things seem more important, but your energy level, mood, health, and weight all depend on you being well-rested.

23 – Get some sun.

Sunlight helps promote vitamin D production, and vitamin D helps promote weight loss. Being deficient in vitamin D contributes to all kinds of health problems, including depression, heart disease, and diabetes. Don’t worry, you don’t have to spend too much time in the sun – as little as 30 minutes twice a week is enough for adequate vitamin D production.

24 – Move around.

If you are sedentary for a large part of the day, like sitting behind a desk or in a car, be sure to get up and walk around as often as possible. Moving around and stretching for a few minutes each hour is a great way to boost your energy levels and metabolism and make weight loss easier.

25 – Make time for yourself.

Having some “downtime” to do things you enjoy is important for a healthy mind, mood, and body. Even better, engage in some physical activities you enjoy so you’ll burn calories while you enjoy yourself.

26 – Have an active social life.

Interacting with others is important for your sense of connection, which directly affects your mood and energy levels. You don’t have to go out clubbing every night, but at least get involved with some social events that allow you to interact positively with other people.

If you don’t have a big circle of friends to socialize with, consider volunteering for some causes that are important to you. It’s a great way to be more active in your community while forming friendships with other like-minded people.

Another good way to socialize is to continue your education. Take some community college classes, join a book club, or sit in on some spiritual development classes.

27 – Laugh.

Laughter is a fantastic booster for both your mood and your energy levels. And when your mood and energy levels are high, you’ll be less likely to eat for emotional reasons. Make laughter a high priority in your life. Don’t wait for laughter to come to you; look for opportunities to laugh every day.

28 – Silence that inner critic.

Negative self-talk can completely drain you and leave you feeling like you’ve gone 12 rounds with Muhammad Ali. Worse yet, it can make you reach for unhealthy foods to feel better.
Turn that nasty inner critic into your most vocal cheerleader by empowering yourself with postive self-talk.

29 – Be enthusiastic.

One sure recipe for fatigue is to be pessimistic and irritated about the things you need to do each day. Do you grumble and groan about doing chores, work tasks, exercising, and eating right? If so, turn that around by deliberately becoming enthusiastic about your daily activities. It helps if you can find one good thing about them to focus on.

For example, you may not want to exercise, but if you focus on how good you’ll feel after you’re finished, it will be easier to feel enthusiastic. Likewise, if you struggle to feel enthusiastic about your healthy eating plan, focus on something about it that you like – even if it’s just the thought that you’ll be grateful for your discipline when you’re enjoying a smaller sized body!

30 – Stress less.

Stress is a common contributor to excess weight – especially belly fat! Unfortunately, we are more stressed these days than we’ve ever been before. The good news is that managing stress is very easy with a little bit of awareness and determination.

Spend time each day winding down, emptying your mind of scattered thoughts, and relaxing your body. Soak in warm baths, curl up with a good book, sit quietly in a serene location – whatever would make you feel more relaxed, do it daily and notice how much better you feel and how much more easily you lose weight.

31 – Breathe deeply.

Deep breathing is an excellent energy-booster because it floods your blood with rich oxygen. When your blood is fully oxygenated, all of your cells and muscles function better, and you just plain feel more energetic. Added bonuses are that breathing deeply helps reduce stress, suppress your appetite and calm anxiety, so do it regularly throughout the day!

32 – Avoid alcohol.

Alcohol is a depressant that slows down your nervous system and makes you feel sluggish and tired. You may think that’s a good thing when you feel keyed up from a long, stressful day, but it doesn’t help you actually relieve stress – just distracts you from it for a short time. Worse, alcohol consumption can interfere with normal sleep cycles so you feel tired the next day. Alcohol also dehydrates you which further contributes to feelings of sluggishness.

33 – Monitor your hunger.

Do you ever forget to eat because you are so busy that you aren’t paying attention? The obvious problem with this habit is that by the time you do eat, you’re ravenous and you’ll eat way more food than you really need.

Throughout the day, pay close attention to your hunger. Make it a point to eat when you feel substantially hungry but not yet ravenous. Likewise, stop eating when you feel satisfied but not yet full. This helps provide enough fuel for your body, but without overdoing it and making you feel sluggish.

34 – Take vitamins.

Most of us don’t get the daily recommended amount of vitamins and minerals, sometimes because of our own poor eating habits, and sometimes because the quality of supposedly healthful foods isn’t as good as it could be.

