Being in the fitness ‘industry’ for quite awhile now and being on my own journey of health and improving my fitness I have learned quite a bit about nutrition, from my own experiences or from my many friends and clients! I thought I would share my ‘top 10’ tips with you in today’s blog post as these are the 10 commandments that have helped me get to where I am today! 🙂
1. Set aside time in your day to workout-NO MATTER WHAT! If you can, make sure it is the same time everyday! If your life isn’t that organized and predictable make sure you set aside at least 30 minutes a day to exercise, it’s the best gift you can give to yourself everyday! If you’re having a hard time finding enough hours in a day, try tracking how many hours you spend in bed, on facebook or watching television/Netflix and you might find some extra time to get in a good workout 😉 Learn to love working out and it will become much more enjoyable instead of working out because you think you have to!
2. Give yourself enough time in the morning to make a good breakfast! And no a shake does NOT count as breakfast! Cook an omelette, make a quiche/strata the night before, cook up some protein pancakes (lots of ideas in this blog post or this one) or if you really hate cooking, you can make a complete meal in your blender and create a delicious smoothie-add a liquid of your choice (preferably water), fruit, greens, plain greek yogurt, oatmeal, protein powder, flax seed, fish oil or peanut butter and VOILA!) Make protein (25-35 g) the lead role in your breakfast, followed by carbs and/or healthy fats. It has been proven that people who eat breakfast are leaner,more productive and have more energy throughout the day!
3. Eat small meals every 2-3 hours. Depending on how many hours you are awake during the day (i.e. 7am-10pm=15 hours/3 hours between meals=5 meals per day) you should be eating 5-7 meals! The reason I encourage people to eat multiple times throughout the day is to rev up your metabolism (every time you eat your body has to work hard to break the food down) and to ensure that you control your insulin/blood sugar levels by never being super hungry (no cravings!). Your meals should be protein dominant (yep snacks too!) and should include LOTS of veggies, healthy fats and carbs (but limited depending on your body type and activity level).
4. Cut back on your TV watching time! You’ll have more time to exercise, prep food, be productive and most importantly, less chances of mindless eating! Besides, if you’re like most people, you have a job that requires sitting down all day, why would you want to continue to sit on your butt when you could be cooking your meals for the next day in the kitchen or working out at the gym or running outside! Call me crazy but it’s just a thought 😉
5. Eat real food! 100 calorie packs, low fat, no fat, Weight Watchers, gluten free, dairy free, no calorie, shakes for meals, supplement this etc etc blah blah blah….EAT FOOD! Lean protein (variety of meats, eggs, legumes), all colours of vegetables, healthy fats (nuts, oils, avocado, fish) and healthy carbs (oatmeal, rice, sweet potato, fruit, quinoa) are your best options. You are what you eat…literally! Some people complain about the price of eating healthy but guess what? You’re worth it!! And all those crazy diet pills will never work unless you eat healthy everyday! I cannot stress this enough, proper nutrition is the key to weight loss! EAT REAL FOOD!
6. Stick with it! Yes, there will be days when you skip the gym, you will eat something you shouldn’t, drink a little too much wine, have a bad night’s sleep etc but remember that consistency is the key to getting results! I’m not talking a week, 2 weeks or a month, but months and years of healthy living is when you will truly start to feel and see the results of your efforts! So be patient, your better body or fitness goal can’t be achieved in a few weeks of working out and eating healthy (or what you think might be healthy;)…) It took years to get your body to the state it is in now so it will take at least a year of solid and consistent effort to make a difference in your current physique and lifestyle…ask someone who you think is in great shape how long it took them to get there, I’m sure they will tell you YEARS!
7. Surround yourself and make friends with people who have similar interests in health and fitness! If you’re hanging around people who make you feel bad for eating healthy or not going out drinking with them every weekend or don’t understand why you spend so much time exercising, or why you spend your money on a personal trainer,this makes it harder for you to stick to your plan! I’m not saying to get rid of the people who aren’t supportive of your lifestyle but maybe spend less time with them and more time with people who can relate to your lifestyle and fitness goals and will bring you up and support you instead of making you feel bad about your new and improved life!
8. Hire an experienced trainer! The only way to be held accountable and learn how to do things properly is to meet with someone who has experience teaching others about working out and proper nutrition that lead to results. It doesn’t have to be a big investment, even 1 session a week or corresponding with a trainer via email/Skype/online once a month is worthwhile. Your trainer will help get you on the right track by sitting down with you to set goals, break them up into weekly or monthly goals and then design a plan to help you get there! Make sure you do your research though to make sure that you trainer has the proper knowledge, training and experience to help you reach your goals! Do a background check! Ask for testimonials of current and former clients to get a better idea of the type of service you can expect. Once you find a trainer perfect for you, CONGRATS! You have just made the best investment and commitment you could ever make….investing in your health!
9. Follow healthy fitness and nutrition blogs/Facebook pages/Instagram for workout or recipe ideas and inspiration! And don’t just read them, take notes and try them!
10. Get ready to spend a lot of time in the kitchen as you must prep all your own meals…accept the fact that losing weight is 80% nutrition so cooking and grocery shopping will take up the most of your time! Find a day (or 2) during the week when you aren’t busy and COOK UP A STORM! Bulk cooking is best! You will also spend a few days a week at the grocery store, this is normal! Ask my clients who have gotten excellent results or who are competing in fitness competitions what the easiest way to prepare their food is. They will tell you to cook as much of your food in advance! Plan out your meals and have them ready or you’ll be stuck grabbing food on the way home (bad!) or not eating at all! You can eat out (if you must) but be sure to make healthy choices…here is a blog post from my Naturopathic Doctor, (Dr Ellen Simone) with some tips for eating healthy when eating out.
These are just a FEW tips I thought I would share with you….I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information! Remember you can’t change everything at once so pick one or two things to focus on each week and once you master those, add another healthy habit!
You can do it, you just have to be willing to make extra time for yourself and do a few things that require a little extra effort! (ie cooking and working out!)
Stay tuned for more tips and tricks…and feel free to share some of your own that I may have forgotten!