Nutrition and weight management are the two greatest wellness struggles people seem to encounter.
A lot of people come to me with weight loss goals, asking how to maintain their goal weight once they reach it. Working out regularly is key to maintaining the body you want, but the other vital component of a healthy lifestyle is a balanced diet. The solution? Start with small lifestyle changes.
You’re not just planning for six weeks, you’re planning for the rest of your life.
When you make habits that are manageable, you can find daily success that can eventually turn into a life of success. Setting yourself up for success means that you need to expect your body, and your mind, to make progress incrementally – no drastic, overnight change will be long-term.
If you’re looking for no-nonsense tips for weight management, these 8 tips may be the answer you’re seeking:
Track your food. I always have new clients track their food for 3 days. This is an assessment and creates awareness for them. If you start tracking, you quickly realize you can make better choices. This also informs you how much you are eating in the day. I have them write why they ate and how they felt afterward. You will notice if you ate because you are bored, if you overate, if you had any water, if you are drinking your calories, etc.
Make a plan and prepare for it. What are your limiting factors to your health success? Pick one thing you can change now, whether that is drinking 8 cups of water a day, or eating breakfast, getting a meal service for dinner, etc. Choose one thing and plan around how to successfully make it a daily habit. Remember, small changes can give you big results. Don’t overwhelm your day or week with multiple goals that you won’t see through. If you have no plan or don’t prepare you will struggle and soon you will be back to your old habits. As you succeed with one step you can add on the next, and so on and so forth.
Practice gratitude daily. What are you thankful for? What makes you happy? What do you love about your body? Most people focus on the wrong things and send negative energy towards themselves. Imagine this: you have a friend who every time he/she sees you they talk about how much you suck and aren’t worthy. Would you want to spend time with that person? And more importantly, would you even want to do anything for that person if asked? I hope the answer is no. Your body is the same way. How motivated is your body when all it receives is negative reinforcement? When you have a bad relationship with yourself and food it is hard for you to successfully implements healthy habits.
Change your environment. Are you putting yourself in the best position to succeed? Think about environment around you and what triggers bad behavior. Are you going to the grocery store hungry and grabbing unhealthy snack food because it is quick and easy? Do you really think you have the willpower to not eat the ice cream in the freezer? Just get rid of it, change the environment. Then you won’t find yourself reaching for it saying “just a few bites” and 5 minutes later it is all gone.
Drink more water and before meals. Most people are dehydrated and mistake their thirst for hunger. Drink a glass of water before you eat. You will feel fuller, and therefore eat less. If you do that before each day and drink throughout the day you could reduce your caloric intake by 200-400 calories.
Eat more protein. Most people overestimate their protein intake and underestimate their carb and fat intake. Protein has a high thermic effect. Meaning that it takes a lot of energy for your body to process the food for use and storage. You burn more calories digesting protein than carbs and fats.
Eat slow. Why are you inhaling your food? Put the fork down, take a sip of water. Set a timer to 10-15 minutes. You may be surprised to find out you are finishing your food in 2 or 3 minutes. When you slow down you are giving your body the time to signal that it is full.
Remember, the point is to get better everyday. Take small steps. Begin to create healthy habits and you will find that your energy will change, your metabolism will change, your performance will increase, you will start to be more confident and most importantly, you will see results. For additional inspiration, see my blog post on Weights vs. Cardio.
Demco Fitness is a Seattle gym that offers personal training in Seattle, semi-private sessions and fitness classes. Demco is located in the heart of Belltown and features several passionate and experienced trainers to meet your demands. Call or stop in today and ask how you can try us out for free or get your first month for only $200.