In last week’s blog we spoke about becoming the hero those in your life need you to be, and why it’s your duty to them and yourself you become that hero.
You do that by prioritizing your own health and fitness, and leading from the front by taking consistent action towards your goal…
The real goal though not just fat loss but…
To not shit talk yourself in the mirror because you have a little extra body fat...
So you’re not constantly on another diet because the last one didn’t work
To really commit to getting healthier, and say it and actually mean it.
Set a better example for your kids, and show them balance in nutrition, so you don’t pass on your body image issues to them like your parents did to you.
Are you ready to start writing your new hero’s story about your health… good let’s get started.
Use this blog as a checklist so you can start writing your own hero’s story on action item at a time!
I want to make sure to note that whether you are a woman or a man it doesn’t matter...
You still have people in your life that need you to be the superhero, and all these principles apply equally.
Your Nutrition and Fitness Hero Checklist:
Eat more vegetables: We always make things more complicated than they need to be... Shoot for ½ plate of vegetables 2-3x per day. We all know eating more plants is a solid move for our health and well being. Let’s do more of that!
Consume enough Protein daily: Helps keep hunger and cravings in check and supports rebuilding of muscle and other tissues! Aim for 1-2 palms or 0.7-1 gram per pound of bodyweight.
Walk more (ideally 8-10k steps): Great way to reduce stress, clear your mind and helps to burn a few extra calories while helping you get some fresh air!
Get 7-8 hours of sleep per night: This helps with everything from energy levels to hormone production and brain function. Put facebook and instagram away a few minutes earlier and you’ll be less impulsive around food as result!
Strength train 3-4 times per week: You’ll feel better, you’ll look better and when you push your physical limits with weight it pushes your mental limits of what you can accomplish too. Mental and physical gains!
Track what you eat: Awareness is the keystone of making a change in nutrition. To know what to improve you need to know where you’re going wrong. Tracking helps you get honest about your nutrition habits.
Workout outside sometimes: You’ll get more vitamin D which almost all of us are deficient in, you’ll get fresh air and might even get some odd looks from people passing by.
Try a new sport or physical challenge: Outside our comfort zone is where we grow and learn new skills. This could be rock climbing, jiu jitsu, kickboxing, mountain biking. The idea is to go back to being a beginner at something physical.
Drink More Water: You’re not hungry you’re just dehydrated.. Maybe haha. A good starting place is ½ your bodyweight in ounces, but there’s no need to go over a gallon. This helps you keep energy levels up, cognitive function and helps with managing hunger.
Eat mostly whole foods: No this isn’t a cry for “clean eating” but eating mostly nutrient dense whole foods like leaner proteins, vegetables, fruits, quality fats and minimally processed carbs is a good step. This is going to be important for health and longevity, energy and managing appetite. It also leaves more wiggle room for when you want to kick your heels up and have a treat or a few drinks.
Don’t Be Too Restrictive: If you’re missing out on meals with loved ones, social events or nights out because of your nutrition plan, you’re being too restrictive. The end result is usually overeating and feeling poorly which sends you back into a state of restriction. When you use a more flexible approach you can make your favorite foods part of your plan, and allow yourself more food freedom and less stress. If you want to learn what that looks like for you click HERE and let’s chat.
Skip A Meal Or Fast Sometimes: Too many people don’t know the difference between hunger and boredom. Not knowing true hunger is a big part of what leads people to overeat. You likely eat out of habits and routine, but skipping a meal from time to time helps you get back in touch with real hunger and learn it’s not something to be afraid of, you’ll be be ok!
Drink Lower Or Zero Calorie Drinks: Liquid calories in a drink can sneak up on you! They’re not very filling and things like a coffee, green smoothie and booze are big culprits. By switching to lower or zero calorie drinks you can still enjoy the flavor without the extra calories.
Do Some Cardio: I know cardio is a dirty word these days and I’m not saying you need to go out and run a marathon. Instead do a HIIT session, circuit training or run some sprints, or take a kickboxing class. Use a weight sled or go fun a run. The main idea here is to make sure you’re improving heart health and aren’t easily out of breath and winded from life’s mundane tasks.
