Priority #5 – Exercise
Daily exercise is important with a healthy lifestyle, whether it’s structured or not. People didn’t always have gym memberships or elliptical machines at home. They stayed fit by moving around and working hard. It’s interesting how things are starting to come full circle, you are beginning to see a lot of structured workouts designed around being unstructured. Pull a sled, flip a tractor trailer tire, pick up a heavy sack and carry it around. Not much different from the days of old right? Regardless of the method, you have to move around, you have to work your muscles, and you have to get that heart rate up once in a while if you ever have any hope to drop the weight.
Priority #4 – Water
You can find tons of conflicting information about how much water to drink, but one thing you don’t find is people telling you water is not important. There is no dispute that water is an important part of weight loss. It keeps you hydrated, flushes out the bad stuff, and even helps you to feel full. Decide for yourself what the right amount is but make sure “plenty of water” is one of your priorities.
Priority #3 – Healthy Eating
You can exercise hard an hour a day but it won’t really do you much good if you eat cheeseburgers and pizza the other 23 hours. That’s why healthy eating is at #3 priority. There are a zillion diets out there; a vast majority of them are healthy with a few rare exceptions. I’m not going to try to convince anyone about what the right diet is because it depends on the person. However, I can promise you the road to successful long term weight loss includes a healthy eating plan.
Priority #2 – Proper Mindset
I bet you thought this would be #1 priority? Nope, it’s #2. You can eat healthy, get plenty of water, and exercise regularly and still not be successful in the long term. Proper mindset is what keeps you on your path. Proper mindset is what allows you to keep your promises to follow the other priorities. Yes, you can lose weight without proper mindset, but the success will be short lived and you will eventually find yourself in a worse situation than you were before. Without priority #2, it becomes very difficult to maintain priorities #3, #4, and #5.
Priority #1 – SLEEP!
This might surprise you, but sleep is my #1 priority. If you do not get good quality sleep, you will be too tired to exercise (#5). If you do not get good quality sleep your body does not function properly and your metabolism is affected as well (#4 and #3). Finally, if you do not get good quality sleep then it becomes impossible to maintain a proper mindset (#2). If you do not get good quality sleep then you can forget about any of the other priorities; sleep trumps then all!
Most people focus most of their energy on #3, #4 and #5 and give little attention to #1 and #2. In fact many people believe that by fixing #3, #4, and #5 they will see improvement in #1 and #2. Maybe that’s why most people (myself included) fail. Maybe we need to put less energy into healthy consumption and exercise and more energy into quality sleep and proper mindset. Am I suggesting #3, #4, and #5 be ignored? No, that’s not what I’m saying; they are still important in any healthy lifestyle. My point is that maybe our weight loss priorities are upside down. Maybe by putting more effort into sleep and mindset you wouldn’t need so much effort in the others and they would actually become easier.
What do you think; what are your weight loss priorities?
[Photo: Flickr / R/DV/RS]