3 Simple Steps to a Slimmer Waist and a More Youthful Face

Rich Greene

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Often overlooked (until we look in the mirror and see 20 extra pounds) is the attainment of a healthy looking body and younger looking face. Proper nutrition, exercise, and rest are key factors to achieving these goals. These things are often overlooked because they are "perceived" to be hard work and often take a back seat to other things we deem more important of our attention.

I'd argue that there is nothing more important than focusing on your own personal health. If you want to operate at your highest levels of performance, your health is of paramount importance. In fact, lack of attention in this area is selfish! That's right…selfish. Why do I say you are selfish? Because chances are that you have either made excuses as to why you can't focus on your health or you have chosen to pursue other more pleasurable activities.

Poor health and lack of mental clarity (there is a connection) don't put you in the best position to be a high functioning productive member of society. You can't be the best at your job. You can't be the best parent, spouse, or friend. You can't be the best athlete, teacher, or coach. Hands down, whatever it is you want to do, poor health impedes you from attaining your full potential in life.

If others are depending on you and you are in poor health, how can you be giving them your best? Plus if you think what you are doing is "good enough"; don't even bother reading the rest of this. The three simple steps I'm going to share are for people that really want to make a difference in how they look, feel, and the impact they want to be able to make on others.

If up you are unable to care for yourself because of disease due to lack of personal care you are a drain on society’s resources and a pain to your friends and family. I know to some these statements might seem harsh, but if this approach makes you think about taking better care of yourself I'm glad to take the heat!

Here's the good news…no matter where you are in life it is never too late to improve your situation. One of the reasons people give up on working to improve their health is that they are impatient. If you are 20, 30, 40 pounds or more overweight, chances are good this didn't happen overnight. Usually, the progression to a higher body fat index is a gradual one brought on by habits that don't serve you well. If you are going to be successful at improving your health, you have to accept the fact that you won't see progress overnight. It is a process that is different for everyone and being diligent and following these simple three steps and having patience is the secret to success. Don't worry, in short time you'll start to notice small differences in the way you feel and look and that will help to keep you going.

Step 1: Eat
Having a good diet doesn't have to be difficult. In fact, I hate the word diet in the way most people use it. Its meaning is often used in an unnatural way. Usually a severe restriction of calories or some combination of food type that can be unhealthy. Popular diets come and go and the decades are littered with fad diets: DASH Diet, MIND Diet, TLC Diet, Weight Watchers, Mayo Clinic, Fertility, Mediterranean, Volumetrics, Flexitarian, Jenny Craig, Biggest Loser, Ornish, Vegetarian, Traditional Asian, Slim Fast, SparkPeople, Anti-Inflammatory, HMR, Flat Belly, Nutrisystem, Vegan, Engine 2, South Beach, Abs, Eco-Atkins, Zone, Glycemic-Index, Macrobiotic, Medifast, Supercharged Hormone, Acid Alkaline, Fast, Body Reset, Raw food, Atkins, Dukan, Paleo, Whole 30.

One of the more popular diets at the writing of this blog is the Paleo Diet. People seem to be impressed with the fact that this is purportedly what the caveman ate. Well, I'm pretty sure the Neanderthals, Denisovans, or whatever other hominoids that lived during that time didn't have a very long lifespan. And besides, they're extinct! A simpler and more measured approach is to eat the proper balance and portion of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. There's nothing faddish about this and this practice can last a lifetime.

Step 2: Exercise
For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity. This is not an onerous amount of time to spend on one’s health. Unfortunately, 80% of Americans don’t even get that! Is it any wonder that there are high levels of obesity, diabetes, and other illnesses that continue to affect more people?

There is no real good excuse for not exercising. Anyone can find 20 or 30 minutes in their day to get their heart pumping a little faster than normal. Einstein said “Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.” Now’s the time to turn the lethargy into energy! Start with 20 minutes and then add more time to your routine. You’ll quickly find that you will feel more energetic, you’ll sleep better, and you just might drop a few of those pounds that have crept up on you over the years.

Step 3: Rest
The quality of your sleep directly affects the quality of your waking life. This includes your productivity, emotional state, physical vitality, and even your weight.

The beauty of sleep is that is the one thing that can give you the greatest of benefit…and it doesn’t take a lot of effort! While you sleep, your body goes through a restorative process that is necessary for both your physical and metal operation.

People often skimp on sleep in order to work more. The problem with this is that sleep deprivation is likely to affect your cognitive abilities and you will likely not be as productive as you think you might be. Sleep deprived individuals are also prone to making more mistakes when working on tasks leading to less productivity.

The good news is that you don't have to choose between health and productivity. As you start getting the sleep you need, your energy and efficiency will go up. In fact, you're likely to find that you actually get more done during the day than when you were skimping on sleep. Also, looking more rested will make you look more youthful. There is nothing youthful looking about bags under your eyes and an unhealthy skin tone. Sleep can make a huge difference in your appearance.

Before I conclude this, I have a confession to make. I know these three steps work because they worked for me and they have worked for many others. It's not a complicated process and it doesn't need to be in order to work! That said, I’m far from perfect. I struggle just like everyone else. I started my journey at 50 years of age; tired, out of shape, and a body fat percentag of 28%. Four years later, I completed a number of ultra-distance swims and three Ironman triathlons. I have lots more energy today than I did in my 30's and a body fat of approximately 10%. But, I love sweets and sometimes portion control is a challenge. I have to constantly re-center myself and focus on the three steps. It has worked for me; it could work for you too. Just have patience!

Amplify your success!

Rich Greene