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The #75hard challenge is trending – does it have to be that hard?

These strategies are the kind of simple changes that have helped my clients lose up to 5kg in four weeks, without doing anything particularly hard.

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Suzanne Ingleton

Two weeks ago, I joined the global #75hard movement with a community of women committed to finishing the mental toughness challenge.

Finish what? It’s called #75hard for a reason. The 75 Hard program, created by entrepreneur Andy Frisella and described as a “mental toughness” challenge, outlines rules participants must follow for 75 days. If you break a rule, you have to go back to the beginning and start the 75 days again.

The rules are:

  • Two sessions of 45mins of exercise (one round of exercise must be done outside);
  • Drink 4 litres of water;
  • Read 10 pages of a personal development book;
  • No alcohol;
  • Stick to a diet that is relevant to your goals – weight loss, clean eating etc; and
  • Take a progress photo everyday.

So far I’m up to day 19 and going strong.

As a weight loss hypnosis coach, I’m not taking the challenge to see if I can lose weight, but I did want to see if I could give up alcohol for 75 days.

For those of us who have taken up the challenge, there have been some pretty amazing results. I can happily say that I have now let alcohol go – I rarely think about it! Within the first week many of the women in my network had begun to lose weight, found time to exercise, and were managing to follow all six rules.

But does achieving a healthier lifestyle have to be that #hard? Can you step into a healthier version of yourself without subjecting yourself to a mental toughness challenge?

You absolutely can. It doesn’t have to be that hard. Here’s five relatively simple yet effective strategies that have helped my clients lose weight and feel better – without doing anything ‘hard’.

Eat slowly

We know from research it takes 20 minutes for the brain to register that the gut is full. This doesn’t mean you need to take 20 minutes to eat every meal – although that would be ideal – it just means you need to slow down and be mindful of what you’re eating. When you eat slowly you can listen to your body and stop eating when you are full – rather than just finish what’s in front of you. Eventually you will begin to eat less. When your brain knows that your gut is full – the primal subconscious part of you won’t go looking for more food, which is what happens when it hasn’t registered it’s had enough to eat– even when your stomach is groaning.  This is known as the mind-gut connection: a hidden conversation between the mind and the stomach that impacts our eating choices and overall health.

Eat good quality food

When we eat low quality food – such as processed, fatty, sugary foods, our body does not get the nutrition it needs to function and do what it needs to do to have enough energy to get through each day.  If your body does not register that it’s had enough to eat – due to low quality nutrition – it will keep looking for more food. Your subconscious mind will do anything it can to drive you to eat more!

Eat protein, veg, fruit and healthy fats in every meal

Many of my private clients complain that they have no energy and therefore no motivation to exercise, look after themselves, and give their own body the gift of time and quality sleep it needs. Food is medicine. You wouldn’t put diesel in a petrol car.  If you don’t give your body the correct fuel and nutrition, you lack energy and motivation to look after your mind and body.

Relax

Stress is one of the biggest blockers to weight loss. When we are stressed, anxious or uptight our body immediately goes into the fight or flight response – which means that you just want to either run away or fight!  When our body is in this mode, the last thing it wants to do is digest a meal when its being chased by a modern day sabertoothed tiger! This stress response creates cortisol and begins to lay down fat, hang onto existing fat and not build muscle for survival. The opposite of what you want to happen when you’re trying to lose weight. So relax!

Make dinner your smallest meal, lunch your biggest meal and breakfast a good size

The amount and timing of our meals plays a big role in how our body manages weight.  If we don’t eat enough food and deprive our body of nutrition, then the body goes into primal mode and thinks its being starved. If it’s not the right kind of food, then the body thinks its not getting enough and hangs onto fat to survive. This is why its important to break the fast and have a good sized, high-quality breakfast to start your metabolism for the day. Fill up on the right food and you’ll be less likely to snack on food before lunch.

Next, make your lunch the biggest meal of the day. This is when our body burns the most calories because it’s at its highest core temperature.  When we have a good lunch we are less likely to snack in the afternoon, taking you through to dinner time. Dinner should be the smallest meal of the day. This is because your body only wants to rest and repair itself at night.  Your metabolism will be at its lowest point and not wanting to digest or burning calories in a huge meal. 

If you commit to these simple changes for 75 days, I’m certain you’ll lose weight and feel better. 

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