If you’re still on that bumpy path of trying to eat healthier, start out by adjusting your mindset and establish rules in your life. Replace goals with rules for your life. Just like a set of values, a rule is something that is non-negotiable. End of discussion. Example: Instead of setting a goal to lose 10 lbs of fat by summer, turn that into a rule to workout 3 days a week. Fitness and nutrition rules are there to stay and they help to shape (literally and figuratively) who you become.
Another key thing to remember is that there is a difference between 'interest' and 'commitment'. When you're "interested" in doing something, you do it only when it's convenient. When you're "committed" to something, you accept NO EXCUSES, only results. You follow your established rules and get it done. So, here's the tough question: Are you "interested" in a healthy lifestyle? Or are you "committed" to having a healthy lifestyle?
If committed, then read on and implement some of these tips into your lifestyle to experience incredible positive changes.
1.) Start every day with a protein rich/low glycemic meal. It will help prevent major spikes in the blood sugar level which will start your day in the right foot and prevent you from eating junk food the rest of the day. Remember, the moment you spike your blood glucose, it drops incredibly fast and the only way to recover is to eat something that will quickly spike it back up….which often leads to us reaching for sugar and unhealthy fat. That in turn leads to a rollercoaster ride in your blood glucose and a constant battle to maintain proper levels.
2.) Add plenty of organic protein sources to your diet. Studies have shown that it not only speeds up metabolism, but also supplies the body with the proper amino acids to balance brain chemistry, balance hormones and reduce sugar cravings.
3.) Include natural fiber in all your snacks. This means lots of veggies! Fiber is the intestine’s broom...it keeps everything clean and everything moving along for a healthy digestive tract.
4.) Take the 80/20 approach. Try to eat 80% of your meals as healthy as possible, so your body can take in the other 20% of the treats and not be affected by it (physically, mentally and emotionally) This works for sleep too. Don't aim for perfection, the 8-10 hours every night is simply not realistic, but it becomes much more feasible when you make it a goal to get at least 5 solid nights of sleep per week. Small consistent steps forward with a buffer will give you far better results than aiming for perfection in your life.
5.) Dinner is where most people overdue it with their daily caloric intake. Try this: put together a small salad (at least 5 veggies) and eat that first along with a full glass of water. The fiber and nutrient dense food along with the added water will hydrate you and provide the right nutrients for your body to digest whatever is coming next. Even if you’re eating pizza; imagine if you can limit your pizza intake from 3 slices to 2 slices...that’s over 30% improvement. In addition, your body got some key nutrients from the salad.
6.) Be careful eating all fat free products. Fat is an essential source of energy. Products that are fat free are usually loaded with other nasty stuff (like sugar!) to give you a false sense of fullness. Examples are too much sodium which leaves you super bloated, tons of sugar, or even worst ingredients that act like sodium or sugar that you can't pronounce. Moderation is key my friends =)
7.) Drink one glass of water right upon waking up and before each meal. It helps balance blood volume level which helps stabilize blood pressure and prevent heart disease. Also helps prevent overeating during the meal.
8.) Ok, so you overindulged! Don't worry about it....put it in the past and move on, but make sure to plug in this simple rule: Follow any "cheat" meal with at least four-five healthy meals. That way, you'll be eating healthy at least 80% of the times!
9.) Before eating something, ask yourself "Do I have my protein? Am I avoiding white flour? Where is my healthy fat? Low sodium?" Remember sodium bloats you up like nothing else....so keep an eye on that! Identify all 3 major macronutrients (carbs, protein and healthy fats) in your plate for every meal and snack you eat. You’ll slowly shift from eating less junk to eating nutrient dense calories.
10.) Eat fruits and veggies like your life depends on it! Besides the amazing nutrients, the antioxidants and phytonutrients found in them is your best chance to combat aging and cancerous cells. Antioxidants fight off free radicals in the body. Overload of free radicals in the body speeds up the aging process and accelerates irregular cell growth. Don’t like eating greens? Blend it with some fruits and protein for a delicious green smoothie! For those that don't like veggies, you won’t even tasty the veggies when the right types of fruits are mixed in.
Strive to Change. It won't happen overnight, but just like brushing your teeth and checking Facebook are habits that you have created in your life, so can a healthy eating approach. Eating more nutrient dense meals that are properly timed helps the body function with a balanced hormone output. Besides the fact that you feel better! Stay positive and always be ready for obstacles because they will come. Tackle them! And if they tackle you...simply learn from them and keep moving forward.
Committed to your health,
PPS: Those ready to take their nutrition and running to the next level, check out the K-Fit 6 Challenge; my 6 week guided online training program specifically designed to help runners lose weight, build lean muscle and run faster.
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