By Emery Hassan
Plan all your meals in advance … And don’t deviate from them
Plan your daily meals at a minimum from the night before. It’ll keep you in-check and it will make you aware when you deviate from your regimen. This will give you time to weigh out your options and make healthier, more nutritional decisions … rather than the quick fast food option. This will also allow you to strictly bring what you are allowing for yourself to your workplace, rather than leaving your options open for all the doughnuts in the break room … Hello? You still there?!
Drink lots of water … Ice cold water
The benefits of water are endless. It keeps you full longer. It helps you cut water weight. Constantly keep drinking water by your side. If you have trouble drinking enough … get a large bottle and draw ticmarks with the time you should have reached that mark by. The colder the water the more energy your body takes to warm it up … hence burning off a few more calories.
Cut your food into small pieces
Cutting your food into pieces will deceive you into thinking you’re eating more. It will also help you eat slower and realize that you’re fuller, faster.
You’re bored … Not hungry
Know the fine line between being bored and hungry. If you’re watching a movie or surfing the web, you don’t have to be snacking on something. We constantly affiliate entertainment with snacks, even if we’re not hungry. It’ll be the same movie without the popcorn … I promise!
Track your results
There is no better motivator than your own results, so track them! The more you realize that your body is reacting to what you are doing … The more likely that you are to stick with it.
Take a vacation
This is huge. And my favorite tip. There is nothing more motivating than knowing that you have a couple months to get your body ready for a landmark hike. If you’re going with friends, start a competition! Knowing that you will be able to give in, and eat and drink as you please should be motivation enough to keep you content for a while.
Don’t buy in bulk
If you buy in bulk, you eat in bulk. Save yourself from walking pass the box of “meal bars” and debating on snacking on one, 10 times a day. You’re better off going out and buying one at a time. At least then you’ll know that you really needed it. In the long-run, it’ll save you $ and calories.
Keep it moving
The more your body moves, the more your body burns. It’s that simple. If you’re in an office job … get up and walk around every hour. If you’re snacking at home only bring one snack back to your couch at a time. Maybe you’ll think twice if you have to get up to grab another snack.
Find a partner
A partner is huge (not literally), especially in the beginning. A good partner is one that will constantly check up on you, wake you up and drag you to the gym, compete with you and most importantly … remind you of your goals. Good partners are hard to come by … So once you find one keep chasing them (literally).
Step away from the sauce … And the dressing
With the squeeze of a sauce or a bottle of dressing, a meal can go from decent to disaster. The wrong dressing can increase the calorie and fat count of a meal multiple-fold. When ordering out, ask for the sauce or dressing on the side, so you can limit yourself … When you can, just stick to seasoning.
Timing is everything
There are certain times for certain foods. Be aware of the functions of the foods you intake. If a food is high in sugar or carbs, it’s good to eat in the morning, or pre-workout since you will be utilizing the energy. If it’s a high protein food, it’s good to eat it post-workout or when you need to stay fuller longer, like your last meal of the day.
Early to bed … Early to rise
The worse time to give-in on your regimen is before bed. Not only are you not utilizing the purpose of your food, but it’s likely to be just stored as fat. If you have issues with eating at night, force yourself to hit the sack early. It’ll benefit your body and you’ll wake up happy.
Hit the weights. The more muscle your body maintains the more your food intake is utilized to maintain that muscle. Don’t be afraid to step away from the treadmill and hit the weights every once in a while. Don’t worry, the gym rats on that side of the gym don’t bite.
Switch it up
Just like everything else in life, workouts get old, too. Your body gets used to it and it becomes more of a standard motion, than a shock to the body. Stick to something that works until you start feeling a plateau coming on or once you start to lose excitement. Once that’s the case, shock your body a little and switch it up.
It’s a lifestyle change
A healthier you is a lifestyle change, not a temporary one. Do something that you feel you can stick with for a long period of time. If you feel that the diet or workout that you will be taking on will have an expiration date … then it’s probably not the right one for you.
Chill out yo
One of the greatest effects of stress is a slow metabolism. Even if you have to start by making your regular workout routine, your “anti-stress”, it’s something that needs to be done. Constantly affiliate your workout and results with happiness. Positive vibes…Negative fat.
Find an outfit you’d want to fit in; buy it and toss the receipt. Use outfits that you want to see yourself in as motivation. Even when it comes to workout gear … spend a little more on things that you’ll like wearing. Things that you want to see yourself in, in the near future.
Eat to live … Not to leisure
This may be a tough one to swallow. Eating is not to be a habit or a hobby; it’s to fuel your body to function. You don’t put gas in a car that you aren’t using, and the same concept goes for your body and the food you intake.
Go cold turkey … Then reward yourself
To keep your sanity, it’s alright to reward yourself with a cheat meal every couple weeks. You deserve it. I’m not a believer in going overboard or cheating every week. Cheating every week doesn’t give your body enough time to lose the cravings. Try going long term cold turkey on that sweet tooth and see if that tooth is really as sweet as you thought it was.
Change your phone wallpaper
It’s human nature to be immediately motivated with an image or quote. In the world we live in, we look at our phones hundreds of time a day and so having that motivational quote or fitness picture will constantly remind you of your ultimate goal.
Pass the salt
You know that stubborn fat above the bottom two abs that you can never get to show? … Yeah, that’s all the extra salt you toss on your meals. Pass the salt and be conscious of your sodium intake and watch your lower abs hit the surface.
Know your facts
Know what you are looking at when you look at a product’s nutritional facts and ingredients. It’s not always just about the number of calories. The composition of protein, carbs, sugars is just as important and should have just as much of an impact on your decision as the calories. When looking at ingredients, the less it has the better and more natural the product is likely to be.
Set yourself up for success
Know yourself … know your eating habits and how you deal with temptations. With that in the back of your mind, refrain yourself from being in situations where you will give in. If you know you’re heading to your favorite pizza place with some friends … stuff your face with healthy eats before you leave. Or keep a “not so bad” cheat snack in your pocket to avoid the temptation.
All or Nothing … Or is it
If you miss a workout, it doesn’t mean that you can cheat on your diet. And if you cheat on your diet, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to work out. It’s always best to be all in, on your diet and health grind but if you slip and give in, it doesn’t mean that you have to be all out.