Taking a daily multi-vitamin supplement can help fill in the gaps, and you may also want to consider other supplements beyond that, like vitamin C, fish or flax seed oil, and B vitamins. All of these help promote more energy, a better mood, and healthy weight.

35 – Strength train.

Cardio exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but you shouldn’t stop there! Strength training is excellent for strengthening all of your muscles and boosting your metabolism and energy levels.

Be sure to focus on your abdomen and back muscles too – they help you form a strong “core” so you feel strong, stable, and yes, more energetic so you can keep up with the daily demands of your life.

36 – Feed your spirit.

Spiritual emptiness is a common cause for overeating. Do you ever feel restless or empty and reach for food to feel better? If this is a habit for you, you may be surprised to discover that you can quiet that feeling without eating.

There are endless ways to feed your spirit and reduce cravings for food; try reading uplifting and inspiring books, spending time in nature, visiting an art gallery, engaging in creative activities like painting and sculpting, or joining a meditation circle.

When you start filling that inner sense of emptiness and disconnection, you’ll find that your desire for food diminishes greatly.

37 – Stimulate your brain.

Do you frequently follow the same schedule each day? Do you ever feel bored and uninterested? This lethargy can spread into all areas of your life, including your weight loss success.

To combat this, do things every day to stimulate your brain. Do puzzles, brainstorm, play word association games, learn something new, take a stroll down memory lane – all of these activities wake up your sleepy head and help you feel more energetic. Increased energy and interest will also spread into other areas of your life, making you feel renewed in all areas.

38 – Organize.

Organizing your home, vehicle and work space has a multi-tiered effect on your overall sense of well-being. First, the very act of clearing clutter and getting organized is incredibly motivating. It boosts your energy and makes you feel productive. Secondly, if you’re really moving a lot of stuff around, you burn more calories. Finally, a harmonious, ordered environment helps you feel calm and focused, which makes it easier to stick to healthy lifestyle choices.

39 – Pamper yourself.

If you spend the majority of your time seeing to other people’s needs, it’s easy to feel run down and fatigued. Take time to pamper yourself each day and watch how your energy increases, your mood improves, and your desire for unhealthy food diminishes.

Self-pampering can take many forms; the key is to do things that make you feel nurtured and well cared for. Get a professional makeover, go antiquing, enjoy a night out with friends, get a weekly massage, see a movie, or buy yourself something nice.

40 – Eat real food.

One major contributor to poor health and excess fat is the popularity of “fake foods” today. More than ever before, we are eating vast quantities of fast food, processed food, pre-packaged food, and convenience food, and all of the chemicals and additives this food contains have a detrimental effect on our bodies.

Get back to nature by eating REAL food – organic vegetables, fruits, grains, and other natural foods. Adopt the credo that if a food doesn’t grow on the earth naturally, it’s not real food and you shouldn’t eat it. For every fake food you would eat, there are healthy, natural alternatives that are just as delicious.

41 – Stretch daily.

Never underestimate the restorative power of a good stretch! Stretching your body has numerous benefits beyond simply making you feel great. Stretching relieves tension from your muscles, improves circulation, increases flexibility, improves balance, and more.

Stretching not only benefits your body but your mind and emotions too. After a good stretch you feel more relaxed, peaceful, centered, and grounded. Stretching is one of the best ways to boost your mood, increase your energy, and make you feel good physically.

42 – Always have goals.

Okay, you probably already have “THE” goal in mind – the weight you want to reach – but having other goals is a great way to keep yourself feeling motivated and energetic. You can set all kinds of mini-goals within your main weight loss goal; for example, set a goal to be able to run a mile and work up to it gradually.

Or set a goal to lose so many inches a month from your bodily measurements. Beyond weight loss goals, you can continually set goals for other aspects of your life, like personal development goals, educational goals, relationship goals, and more. Always be striving to grow and develop yourself mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.

43 – Take responsibility for your results.

Be willing to take full responsibility for your weight loss results. While you may face obstacles and challenges that are out of your control, you still always have choices. Excuses are for people who plan to fail! Being willing to be responsible for your own results no matter the challenges you face empowers and strengthens you and makes it much more likely that you’ll achieve your goals with ease.

44 – Take a break.

If you start feeling overwhelmed because you took on too many changes too soon, take a break. No, not a “Screw it, this is too hard so I’m going back to my bad habits” kind of break, but rather a “let’s make this a little less stressful” break.

