Miller: Empowering lifestyle habits

The mind has tremendous power over the body.

A person’s positive thoughts can contribute to a lifetime of vitality, health, energy, passion, joy and love. But a person’s negative thoughts can contribute to a lifetime of health challenges, misery and devastation.

Get conscious of the patterns of thinking, feeling, eating and living that are not supporting your greater well-being, and take immediate, massive intelligent action to change.

Begin by developing new, empowering beliefs to remind yourself there is always a way to achieve your weight loss goal if you are committed.

Design your life so that you have control, and find ways to meet your needs in ways that are better for you, and that support your long-term health goals.

Finally, remember: Nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels!

Here are four tips for empowering yourself toward better habits.

Exercise

If you diet without exercise, you’re likely to stop losing weight sooner than you would like. This is because the body senses it is receiving fewer calories than usual and in response, it slows down its internal processes.

This adjustment is called lowering the basal metabolic rate (BMR), the number of calories the body burns each day.

This automatic biological response makes it progressively more difficult to lose weight while dieting.

The only known way to raise your BMR and “program” your body to store less fat is to increase your physical exercise. Exercising aerobically at 55 to 65 percent of your maximum heart rate will give your body more oxygen for energy, burn fat as fuel and, most importantly, will help you to accelerate your metabolic rate so you become a virtual “fat-burning machine.” However, even a brisk walk will generate similar results. If you exercise enough to build new muscle, you will burn more calories — even when you are not exercising.

You must continue exercising as newly-formed muscle easily disappears if you don’t.

Hydrate your body

Water is an essential and major component of all living matter. It is the largest single component of the body. Your body is 75 percent water.

Simply through the activities of daily living, you lose an average of a little more than two quarts per day. Generally, you replace this through the fluids and foods you consume.

But exercise and subsequent sweating can significantly increase the amount of fluid required. If not replenished, that can lead to dehydration.

You should drink half your body weight in ounces each day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should be drinking 75 ounces of water (which is slightly more than two quarts) a day.

Drink water throughout the day to maintain hydration.

Eat your full complement of fruits and vegetables

Other than hunger, the biggest contributor to weight gain and unsustainable weight loss is a nutrient-poor diet.

Most people’s diet includes plenty of calories and fat, as well as inadequate amounts of many essential nutrients.

Eat a diet rich in vegetables and fruit. This will not only satisfy your appetite, but it will also help you lose weight naturally and create habits that support you long-term in keeping off the weight you lose.

Track your progress

Set a realistic weight loss goal, and be specific about what you want to accomplish.

Are you just trying to lose weight, or do you also want to increase muscle mass and or condition your body for a marathon?

Also, choose a realistic date by which you can achieve your intended results.

Ultimately, you will want to create a plan you can incorporate into your life not just a short-term plan.

Josh Miller is a personal trainer and owner of Transformation Personal Training. He has a BS in exercise science. He can be reached at (859) 744-7050 or josh@TransformationPersonalTraining.com.