Try these tips for assistance on reaching and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
- Strive to drink at least .75oz of water per body weight. If you weigh 140#, shoot for 105oz (128oz is 1 gallon).
- Along with lean meats, poultry and or fish/shell food, eat unprocessed whole foods (fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds) at least 80% of the time. Other foods like grains (rice, oats & quinoa) and protein bars or anything packaged will be 20%.
- Exercise AT LEAST 3 days a week, 5 is best!
- Cut sodas and sugary drinks. This includes sport drinks like Gatorade, try raw coconut water instead. Stick to water or unsweetened iced tea, coffee or hot tea. Herbal hot or cold teas can be beneficial in providing antioxidants. Try La Croix Sparkling water, so good!
- Reduce sodium & added sugar intake. Avoid packaged foods that are 20% or more of grams in sugar to total carbohydrates. Clinical trials recommend staying under 25g of added sugar for women and 36g for men. Stick to natural sweeteners like honey, agave nectar, date syrup, stevia & fruits. Keep sodium total around or under 1500mg per day.
- Keep alcohol minimal. If you have a goal of dropping body fat, cut the beer. Stick to red wine and vodka.
- If you have to eat at a restaurant, choose wisely. Beware of sauces, dressings & how food is cooked. Go steamed when ordering veggies. Salads are a great option.
- Go for a cheat meal once a week. A cheat meal is one meal only and should be close to what you normally eat, just higher in overall calories. An grass-fed burger with sweet potato fries…Quinoa or Brown Rice pasta and meatballs…a gluten free pizza (try Against the Grain brand). Anything outside of what you’ve been eating like fast food, ice cream, high sugar, high sodium, etc. may upset your stomach.
- Eat when you’re hungry but have at least 3 meals a day AND make sure your total caloric intake is sufficient enough for the day. Otherwise, work towards having several meals throughout day (breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner). Each meal should be of small to medium size portions and well balanced with protein, clean burning carbs and healthy fats. This should yield sufficient calories for the day.
- SLEEP. Shoot for 7-8hrs of quality sleep a night. This is when your magic goes into magic recovery mode.
- Take “REST” days when needed. If your not having a good workout, nutrition and sleep are on point, then you may be over-trained. Take the day off and don’t beat yourself over it.
Tips on making this successful:
- Ease in. Don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t follow your plan exactly for the first week or two. If you’re a soda drinker, go diet then no soda (try sparkling water). Limit alcohol. Reduce fast food to none.
- Preparing your food in advance will help tremendously. Cook enough food for a few days then pre-package your servings in Tupperware. Prepare a full cup of rice to make several servings. Freeze fresh fruit for smoothies. Avoid the added sugar frozen stuff. Buy fresh vegetables to chop and freeze then thaw as needed. Cook your meats in bulk. Buy a shaker bottle for quick protein shakes.
- Stick to food you like and be consistent with what you eat.
- Eat plently! Ensure you’re properly nourishing your body, you’ll see gym gains that way.
- Write your goal on post-its and place them around your house: on the fridge, bathroom mirror, dashboard of your car, wallpaper on your phone.
- Visually see your progress. Take or have someone take a picture of you every 4 weeks. Snap them on the same day of the week and first thing in the morning. Mark your calendar by crossing out the days you’ve accomplished eating clean. Fill a jar with 28 coins, marbles, buttons or bottlecaps and pull one out for each day you successfully followed your plan.
- If weight loss is your goal be sure you’re recording weight on the same day of the week and the same time of day. The best time is in the morning, after using the restroom with no food in your belly.
- Tell people what you’re doing. Make it public! Put it on Facebook that you want to lose X # of pounds and announce your goal date. Tell friends & family so they could help you along the way.
Common Grains – Some of the following are gluten free while some are not. Either way, consume sparingly.
Bulgar (cracked wheat)
Legumes – also consume sparingly
Other vegetable starches (high in carbohydrates) Best consumed on high physical activity days.
Potatoes (white, sweet, red, purple, yam)
Non-starch vegetables – eat plentiful!
Greens (collard, beet greens, dandelion, mustard, kale, turnip)
Hearts of palm
Herbs like thyme, parsley, basil, cilantro, and rosemary
Spices like cumin, cayenne, garam masala, pepper and paprika
Peppers (red, green, yellow, jalapeno, orange)
Fruit – some are higher in sugar than others but more importantly watch your per serving consumption. I’d love to eat a whole watermelon by myself but that would just wreak havoc! The following are a few fruits that are lower in sugar:
Guava (only the actual fruit, not the guava sweetener)
Olives (What?! Yup!)
Protein – try to shop for free-range, vegetable fed poultry as well as grass-fed meat and wild caught fish)
Lean red meats
Soy “Vegan” substitutes
Quinoa 1/2c cook ~9g
Spriulina 2tbsp ~8g
Nutritional Yeast 3tbsp ~ 12g
Seeds (sunflower, chia, hemp flax, pumpkin) 1/4c ~7-9g
Nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, brazil nuts) 1/c ~7-9g
Hard Boiled Eggs
Animal Fats (beef, duck, pork)
Other fats if not dairy intolerant
Full fat butter
Full fat Greet yogurt
Meal Planning with macronutrient goals
- Calculate your macros (Proteins, Fats & Carbs) and overall calories.
- Create a free account on LoseIt.com to track your food intake.
- Plan your meal for the day
- Are you training today or is it a rest day? Adjust carbs accordingly
- Your 3 main meals should include protein, fats and carbs.
- Snacks may also include all 3 macros, depending on whether your training or not.
- Log all your food into your tracking app and compare your macros to your goals in grams. If your numbers are off then adjust foods accordingly, like adding more avocado if you’re low on fats. Meeting your macro goals will yield sufficient overall calories for the day so don’t worry much about that number. Remember to look at sugar and sodium intake. No more than 25 grams of sugar for women and 36 grams for men. Stay under 1500mg of sodium. Then simply stick to that plan for the day.
- Be consistent with your foods. Try to eat, if not the same, then foods similar to your plan. It makes everything much easier, like grocery shopping, meal prepping, less food logging and allowing your body to adjust to this plan.
- If you are following your plan 100% and not seeing results after about 2 weeks then re-evaluate your food choices. Stick to a plan for no less than 2 weeks to see how your body is responding. If you are still not seeing results after changing your food choices then re-evaluate your macros.