Many of us have overwhelming schedules juggling work, family, and life so understandably it sounds near impossible to integrate a fitness and nutrition program into our hectic world. The weight of our responsibilities will only get heavier as the years go by so the best way to cope is to lessen the weight (fat) we hold in our bodies.
If a program cannot fit into your schedule then my advice on how to get started, and what has worked best for me and my clients, is to start with small changes. These small changes will eventually turn into habits, which we ultimately integrate into our everyday life thus triggering a positive outcome.
Does the food you eat add value to your health or take away from you at a biological level? You don’t have to cut out all of your the foods you love but should look at reducing the foods that don’t benefit your body and health.
Here are 6 of my top tips to help you kick start your fat loss program:
1) PLAN IN ADVANCE
– Planning your meals for the week (or even a few days ahead) will exponentially increase your chance of successfully meeting your weight loss goals. By itemizing healthy meals before you go grocery shopping means you’re most likely to stick to your plan. I’ve heard countless examples of clients coming home from work tired and hungry, only to order out completely throwing your program awry.
2) BRING YOUR LUNCH TO WORK
– Further to #1, ensure you pack your lunch! This exercises control of how many calories you consume. One research study revealed that people that eat at restaurants regularly consume more than 400 more calories per day than those that prepare their own food.
3) DON’T NEGLECT YOUR SALAD OR FRUIT
– To reduce the consumption of calories in your day, don’t forget the starters to your meal. Salads (low fat, of course) or a small dish of fruit contain plenty of fibre and water so it will reduce appetite cravings. A study published in the journal of American Dietetic Association states that salad or soup can reduce your calorie consumption in your meal by as much as 12%. Even better, that bowl of soup can cut your calories by 20%.
4) DEFINITELY DON’T SKIP BREAKFAST
– I’m still surprised how many people skip this important meal. When we wake up in the morning our body is very insulin sensitive from “fasting” overnight. Skipping out on breakfast lengthens that fast causing severe irregularities with our internals and especially our moods and energy levels. More often than not, this always leads to over eating later on in the day. Having a good breakfast fuels your body so you start the day off happier and more vibrant.
5) CUT THE FAT
– This is a tough one for most people. Butter, margarine, fatty meats, french fries, potato chips, pastry dishes, cake, candy, chocolate, burgers, and pastries – everything mentioned contains saturated and hydrogenated fats. Choosing leaner meats, fish, skinless poultry, and using less oil is a great starting point.
6) FOOD DIARY
– Keeping a weekly food journal is a very powerful tool to help you see where and when things went wrong. The food diary isn’t meant to be a negative tool and should be looked at as fun. For example, if we usually go off track on Friday afternoons after work (i.e after work beer, eating that burger with colleagues, etc.), it’s very easy to see and make adjustments. I like to tell my clients – “CORRECT AND CONTINUE”. We have so many opportunities to make changes every day. Again there is no need to beat yourself up over falling off track. The food diary will help put things in perspective.
I hope these 6 tips provide you with a clearer path in achieving your fitness goals. It will be the small things that you integrate into your lifestyle that will have the biggest outcome in your life.
Jennifer Van Barneveld (RHN)
Diet Coach/Online Trainer
Bikini/Figure Contest Prep Specialist