Cook More Meals At Home: Cooking is an amazing skill to develop, it teaches you about food and portions, and how to prepare healthy meals for yourself. Knowing how to cook ensures you aren’t always dining out for all your food. Cooking gives you more control over your nutrition and is an insurance policy for having healthy pre cooked meals you can eat or have ready to eat.
Increase Your Fiber Intake: Increase your fiber from vegetables and fruits like leafy greens and berries or apples. Everything from aiding in fat loss to managing hunger and making sure you have regular healthy poops are a benefit of eating more fiber.
Eat Some Food Raw and Some Cooked: I’m not talking about ground beef here, but getting some raw and cooked veggies in your diet ensures variety, different textures and you can get more nutrients from some veggies when cooked.
Try New Foods: Food isn’t meant to be so boring and mundane, mix things up and try new foods whether that’s a new cut of meat or kind of fruit! Go to a store that is far outside of your own culture and browse around for some interesting new foods to try or just experiment at your local store.
Don’t Gain Sloppy Weight: Muscle growth is depressing slow if you’re not brand new to strength training you don’t need a ton of extra calories. A 200-300 calorie surplus is enough to support gaining muscle, but not get fat for no reason.
Eat Some Carbs: Yes we know fat is important and tasty, but let’s stop pretending that sandwiches and bread aren’t delicious. Eat some carbs, and I guarantee you’ll enjoy your diet more.
Match Your Carb Intake To Your Activity Level: Calories are still king when it comes to fat. However you can get in a calorie deficit for fat loss is awesome, but if you sit at a desk all day and don’t go to the gym you likely don’t need 300-400 grams of carbs, so focusing those calories on filing veggies and protein will keep you fuller for longer while eating fewer calories!
Have Some Fermented Foods In Your Diet: Gut health is a relatively new area being explored in depth these days and having some fermented foods or probiotic rich foods helps support gut health. Also don’t be mislead to believe that gut health is the answer to all your problems, you still need to be in a calorie deficit to lose fat.
Eat Away From Distractions Like Work and the TV: You eat more when you’re distracted and ignore the hunger cues to stop eating. You’ll also enjoy your food less because you’re not really focused on it.
Put Your Fork Down Between Bites: It naturally slows down you’re eating and gives you chance to tell if you’re really still hungry or just robotically shoveling food in, more than likely the second.
Watch Out For The Health Halo Effect: When you think a food is healthy you give yourself permission to eat more of a food and disregard the amount of calories it contains. This can easily bite you in the ass when you’re trying to lose body fat, healthy foods still have calories and they can add up quickly!
Eat Healthy Fats: Everything from hormonal health all the way down to joint health can be negatively impacted by not eating enough healthy fats. I’m not saying you have to go keto, but eating some fatty fish, olive oil, avocado, fattier cuts of meat can all be helpful.
Don’t Make Knee Jerk Reactions: Just because the scale didn’t go down or you didn’t see a difference in your progress pictures doesn’t mean you need to eat 1,200 calories or go right into a keto diet. The reality is your goals whether to gain or lose will take longer than you’d like, but you’ll get there with patience.
Track Your Progress (other than the scale): There’s nothing wrong with scale weight and it is a helpful piece of feedback to have, but you give the scale too much power. You should also track your measurements, take progress pictures, use scale weight and biofeedback questions as a system for tracking progress. When you use all these you get the whole fat loss picture not just a part of it.
Have Some Drinks: Now if you don’t drink that’s totally fine, you can ignore this one. This tips strikes close to home because I passed up on so many drinks with people I loved because I thought it would kill my progress when starting out in nutrition. You’ll remember the memories and laughs more than you’ll remember the abs!
Take A Cold Shower Sometimes: While there may not be any huge benefits to this physically, I think mentally doing something that's uncomfortable like a cold shower is good for us all. It helps us to realize it’s not nearly as bad as we thought and you get used to it.
Be Honest When Something Isn’t Working: There may be times when you’ve followed a diet for a long time and it worked! But now it really isn’t working very well and might be making you actually feel worse. While it’s really easy to get overly attached to the dogma of a diet you need to do what is best for you regardless of the nutrition plan or approach. Do what works best for you, period.