Monday, September 14, 2009

Nutrition Tips

I hope you are making progress toward your health and fitness goals. Very often, even though you are doing everything "perfectly", you will hit strength or weight-loss plateaus. The tips below may help you get you "un-stuck", on the weight-loss side.

  1. Try eating 5 or 6 walnuts about 30 minutes before a regular meal. The protein, carbs, and good fats will help you to feel more satisfied and fuller sooner when you do eat your meal.

  2. Allow yourself to resign from the "clean plate club" more slowly, and stop eating when you begin feeling full...whether the plate is empty or not. Soon you will start making smaller portion choices, and become more aware of fullness as it happens.

  3. Try "automating" one or two of your meals each day. This will help keep you on track and make the whole process simpler. In other words create several "standard" meal plans for one or two regular meals by taking the time to figure out what is needed for your desired results, including the serving sizes, calories, proteins, carbs, and fats. I also recommend you use these "automated" meal plans for the meals that you have the least time to prepare (or think about), like breakfast and lunch. Then allow yourself more flexibility in the third meal for variety and enjoyment. This process will help you just "plug in" a meal plan rather than getting frustrated trying to do all your calculations, etc. under the guns.

  4. At least in the beginning, set a meal and snack schedule and try your best to stick with it (again, the occasional use of the "compass" is okay). The schedule will help you remember to take in the "building blocks" and "fuel" even thought you don't "feel hungry".

  5. Your metabolism (your fat burning engine) starts cranking up for the day the moment you begin eating (this is why skipping breakfast is not in your best interest)...try having your breakfast first thing, then get ready for your day.

  6. Feeling hungry? Try a glass of water first. The thirst alert and hunger alert signals for both come from the exact same part of the brain...sometimes we think we are hungry, when in fact we're just thirsty.

  7. Choose your fuel wisely...check food labels (mainly on prepared foods) for, the ingredient "high fructose corn syrup" or HFCS...this is a very high calorie sweetener that the body does not recognize and will not give you sensations of fullness or satisfaction, thus you tend to eat much more of that food than you really need. Try to choose fuel options without this ingredient for better health and...looser pants!

  8. And most importantly...remember that you are human, and life happens! If you make fuel choices you later regret, don't beat yourself up...give yourself credit for recognizing a choice you might make different if you had it to do over...then make that choice next time!

Hang in there, it's all about the process really. Learning to make choices that take us closer to our goals, rather than farther away...and making more of those over time. The condition you're wanting to change didn't happen overnight...and though it will not go away WILL continue to move in that direction, until you reach a place where you are happy with how you look and feel!

Here's another little secret:

Try thinking of your health, fitness, and weight-loss plan more like a "compass" rather than a "map". A compass will keep you moving in the direction you desire, but allows for "hills", "trees", and "streams" that appear in your move around those "apparent" obstacles, get back on course, then continue on your way!