Eat Right, Not Less.

If you want to lose weight, don't eat less.

It may seem counterintuitive at first. I promise it’s not. And the proof will be in the differences you’ll notice.

Instead, your focus should be on eating right.

This means being more conscious of the ingredients you cook with and what goes into the food you eat. Everyone, irrespective of their body goals, could be doing more of this anyway.

Here are 4 low-effort, high-impact habits you can easily try, starting now. Incorporate them into your lifestyle for a week, and tune into your body to notice differences in how you feel. You’ll see what I mean.

Habit #1: Every time you eat a meal or snack, make it complete

By complete, I mean complete with all 3 macronutrients essential to your body’s functioning: protein, fats, and carbs.

Eating carbs the right way (opting for whole grains and complex carbs) actually prevents sugar cravings.

Getting in all 3 macronutrients each time you eat will ensure you walk away feeling satisfied until your next meal or snack.

If it helps, all three macronutrients do not necessarily need to be in the same bite. For example, for breakfast you can have a banana and then a handful of almonds. Banana is a complex carb, and almonds are high in healthy fats and protein.

If you’re cooking chicken breast for dinner, you could incorporate healthy fats like half an avocado spread on top with a side of green vegetables and beans (both carbs).

Habit #2: Trade processed foods for whole, natural foods

Where possible, substitute your usual processed foods like granola bars and cereals for whole natural alternatives.

For example, instead of having sugary, factory-made cereal or oatmeal in the morning, trade them for whole grain steel cut oats with a couple of berries, plus half an avocado on the side. You’ll feel more satisfied for longer because you have all three macronutrients covered and you’re eating higher quality, whole ingredients.

Another example is instead of having your usual pre-packaged granola bar as an afternoon snack, trade it in for homemade energy bars, homemade granola, or a handful of trail mix (nuts and dried fruit). You’ll avoid the sugar crash that most factory-made granola bars and their complicated syrup-y ingredients cause.

Natural foods are foods that come from the earth and then to you as directly as possible. They either come from the farm to you or their ingredient labels list fewer than 3 items.

Habit #3: Eat every 3 hours

To prevent your blood sugar from unstable dipping and spiking, which is what causes cravings or binge eating, eat at regular intervals. It could be every 2–4 hours, depending on your body’s appetite.

The importance is that the intervals are consistent.

If you’re eating when you feel starved, then you’re eating too late.

Get ahead of that by getting your body used to a natural rhythm of say, eating a meal or snack every 3 hours. It’ll keep you focused on things other than your hunger or mood, and it might even reduce your need for caffeine because you’ll be energized consistently.

Habit #4: Slow down

Try challenging yourself this week to slow down in more ways than one.

When it’s time to eat, slow down by taking a break from work or watching TV and just focus on enjoying your meal mindfully.

Slow down the pace at which you eat so that your body can digest the food properly and use its natural ability to let you know when you are satisfied (usually around 80% fullness) to still feel energized.

Give these habits a try this week and take note of what makes a difference for you.

If you would like to build more healthy nutritional habits into your life, click here to learn more.

 

The Benefits of NOT Going to the Gym

If you hate going to the gym, here's a solution for you: don't go to the gym ever again. You don't need to in order to get into shape.

For some people, the gym makes them feel anxious, stressed, bored, even resentful. My best advice as a health coach is that if the gym isn't for you, simply don't go.

In order for physical activity to be effective on your body, you have to feel good doing it. If how you work out evokes negative emotions, then it won't have the desired effects on your body and fitness.  

What your body really needs is movement. Movement gets your blood pumping, which then gets oxygen to your brain so you feel energized. And getting your heart rate going releases endorphins that fight stress and improve your mood. To start, any form of movement will do. 

The bonus to movement, especially if you're moving in a way that you actually enjoy, is it allows your body to strengthen its muscles. Your muscles burn at 70 times the rate of fat cells to keep your metabolism running efficiently. 

So the benefit of NOT going to the gym, and opting instead for a type of physical activity you actually enjoy, is that your body will see the results you want. 

It really doesn't matter what you do for movement, just the fact that you make time to move a couple times a week will make a noticeable difference on your health. 

For example, lets say you love going on walks but you dread going to the gym. Then start from there. Start by going on walks once a week, then twice a week, then increasing the amount of time spent walking every time you go. Gradually adapt your habit of going on walks so that it becomes a regular part of your scheduled weekly physical activity.  

If you're more into team sports like soccer or basketball, there are ways for you to pick it up again as part of your regular physical activity. Meetup.com is a great example of one way you can find people local to you with the same interest.

As a health coach, I recommend that you discover the type of movement you enjoy enough to not feel like exercise. For example, a couple years ago I discovered boxing. I gave it a try and noticed how much quicker an hour of boxing passes compared to an hour of hitting the gym. So, I started boxing instead of going to the gym. And I got way better results than I ever did at the gym. The point here is that you need to figure out what works for you and it has to be grounded in what you enjoy in order for you to maintain it sustainably. 

This week, see if you can rethink the ways you move. Start trying out the forms of activity you could reasonably fit into your life at least twice a week. If you love to dance, then sign up for a dance class. If you enjoy playing basketball, see if you can join a drop-in. If you enjoy walking, then walk to work. Once you've figured what your movement of choice is, work it into a regular schedule and make sure you get in some form of physical activity at least twice a week. 

To learn more about The Anti-Diet program for personalized weight loss, schedule a free consult with me.