When embarking on a weight loss or fitness journey, it can be easy to get discouraged. We are all guilty of comparing ourselves to someone at least once, even just in passing. It is easy to look at a fit and trim person and think, “wow, that’s great! But I could never do that. I like to eat!” or “I like to have fun.”
We’ve got news for you: fit people like to eat AND fit people like to have fun! At BodyRock, we are all about creating a healthy lifestyle that is not only sustainable but FUN!
Many people labor under the notion that in order to be healthy and fit, you have to deprive yourself and suffer. That’s just not the case.
Yes, it is true that you need to create a calorie deficit if you are looking to lose fat, but this doesn’t mean you have to go on a long-term, deprivation diet.
You can make changes to your body in healthy and positive ways that will leave you feeling energized and joyous, not hungry and hanging on to your willpower with a white-knuckle grip.
Here are some ways you can work toward your goals without feeling deprived and miserable:
1. Be consistent and eat enough to nurture your metabolism
The efforts to change your body can be complicated by a lot of things like genetics, stress, lifestyle, dieting history, and hormones.The human body is pretty incredible and adapts to whatever is thrown at it but sometimes these adaptations work against us. For example, if you’ve been on a low carb diet for a long time, studies show that your metabolism may actually slow down! That’s right, your body enters conservation mode and holds on to fat instead of burning it for energy.
Instead of trying to bottom out your calorie intake, make yourself aware of what you are eating. Keeping things consistent allows your body to adapt yet again. If you are providing the right number of calories for your size and activity level, you will look and feel much better.
Try keeping a food journal. Keep track of everything that passes your lips. But don’t just keep track of calories. It is important to monitor your macronutrients as well. Getting the right amounts of protein, fat, and carbohydrates is important, too!
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2. Don’t eliminate ANYTHING
Don’t set yourself up for failure. It may make sense on the surface to cut out nutritionally empty foods but it isn’t always the most realistic way to go. Following a “diet” that eliminates all your favorite foods (or an entire food group) will not only make you miserable, it can have a negative impact on your health.
Fats, for example, are a key element of proper brain and nerve functioning. Eliminating them entirely is not a good idea.
Putting the health risks aside for a second, eliminating foods is a mental nightmare. As soon as you tell yourself that you can’t have something, you’ll want it even more. This means you may slip and binge on that food, or overeat other foods in an attempt to avoid eating what you really want. When you overeat, it is natural to restrict as compensation but this is not a balanced, or sustainable, approach to eating.
A great solution here is to focus on whole, real, foods. This will allow your body to get the vitamins and nutrients you are missing in packaged products. Try to make 80% of what you eat whole, minimally processed foods with 20% saved for those foods that will keep you from feeling deprived. Don’t be afraid of your food. It is impossible for you to avoid dessert for the rest of your life. Learn to have a few bites and get on with your life. You are in control.
3. Use resistance training regularly
Weight training is a powerful way to transform your body composition. Doing compound movements, like squats, with heavy weights or dumbbells, can give you amazing results.
Not only will lifting enhance your body’s shape, it will help prevent the muscle and bone loss that happens as we age.
Besides, more muscle means more calories burned — even at rest!
4. Make protein and fiber the stars of your meal
It takes energy to digest food. Of all the foods you eat, protein requires the most energy. Protein is made of amino acids which are essential to the repair and development of lean muscle tissue. When you break it down, you can see why protein is a significant part of any fitness journey: muscle boosts metabolism, protein helps build that muscle. Protein is also incredibly satisfying, helping you feel fuller, longer.
Fiber also keeps you feeling satisfied. It isn’t a particularly sexy topic, but fiber helps keep your digestion moving. We can’t actually digest fiber so it is a pretty important part of waste elimination.
When planning a meal, build it around a protein source and something fibrous. It will keep you feeling full and give you the fuel you need get through all of your daily tasks! If you need healthy, balanced, meal ideas, check out the BodyRock Meal Plan. This 30 day menu planner includes exciting meal and snack options with a weekly grocery list so all you have to do is buy the ingredients and follow along! What’s more, it comes with a nutrition guide to help you make sense of the ins and outs of healthy eating and a recipe book (with over 70 recipes) to keep you from ever get it bored! Check it out!
5. Implement one habit at a time
There is no shame in taking your time. If you change too many things at one time, you will not likely be able to stay with them. A slow change that lasts is better than a quick change you give up on.
Pick one thing that you are confident you can change and own it! If adding weight training to your regimen a few days a week seems more manageable at this point than keeping a food journal, start there.
There is no shortcut that will get you to a fitter, healthier you. There isn’t just one way to reach your goals. Find steps that work for you to start and build from there!
6. Satisfy your emotions
Many people eat as a way of managing emotions or stress. Only trouble is, it doesn’t really work. While eating may provide a distraction for a period of time, it will not address what is actually happening.
When all you want to do is reach for a tub of ice cream, try writing your feelings in a journal. This process may help you figure out what is going on at a deeper level. If you find it difficult to stay disciplined, writing down your feelings may help you see the ways you are preventing yourself from moving forward. Maybe you are afraid of failing, maybe you are afraid of succeeding. Your subconscious mind fights to keep you safe in familiar patterns. Once you identify how you really feel, you can tackle it head on. You have the power to change but you need to acknowledge it first.
7. Elevate your perspective
It is so easy to get caught up in comparing yourself to other people. Instead of looking at someone and thinking, “I can never be that,” focus on all of the things that you are! You may want to change the way you live, and that’s fine, but it is important that you know that today, in this moment, you are enough.
It is possible to love yourself while taking steps toward self improvement. Shift the focus from changing the appearance of your body to improving the way your body functions and feels.
Talk to yourself in the same way you’d talk to someone you love: with kindness. You are strong, beautiful, and capable. Remember those facts (trust us, they are facts!) and there is nothing you won’t be able to accomplish!
Source: Yahoo! Beauty