Hello!! Are you feeling sluggish as we begin the new year?? Clean up your diet and in 30 days you should be notice improvements in energy, skin, mood, and hopefully some physical changes as well. I have elaborated the key components of a consistently healthy diet below to help those of you who want more information. I want you to really focus on what you want out of this and hold yourself accountable. I want to see you succeed just as much as you want to succeed!! I encourage you to take a picture and starting weight so you can make your comparisons in 30 days time. I took mine and tucked them away in a safe place. Let’s kick-start 2015 happier and healthier!!
Aim to drink a gallon of water a day.
This may sound like a lot, but realistically if you are replacing all of the sodas, sugary juices, and alcoholic beverages, it is quite attainable. If you think water is boring, just remember all of the health benefits it provides. Here are a few:
• Water is key to staying hydrated, which is necessary for optimal body function. All of our cells and organs require water to run and water also performs as a lubricant in the body. Not consuming enough water can result in serious complications, including dehydration.
• Water helps your body absorb essential vitamins and minerals and maintains healthy skin, hair, and organs. Better skin health encourages better circulation, firmer, more elastic and clearer skin.
• Although 6-8 8oz glasses of water a day is the typical recommendation, drinking excess with just be flushed from the body, thus aiding in the elimination of unwanted toxins from the body.
One way to ensure that you are keeping your water intake up is to keep a water bottle or glass near you throughout the day. It makes it easier to stay on track when what you need is always within reach. Try to start your day with 1-2 glasses of water upon waking. Add lemon juice – lemons have a bunch of benefits as well, including a boost to the immune system, aid in digestion, purging of toxins for clearer skin, freshens breath, among others. Keep in mind that consuming too much water, too quickly can result in water intoxication so staying consistent throughout the day is your best bet to avoid this.
Aim for 8 hours of sleep each night.
This can be a tricky one. Especially if you are parents of young children, whose sleep patterns may be unpredictable. Sleep is important for optimal mental functioning as well as physical well-being. Several studies have shown a correlation between lack of sleep and obesity. Staying consistent with your sleep pattern will help regulate hormones, which may be giving you some of those early morning sugar cravings, which in turn result in weight gain. Sleep is also essential to muscle recovery. Muscles are torn during strength and endurance training, so sleep is equally as important as feeding them, for repair. Poor sleep can have a negative impact in so many areas of your life, so turn off the TV, read a book, and try to catch up on your ZZZ’s.
If weight loss is your goal, then activity combined with proper diet is key. I suggest starting with 15-30 minutes of activity, 5 times a week. Factor in rest days or days of light activity, such as walking. If you are advanced and can handle more activity, then do so, at your level. Make sure to listen to your body and know when enough is enough – it is not always about time spent exercising because you can achieve great results in a short amount of time. Add weights or weight training to your program. Ladies, don’t be afraid of getting bulky. We are not engineered to get bulky. Building up lean muscle will help burn fat and give you the definition you seek.
Maintain a proper diet.
This is probably the most important and typically the hardest part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Here are a few basic tips to keep in mind if you are not noticing results or are trying to clean up your diet:
You are eating too much. Even though you are consistent with your workouts, you may be over estimating how many calories you are burning in your workout and daily life. The result is consuming more calories than are necessary.
You are eating too little.
Cutting back too much will deprive your body of the nutrients it needs. The result is your body thinks it is starving and begins to store fat. Don’t be afraid to eat.
Let’s face it, often times carbs get a bad rap. It really depends on which carbs you are using to fuel your body. Your body requires carbs to function and depleting your body of them will not give you enough energy to workout, let alone achieve the results you desire. Not to mention, if you cut them out, the amount of weight you will gain when they are reintroduced. So incorporate and enjoy your carbs, in the form of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Protein, Protein, Protein.
If you want to watch the pounds melt away, you need to incorporate lean meat into your meal plan. Aim for a serving of lean protein with each meal. Protein is essential for our muscles – growth and recovery.
Fats Are NOT the Enemy.
Eating fat will not make you fat. This is not a free pass to eat fried foods, butter, cream, etc. Make sure you are consuming healthy fats, such as coconut oil, olive oil, nuts, nut butters (in moderation), avocados, etc. Fatty acids are good for the joints, skin, hair, tissues, and bloodstream.
Meal Frequency and Timing.
To keep your metabolism up and working most efficiently, try to eat 5-6 small meals a day, roughly 300-500 calories per meal. Meal prepping ahead of time can really be crucial here. Having healthy meals already prepared will keep you on track and from going for the quick and easy alternative of fast food or snacking uncontrollably. For those of you that find it easier to stick to three meals a day, try to eat your higher calorie, higher carb meals earlier in the day and eat lighter at night. I have noticed that I feel better if I eat my carbs earlier on and wean off throughout the day. Keep in mind we don’t need as much energy in the evening.
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