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. Think of why you set this goal when you feel you may stray from it. 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 140#, shoot for 105oz (128oz is 1 gallon).
- 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, it’s pretty good!
- Keep alcohol minimal. If you have a goal of dropping body fat, cut the beer. Stick to wine and clear liquors. Consider M-F alcochol 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.
- We 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 added 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 or have some fruit. Avoid snacking on chips & breads.
- Stict 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. I mean, 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 McDonalds. Notice how your body feels after meals, really listen to what your body likes and doesn’t like. Keep that feeling in mind when you THINK about going for something bad to eat!
- 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 sufficent 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.
- Exercise AT LEAST 3 days a week, 5 is best!
- Combine strength training with interval cardio sessions
- Take “REST” days when needed. When your training becomes hindered, even when nutrition and sleep are on point, then you may be over-trained. Take the day off and don’t beat yourself over it.
- Shoot for 7-8hrs of quality sleep a night. This is when your body goes into recovery mode!
- Do not eat so close to bedtime, give your body about 2hrs to do it’s 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. Change your meals weekly. I recently came across this Facebook Page called MealPrep Society Check it out for ideas.
- Preparing your food in advance will help tremendously. Cook enough food for a few days then pre-package your servings in Tupperware or freeze your food.
- Eat plently! Ensure you’re properly nourishing your body, you’ll see gym gains that way. Consider Food Logging, try LoseIt.com, it’s free and super easy to use.
- 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. 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.
Lot’s of good info here, contact me if I can help further!