Try these tips for assistance on reaching and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
- Begin with practicing self-accountability! In your first few weeks, keep your goal in mind by thinking about it often. Visualize your goal happening. Remind yourself of why you set this goal when you’re feeling unmotivated. Getting through the first few weeks is the toughest! After that, it gets easier. I promise!
- Strive to drink at least .75oz of water per body weight. If you weigh 150#, shoot for 112oz (128oz is 1 gallon).
- Cut out sodas and any kind of beverages with added sugar. Look at the ingredient list for added sugar. This includes sport drinks like Gatorade and bottled Teas. Stick to water or unsweetened iced tea, coffee or hot tea and coconut water after workouts. Herbal hot or cold teas can be beneficial in providing antioxidants. Try Unsweetened Sparkling water for a carbonation replacement.
- Keep alcohol minimal. If you have a goal of dropping body fat, cut the beer. Stick to red wine and clear liquors. Consider M-F alcohol free then maybe just a couple of cocktails for the whole weekend.
- Along with lean meats, poultry and or fish/shell food, consume unprocessed, nutrient-dense, whole foods (fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds) as often as possible.
- Be aware of sodium & sugar intake. Avoid packaged foods that are 20% or more of grams in sugar to total carbohydrates. Clinical trials recommend staying under 25g of sugar for women and 36g for men. Keep sodium total around or under 1500mg per day. You’ll need to log your foods using an app like Lose.it to see what your totals look like.
- Eat at home M-F. If you dine out, choose wisely. Don’t order food with heavy sauces & creamy dressings. Do go for lean meats/poultry/fish, salads and sides of greens then maybe share a desert. Avoid bread and snack on just a handful of chips. Allow yourself no more than 2 “eating out meals” this includes a stop at the coffee shop (unless you order just black coffee!)
- Stick to your meal plan M-F then enjoy other foods over the weekend. Be sure they are foods similar to your plan. That way you don’t have to log and you stay on track. Cheat meals should still be fairly healthy. What I mean is if I want pizza, I’m gonna make it myself using my favorite ingredients! I will not order Pizza Hut or Papa Johns. If I want burger and fries, I’m shopping at Sprouts for high quality meats and greens as well as whole grain bread and full fat grass-fed cheese. I would never go to McDonald’s. Notice how your body feels after cheat meals, really listen to what your body likes and doesn’t like. Chances are if you’ve been eating clean, sugar and fried foods will hurt 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. If you are not eating sufficient overall calories, 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. Contact Me if you need help determining your daily caloric needs.
- Exercise AT LEAST 3 days a week, 5 is best!
- Combine strength training with interval cardio sessions
- Take “REST” days when needed. When your strength comes to halt or you begin sustaining injuries or wake up with an elevated resting heart rate, even when nutrition and sleep are on point, then you may be over-trained. Take time off and don’t beat yourself over it.
- Shoot for 7-8hrs of quality sleep a night. This is the time when recovery hormones are released and your body goes into recovery mode.
- Do not eat so close to bedtime, give your body about 2hrs to do it’s digestive thing.
- Try these tips to prep for bed:
- Set an alarm 30min before you want to go to bed and get off your phone/computer/TV
- Dim the lights around the house
- Brew a “sleepytime” herbal tea
- Take a hot bath for 15-20min
- Read a book
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. Do be firm with your decision to cut sodas or cut sugar or refrain from eating fast food.
- Explore healthy recipes and plan in advance! Create a menu and try to stick to the same 3-5 meals everyday. This is meal planning.
- Eat plently! Ensure you’re properly nourishing your body, you’ll see gym gains that way. You can know for sure by food logging, try LoseIt.com, it’s free and super easy to use. Feel free to reach out and I’ll help calculate your daily caloric intake.
- Make your goal visible everywhere to you! Post-its around the house, cell phone wallpaper and computer background pic
- Visually see your progress. Take selfies or have someone take pictures of you every 4 weeks. Snap them on the same day of the week and first thing in the morning. You might even also record body measurements using a tape measure on too!
- 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. How much of the following to eat is based on personal fitness goals.
Bulgar (cracked wheat)
Other vegetable starches
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)
Protein – try to shop for free-range, vegetable fed poultry, grass-fed meat, wild caught fish and organic plant based protein.
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
Dairy Free Alternatives like Coconut or Almond based yogurts, cheeses & milk
Meal Planning with macro-nutrient goals
- Calculate your macros (Proteins, Fats & Carbs) and overall calories.
- Create a free account on LoseIt.com
- Create your menu for the week. Your 3 main meals should include protein, fats and carbs.
- 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 ~1500mg of sodium.
- 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 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.