As a personal trainer and health coach, I often get stopped by friends and family that are looking for advice, secrets or the quick fix to their health and fitness issues. In fact, just this morning I was stopped in the gym asking me “how do I get rid of this (grabbing at the unwanted muffin top)”? Now if you know me at all, which most of you don’t, I welcome any and every opportunity to talk “shop”. I could talk on strategies to improving your health all day! However, my advice is often placed on deaf ears. Most of the time they don’t want to hear my advice, they really are looking for the magic pill, quick fix or silver bullet to get to their goals. They don’t want to embark on the journey; they would much rather jump to the end! I know you understand this as much as I do. We all want a quick fix to what ails us or to reach our goals as fast as possible; to wake up one morning and the unwanted muffin top magically melted away in the middle of the night! But what is usually too good to be true usually is!
Have you ever looked in the mirror and wondered how & when that extra weight you carry around your waist appeared? It seems to have happened over night, right? Or how you have let your once active, fit, athletic-self slip away and allowed an unrecognizable-self take its place? Knowing whatever your current position is you often wish you could change it with the snap of the fingers; right? Well, I am here to confirm what you already know; health and fitness is a journey, an ever-evolving journey that takes time, effort, dedication, and determination. The reality is you are responsible for your health. You are responsible for your sickness. You are responsible for your fitness! It is a hard pill to swallow, but once you accept the responsibility, the rest is a lot easier to accept!
So, if you are in this position, I am here to tell you that the journey to optimal health will be a long one, (I am well known to not sugar coat anything; tell it like it is kinda girl) but when you accomplish your goals, it will be so much more rewarding! I promise!
Are you the person who already has come to terms that reaching a state of health and fitness is a lifestyle journey? Are you the person that is tired of being tired, sick, in pain and overweight? Are you the person who is ready to embark on the journey no matter how long and it takes to get your body back to a fit, energized, pain-free and balanced state? Then listen up, I am going to give you 2 important steps to implement to be successful in reaching your goals!
I am not going to tell you need to follow Keto, South Beach or limit your food down to unmanageable calories that will just slow your metabolism. Nope, you don’t need to follow these restrictive diets with little to no calories! No starvation or deprivation! These 2 secrets I am about to tell you I use with all my clients to help them reach their goals. Ready?
Plan, plan, plan!
Planning is the main issue my clients face! I understand life is busy, mine is too! I have one in volleyball and one in karate right now! I know how it is to be on the run all day. But I plan, I plan ahead of time to do whatever I can to make sure our family sits down together to eat a homecooked meal whenever possible. Yes, it takes time and effort to plan this, but in order to set yourself up for success, you must prioritize your time. You cannot expect to fly by the seat of your pants and expect to be successful! If you would designate time over the weekend to plan your menu for the week, do your shopping and prep, you are setting yourself up to make good healthy choices and less likely to eat convenience foods that are filled with junk!
Planning not only helps you dietarily, it also allows you to schedule your time to get active. Whatever your choice of activity, you are showing yourself you are a priority. If you have a child or more at the ball field, instead of sitting in a chair or in your car, could you plan to walk with other parents while they are practicing? Could you be using that time to plan meals instead of surfing on the internet looking at social media?
We plan our days around our hair appointments, pedi & manis, vacations, well, plan this too! Bottom line…If you want to get to your goal weight, health, fitness level, you must plan.
Nutrient dense food
Every wonder why you find yourself raiding the pantry not long after eating a meal? Your belly feels stuffed, but for some reason you are craving something else? This isn’t a lack of will power! True it can be due to boredom, but it can be due to a lack of nutrient dense foods.
You see, your body has essential nutrients that it cannot make on its own and therefore you need to get it either through food or supplementation. Food is the mode of choice for your body, but sometimes even our foods are void of nutrition (that is a topic for another time). Essential nutrients help your body heal, grow hair, complete basic bodily functions and so much more. If you fill your body with nutrient VOID foods (processed foods like baked goods, crackers, cookies, chips, ice cream, soda…) you will find yourself wanting more and more food. This is your body trying to get the nutrients it needs to do functions that keeps you alive and going. You put junk in, you get junk in return but in the form of sickness, disease, cancer, lack of energy, and mood swings. You cannot expect your body to function at its prime if you don’t give it nutrient dense foods.
What do I mean nutrient dense foods? Nutrient dense foods are foods that are closest to their natural state. They include, but aren’t limited to pasture raised animal protein, wild fish, organic fruits and vegetables, minimally process grains, free-range eggs to name a few. These foods don’t have added ingredients. You won’t find a list of ingredients you cannot pronounce on the side! These are foods that contain important macro and micro nutrients, coenzymes and other essential aspects that aid in digestion and absorption. When you make these foods the main focus, your give your body the necessary nutrients to repair, heal, & function the way it was intended.
So, if you want to be successful once and for all when it comes to your health, or just need a place to start, by implementing these two important tactics you will set yourself up to be successful in the end, not to mention your body will thank you for the self-love you are giving it! Try it and you will be pleasantly surprised! Till next time!