Here are 7 awesome guidelines to help you head in the right direction of your fitness goals. Have a read and let us know if you need any help!
1. Get more quality sleep: Bad sleep is probably the most difficult habit to shake and can easily have the biggest effect on weight loss. The more you sleep, the more likely you are to produce the hormones you need to help lose fat. Not sleeping enough will alter glucose sensitivity, elevate your cortisol, screw up your metabolism, and throw your hormones all out of whack. Regardless of how well you’re eating and hard you’re exercising, you could be working against yourself. By quality sleep, we mean 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep in a dark, cool room with ZERO distractions. Ditch the phone, block the windows, and kick out the dog. Go to your cave and watch your performance take off.
2. Set attainable goals: We suggest you pick behavioral goals over outcome goals. For example, “I’m going to prepare 4 meals to eat for the next day each night.” This is a behavioral goal. It’s something that you have control over. By having the foods prepared ahead of time you are more likely to succeed in sticking to your clean eating. An example of a bad goal might be, “I’m going to eat clean for the rest of the week.” This seems logical and ambitious, but if something comes up and you don’t have access to any clean food, then you will immediately fail. See the difference?
3. Eat more protein: Yep, we want you to eat more often. You need way more protein than you’re likely eating. Many women believe they should be eating less to “starve” the fat off. That’s not always true. Protein is harder to process than carbs or fat, therefore your body has to burn more calories to metabolize it. Also, eating more protein will help you gain and keep more muscle mass, which will result in your body burning more calories at rest. That’s exactly what you want. A loose guideline is a gram of protein per pound of bodyweight if you are trying to maintain your size while leaning up.
4. Eat more high quality fat: It’s super common for women who want to lose weight to cut out too much fat. That makes sense at first, but the truth is that you should only exclude bad fats. You needs good fat because it’s going to increase your insulin sensitivity, burn carbs more efficiently, and decrease the chance of it being stored in your body as fat. Avocado, coconut, nuts, seeds, cocoa, fatty fish, grass-fed dairy and beef, there are many options. To avoid bad fats, skip foods that are high in trans fat. That means you should pretty much limit all greasy, breaded and fried foods.
5. Eat more veggies and less processed carbs: When you eat leafy greens and low carb vegetables your body will no longer rely on glucose for its fuel source and will start to burn fat instead. You have to get nutrients from somewhere. Always try to get your vitamins and minerals from clean food sources, then use supplements where necessary. Some examples of low carb veggies include all leafy greens (spinach, kale, collards), tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, onions, garlic, cucumber, avocado, etc. Remember to ease in. Don’t immediately eliminate everything at once. Slowly taper down your processed carb intake so you’re less likely to burn out. Try to limit high carb veggies and fruits for after exercise only.
6. Create good habits: Take advantage of the technology around you. Set reminders on your iPhone or your computer. If you keep forgetting to take your fish oil and iron, set an alert for every morning. After a few weeks you might notice you don’t need the reminder anymore. If you miss a day, never waste time dwelling on the fact that you failed. Instead, focus on why you failed. Let’s say you’re heading home from work and you’re hungry. You get to the house and your first stop is the fridge. You open it up and can’t help but go for the leftover pizza. Instead of focusing on the fact that you messed up and ate the bad food, ask yourself what led you there in the first place. The problem might be that you simply forgot to pack a meal to have handy late in the afternoon at work. That made you hungry and led to the bad decision.
7. Learn to manage your stress: If you run around strung out with your cortisol levels through the roof you might also be carrying around excess body fat, especially around your waistline. How does high stress keep you fat? High levels of cortisol decrease your body’s insulin sensitivity. You have to find ways to calm yourself. Smart training, meditation, self-reflection, going for a walk, those are just a few ideas. When was the last time you went for a walk, completely unplugged from the world? No cell phone, no distractions, just you and your thoughts. The answer is likely not often enough.
Feel free to reach out as we love helping people get on and stay on track with their fitness goals.