Last installment, this is part 3 of 3.
With this 3 part series on the Fundamentals of Fat Loss, you now have all the tools you need to eat supportively, make healthy decisions about food and enjoy your lean body. Continuously incorporate these new habits until they all become second nature to you. Once they do, eating well and being lean and healthy for life will be natural to you.
8. Sleep. Getting a good night sleep can aid your fat loss efforts in many ways. Not only is this optimal for hormonal balance and recovery, but you will feel the difference it makes on a day to day basis. When you get at least 7 hours of sleep, that is 7 hours you are not feeding your body extra calories. You can sleep through those late night cravings. Plus, a lot of those cravings are due to a lack of sleep, which creates a hormonal imbalance and robs you of the energy you deserve to get through your day and your workout. When you are feeling tired, you are going to crave a sugary ‘quick fix’ to pick you up. Unfortunately, this is only going to let you down in the long run.
9. Believe in yourself and in what you are accomplishing. Be positive. Don’t approach this with a diet mentality. You are changing your eating habits for health, weight control and quality of life. Feeding your body nutritious food is truly a gift you can give yourself. Focus on what you want and then relax about it. It can happen. Follow this plan and it will happen for you.
10. “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin. Spend 2 hours every Sunday planning, shopping, and preparing meals for an entire week. This proactive approach will help you take control of your nutrition so you’re not wondering what to eat when you come home from work every night since it’ll already be planned. Here’s how to do it:
- First, plan out each meal and stock your cabinets at home and at work with everything you need to ensure you don’t make a rash, impulsive decision when you’re hungry. Write down everything you need to buy at the grocery store and eat before you shop. The grocery store can be a daunting place when you don’t have a plan. The isles are filled with processed, high sugar, and high fat options that don’t have a place in your nutritious eating plan. But if you go there with a specific grocery list, then you’ll be more likely to get exactly what you need (and nothing more). You wouldn’t go on a road trip without directions, so don’t go to the grocery store without a plan.
- Cook in bulk. Grill plenty of chicken, fish, and lean red meat on Sunday and place it in one-serving plastic containers that have separate compartments. Place some salad and vegetables in the other compartments, and you’re set for lunch. When you come home, the most you’ll have to do to whip up dinner is steam some vegetables.
- Cut your fruits and veggies into bite-size portions. You’ll be more likely to eat them if they’re prepared this way.
- Take your lunch with you. Yes, you can find healthy options at restaurants, but you won’t find them in a vending machine. Having your lunch prepared and available will make choosing nutritionally valuable food much easier, especially if work gets in the way and you are not able to go out like you thought you would.
- Keep healthy snacks on hand. Always. Not only are healthy snacks an important part of your nutritional plan, but there will be times when you need a little extra boost. Days that you expend more energy than you were prepared for. Having healthy sources of nutrients by your side will help you to stay focused on your plan even when life tries to get in the way.
- Follow the 90/10 rule. Eating supportively should not leave you feeling deprived. The 90/10 Rule is the prefect method for eating those not-so-supportive foods without blowing your ability to achieve results. The general rule on cheating is this: make sure that no more than 10% of your meals are missed or cheat meals. So if you’re eating four meals a day, seven days a week (for a total of 28 meals per week), then no more than 3 of those meals should be misses or cheats. If you can achieve 90% adherence, and you can, you can get the results you want.