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Breaking out of Homeostasis

The word 'homeostasis' probably brings back vague, bad memories of biology class in high school, but it's one of the most important words to know when it comes to improving your fitness, and particularly your body weight.

Homeostasis, in simplistic terms, refers to the fact that the body is in a state where it is not changing. Many people forget that it actually takes significant upkeep to keep your body from becoming worse in form and function as we age. So, if you are managing homeostasis and staying the same, in some ways you are already winning.

However, we humans are rarely satisfied with staying the same. Because the body tends to resist change, we need to 'shock the system' a bit in order to induce change. Here are some effective ways to do that.

How to 'Shock the System'
to Induce Change

It's important to note that you certainly don't need to do all of these things to create change. One or two of these tips done consistently should be enough!

1. Pick a meal to 'tighten up.' Do it every day. Most people find that breakfast is the easiest meal to do this. Be sure your breakfast contains some good quality protein and healthy fats to give you staying power. An omelette made with spinach is a great choice, as is greek yogurt with fruit.

2. Increase the amount of time and/or intensity of your current exercise routine. If you are stuck in a rut, by definition you must change something. A new class or workout buddy may be just what you need to shake things up.

3. Get to bed earlier. The closer you can get to 8 hours of sleep, the better you will perform during your workouts, and the better control you will have when it comes to making good food choices. When your body is asking for sugar, it just may need sleep!

4. Limit alcohol and sugar. Both of these substances increase your caloric intake and can lead to additional poor food choices, in addition to causing fatigue and lethargic performances during your workout. They can also make you sick when taken to excess. Remember, it doesn't have to be forever, but see how you feel cutting back.

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