There are many different approaches to weight loss, health and fitness – so many that it’s easy to get overwhelmed when trying to figure out which approach will work best for you.
Looking back, I spent most of my life struggling to maintain my weight through intense and excessive exercise and a “healthy” diet that probably ended up doing more harm than good. Learn more about my health journey HERE.
I did my fair share of experimenting with diets and exercise for weight loss and optimal health, so I’m aware of the frustrations and disappointments that can come about.
I can sympathize with those who feel like they’ve tried it all (and have genuinely put their full heart and energy into programs), but nothing seems to work for them – and if it does, the results are often short-lived.
When working with clients, my approach to sustainable weight loss and health is NOT one-size-fits-all. Each person and body is unique which means customized programs are often the best approach – and yield greater results.
Although the approach you take to health and fitness is important, it’s not the only part of the equation.
The one thing that most healthy and physically fit people have in common is consistent healthy habits.
They don’t dabble in a diet or exercise program for 1-month then stop without rhyme or reason and jump on board another trendy program the following year only to fall off the wagon again.
They’re more consistent than not when it comes to healthy eating, exercise and/or lifestyle practices – whatever their idea of “healthy” is at a given time.
I often get asked the question – “Jen, what’s your secret to always looking healthy and fit?”
Well, my secret in my early 20s is definitely different than my secret today. I’d argue that my current secret is much juicier given that I’m both fit and healthy today vs. just being fit (and not very healthy) years ago.
Without question, my approach to health and weight loss has evolved over the years given new research that has shaped my perspective and opinion.
My years of experimenting and gaining knowledge have led me to a formula of healthy habits that I can say with confidence have allowed me to not only lose extra weight I was holding onto, but also sustain a healthy weight effortlessly – all while gaining back my health.
Check out my top 4 healthy habits for effortless weight loss and better health …
4 ways to effortless weight loss & better health
#1: 7-9 HOURS OF QUALITY SLEEP
Research suggests that 7-9 hours of quality sleep is the ideal dose for feeling good and functioning optimally the next day (although we’re all wired different and some people do report feeling better with less sleep).
According to Chinese medicine, it’s not only how much sleep you get that matters, but also when you get it. The window from 11 PM – 3 AM (which correlates to the liver and gallbladder) is most important in terms of maintaining health, especially as we age. A bedtime of 10:30 PM is recommended so that you are asleep by 11 PM when the liver and gallbladder start to regulate qi (energy), process emotions, balance hormones and detoxify the body – all key players in weight loss.
If you’re a night owl, it may not be realistic to fall asleep by 11 PM in one or two attempts, but small steps can get you closer to this optimal window. Try heading to bed 30-minutes earlier and slowly build on that number over time.
In addition to the above, the quality of your sleep is equally important. 7-9 hours of interrupted sleep (e.g. waking up 5 times to pee then another 3 times because of your snoring partner) probably isn’t going to lead to that “well-rested” feeling the next day.
Sleep should be uninterrupted, deep and in ideal bedroom environment – no artificial lights, room temperature on the cool side, cell phone off or in airplane mode to avoid EMFs, etc.
#2: ONE NUTRIENT-RICH SMOOTHIE A DAY
Let’s face it, life is a chaotic mess most of the time and it’s not always realistic to get 3 healthy meals down the pipe.
Smoothies are a simple, affordable and realistic way to obtain the nutrients your body needs to function optimally, making weight loss and maintenance effortless. They have played a large role in my health journey which is why they made it to my top 4.
I suggest replacing your weakest meal with an easy nutrient-rich smoothie. For most people, breakfast tends to be the weak link given the rush to get to work and/or get the kiddies ready for school.
Most convenient breakfast foods (ie. high-sugar cereals, yogurts, muffins, granola bars, bagels, etc.) don’t put your body into an optimal state to conquer the day. These nutrient-void “foods” often leave you searching for the next convenient, high-sugar food in order to keep your sugar burning body from collapsing on the office floor.
Replacing one nutrient-void meal with a nutrient-dense smoothie that contains quality protein, healthy fats, and smart carbohydrates (in the right ratios) can make a world of a difference. It truly is a simple step towards weight loss and better health.