Super Healthy You
I’d like to share something a little off-topic today… about fitness.
No, I’m not a personal trainer, nor a nutritionist. I’m just a mid-thirties mom who cares greatly about health and feeling good in my clothes.
I am also not one of those girls with superior athletic genes and legs up to her eyeballs. I’m 5 foot 4, and have a low-average metabolism and very curvaceous genes. (And sometimes jeans.)
And I love to eat.
I mean I really LOVE to eat. I’m pretty sure, more than normal. Ethnic food. Comfort food. Sweets. I love it all.
I do however feel like I have a lot to share about health and fitness based on years of research and personal experimentation.
If there is a health book, I’ve read it.
If there is a fitness program, I’ve “pumped” it.
If there is a diet plan, I’ve tried it.
Always curious about the latest fitness-science update, I’ve done it all. Seriously, you probably couldn’t name one book/workout routine/diet plan my husband and I have not put to the test.
Of all the programs I’ve done in the last twenty years, here are some principles that I feel are tried-and-true. Things you can count on to lose weight, stay trim and feel healthy.
Plus you can apply them to whatever diet and fitness plan you want. This is not a system. I’ve simply put together 6 principles that work.
Whenever I stray from these principles, I gain weight. Whenever I stick to them, I lose weight. Period.
Here we go…
SIX FAIL-PROOF TIPS TO GET FIT:
1. YOU MUST SET REASONABLE AND SPECIFIC GOALS. Unrealistic goals like losing 50 pounds in the next two months only leads to an eating disorder or heartbreak. Vague goals get you nowhere.
Decide what is reasonable and write out a plan to get there. Then find a way to track it. Use good ol’ paper and pencil, a spread sheet or try a fitness app for tracking your progress.
Tracking creates accountability. Accountability = results.
2. EAT CLEAN 90-95% OF THE TIME and allow for splurges the other 5-10 percent. Whatever your diet: high protein, low carb, dairy free, vegetarian, vegan, whole grain, gluten free, you name it. EAT CLEAN.
Clean means a whole lots of veggies, and very little (or no) processed foods.
Steer clear of white processed foods and sugar, and eat only: lean protein, legumes, grains, fruit, low fat dairy and TONS of veggies 90-95% of the time. The other 5-10% of the time you can splurge. (You have to find the right percentage for you. Certain people can splurge a little more than others and still lose weight.)
Out of approximately 35 meals and snacks a week, somewhere between 2-4 of them can be really naughty.
Some people like to spread out their splurges. For me, it’s much easier to control myself, if I save them up for one glorious cheat day.
3. LEARN PORTION CONTROL. Even if you eat clean all the time, you can still overeat. You may not gain weight, but you certainly won’t lose it. We Americans are notorious for over eating. Our restaurant portions are huge, and if we happen to get served a properly sized portion, we feel like we’re getting ripped off.
A few years back I got braces on my teeth. I did not change my diet at all, yet having braces made me lose weight.
Why? Because apparently I ate too much.
I didn’t think I ate to much. I thought I watched my portion sizes. But when my teeth were sore, I ate less and I ate slower. And low-and-behold was able to loss the weight from my second child that I couldn’t previously shed.
After a week or two of smaller portions, my appetite adjusted and they seemed normal.
Smaller portions mean smaller waste line. Click Here for tips to help with portion control.
4. WORKOUT LIKE YOU MEAN IT. Set time aside for regular workouts, and don’t pussyfoot around.
Half-way workouts get half-way results.
To get REAL results, you can’t just take a casual walk or prance around on the elliptical machine for 15 minutes.
You Must Sweat.
Hack and Spit, if you need to.
Your face should be RED when you’re finished.
A rule of thumb: If you feel like you are going to vomit when your workout is over, you’ve done good.
Don’t worry about what you look like while you workout; this is the time to focus on making your body do what you want it to do. I promise you will look cute later.
It’s too easy to find an “important reason” why you can’t fit your workout in today. It’s too easy to start a hard workout and give up 10 minutes in, saying “At least I did something.”
Always up the anti. Your mind will whine and complain, but your willpower MUST win. Drowned out the negative thoughts so you can reach your goals.
When I run, instead of allowing myself to start thinking I’ve done enough, I always set mini goals along the way. “I’m going to power past that big tree. Now I’m going to blow past that stop sign… and now that lamppost way up there.”
You empower yourself in major way, when you refuse to allow excuses. You change your mindset from a place of settling to a place of success.
5. CHANGE YOUR WORKOUT ROUTINE EVERY 6-9 WEEKS. This might be the most important thing.
After a certain amount of time, our bodies get in a rut with our workout routine. We want to continue doing the same workout, in hopes the results will magically reappear. However, your body grows accustom to your current workout program and hits a plateau. Meaning stagnant results.
If you are a runner, and used to see huge results but now you don’t, stop running for a while. Find another workout routine that challenges you. If you’ve been doing circuit training and no longer see results, become a runner… Or biker, or P90Xer, or weightlifter, or cross-country skier, etc.
It’s great to have options in the back of your mind. That way, the moment you stop seeing results in your current workout plan, you can make a change and shock your body back into weight loss mode.
P.S. You can always go back to your favorites after a few cycles. Just be aware that subconsciously, they are probably your favorites because they don’t challenge you as much. Usually the workout you love-to-hate, has the biggest impact on your body. Sad, but true.
6. DRINK LOADS OF WATER and not a lot of anything else. Make it a goal to drink a gallon of water a day.
Water not only keeps you hydrated after hard workouts, it flushes your body, reducing toxins and bloating. Water also helps keep your tummy full so you don’t overeat.
Get yourself a big jug to carry around as your constant water reminder. I have one I fill up twice a day. When I have it with me, I always take in more than enough water. When I forget it, I feel dehydrated and puffy by the end of the day.
If your body tends to retain water. Try these detox waters to help flush your system.
Grapefruit Detox Water
I’ll say it again, I don’t always do these things.
Sometimes I get lazy. I tell myself life it too hard, stressful, and fast pace to focus on my health. I tell myself I deserve a break.
Then I don’t push hard in my workouts. I make excuse and have more splurge meals than I should. I’m not attentive to my health.
Inevitably, I gain weight and feel lethargic–making it even harder to get motivated again.
But I promise you, when I or anyone else I know, does these six things consistently, they see and feel physical change. And feeling the change is the best part of all!