Take smaller actions toward your weight loss goals, while also allowing a little more flexibility in your routine. If exercising 6 days a week is making you feel exhausted, try cutting back to 3 or 4 days a week, or choose a workout that isn’t overly strenuous. If you’re struggling to stick to a healthy eating plan, try eating healthy for two meals a day and allowing yourself a modest treat for the other meal.

Approaching your healthy lifestyle with more flexibility eases pressure and makes you feel more relaxed, which makes it easier to stay committed to your goals.

Re-Defining “Energy”

Many of us have come to rely on artificial sources of energy as the daily demands of our lives require us to work more, play less, and sleep less. The problem is that these artificial sources of energy do not last for long, and they even make us feel worse when the stimulating effects wear off.

When you stop to think about it, our bodies are naturally energized by simple, natural remedies – things like being fully rested, eating a wide variety of nutritious foods, and drinking plenty of water.

If we simply do these things on a regular basis, we feel no need to drink gallons of coffee or take “energy supplements”.

Educate Yourself

The tips provided are just the tip of the iceberg – there is much more to learn about how food affects your mood, your energy levels, and your weight.

Educate yourself about which foods are truly beneficial, and which will work against your goals to have more energy, a better mood, and a fit and healthy body.

Making Wise Decisions, Moment to Moment

​To permanently improve your energy, mood, and overall health, make wise moment to moment decisions all day, every day. Awareness is key, as is the willingness to take new actions rather than slipping back into old habits.

Before you eat, drink, or do anything, stop and ask yourself, “Will this help or hinder my goals? Will this make me healthier and slimmer in the long run, or is it just a quick fix to make me feel good right now?”

Keep the big picture in mind and make wise decisions that will give you the natural energy and good health you really want – not just another pound loss on the scale.

Healthy eating makes you feel great, but when you start a weight loss plan, you may experience a temporary drop in energy. These tips will help you identify what is causing your lack of energy, and how to change it. Just remember to hang in there. Once your body adjusts to your new healthy lifestyle, your energy levels will soar!

Expect an adjustment period.

You will be tempted to adopt many new habits all at once, but remember that weight loss isn’t about short term changes. You will need to make gradual, long-term changes to create a healthy lifestyle. Cutting out all the foods you love, or jumping into strenuous workouts right away will leave you feeling drained, and set you up for failure. Instead of dropping your food intake from 2,200 to 1,200 calories in one day, try cutting out 200 calories daily and then increase your calorie deficit each week. This will help your body gradually adjust to your new eating patterns while maintaining your energy levels.

Monitor your calorie intake.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that women eat no fewer than 1,200 calories per day, and men no fewer than 1,700 calories per day for safe and effective weight loss. This doesn’t mean your intake needs to be this low. If you’ve eaten the same amount of calories for a week and still feel lethargic, slowly add back a few calories in the form of nutritious foods. The goal is to find a point of balance where you feel energized, but you have reduced calories enough to lose weight.

Eat more iron.

Over time, low iron intake can lead to iron deficiency anemia, which results in low energy levels. Eat high-protein, iron-rich foods — such as beans, poultry, lean red meat, and nuts. The National Institutes of Health recommend that men aged 19 and older, and women aged 51 and older, get 8 mg of iron per day. Women aged 19 to 50 need 18 mg per day.

Focus on nutrition, not just calories.

It’s possible to reduce calories and lose weight while still eating processed foods that contain excess sodium and sugar. While you may lose weight, you won’t have the same energy levels as you would if you ate whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats. This is because these foods also contain vitamins and minerals that support healthy body function. Include more fresh foods in your diet and decrease the amount of packaged foods you eat to increase your energy levels.

Eat more often.

When you go an extended period of time from one meal to the next, or skip meals all together, this causes problems with your metabolism and leaves you famished. Eating when you are hungry will help your body to trust that you are not starving it. In return, your body will reestablish a healthy metabolism that will help you reach a healthy weight.

Get the right amount of exercise.

Avoid jumping into exercise too quickly. If you haven’t worked up to an adequate fitness level, strenuous exercise will leave you exhausted. Make your goal to exercise enough to feel challenged, but not to the point where you are too exhausted and sore to move. Begin with 15 – 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise, such as walking, 3 to 5 times per week. Each week, gradually add more time, more intensity, or new exercises as your fitness level improves. Soon you’ll be able to push through a tough workout and feel energetic afterward.

Sleep well.

Lack of quality sleep will leave you drained of energy. Over time this can reduce your motivation to exercise, and you’ll lose focus. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. Experiment with your sleep patterns until you find a time frame that allows you to wake feeling rested.

Whole foods weight loss

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *