Every one wants to be lean. Phrases like “Thin Is In” or “Strong Is the New Fit” flood fitness magazines and the minds of us all. We all want to “look good”, “feel good”, and most of all, no one wants to be “FAT”.
It takes conscious living and of course appropriate exercise to escape the battle of the bulge. It is not easy, even though some have it easier than others. Here are a few tips to help keep the lean physique you want.
1. Don’t buy bigger clothing.
The bigger you buy, the bigger you get. If you buy big, you give your self permission to fit into the larger sizes. Pull out the clothes from the back of your closet that are the next size down and put them somewhere visible. Set a goal to make them fit. Seeing these clothes routinely will keep you from pushing your goals to the back burner. If you set that boundary first, your don’t give obesity room to set it.
2. Master your metabolism.
No one has starved to death if they miss one meal. Of course we want to be mindful about blood sugar drops and feeling weak if it does.
If we master our metabolism by becoming fat burning engines, we don’t drop out when we go without food for 12-18 hours. Our bodies can obtain the necessary fuel by accessing fat stores. There are very few of us that have such low body fat that this is even a remote concern.
3. Make healthier eating choices.
Most of us are always on the go. We eat on the run and by the end of the day cannot remember what we had for breakfast. By choosing a healthier nutritional plan we can getaway from fast food and cheap junk food.
- Breakfast: To start, try to at least plan out the first two meals of the day. You are almost always eat breakfast at the house. An egg omelette, turkey breast, or a protein shake is a great way to supply your body with good fuel and stabilize blood sugar levels. A handful of nuts can suffice for enough protein/fat and carb to provide energy if you are in a pinch.
- Lunch: If you find yourself at a restaurant for lunch, try a green salads with a protein source. We don’t need all the bread, chips, and dip that can be available, even with a healthy lunch choice. Push them away from the table or even better ask your waiter not to bring them to your table. The trick is to keep dining where you know you will love the healthy choices on the menu.
- Dinner: You can prepare the last meal of the day when you have more time to be in your kitchen and the tools you need to prepare. Remember that after 6pm it is important to minimize carbohydrate intake. This helps to minimize the production of the fat-storing hormone, insulin. You cannot burn fat and store fat at the same time. If you load up on carbohydrates late in the evenings, your body with be in a storing state all night.
4. Develop a positive mindset.
With a good amount of determination and some basic tips you can begin to develop healthier eating habits. Determination is key to living a healthy lifestyle. In the world today, it is all too easy to be swayed no matter where you are. You cannot even walk through an airport without being tempted numerous times by sweet treats and junk. If you stop and think about it with a health-minded attitude, you can realize that you do not need the sweet or treat you are eyeballing.
Start your day thinking about your HEALTH. Put the word HEALTH on a sticky note at your computer. Place the word HEALTH in your wallet. Place it in places that you visit often. If you are about to buy junk food and you see the word HEALTH in your wallet, you will think twice about your decision.
Keep the future in mind. How will unhealthy eating habits affect you in 10 years. Do you want to be spending money on medication for blood pressure or diabetes because you forgot to take care of your health? You don’t have to suffer from vascular disease and type II diabetes; it occurs because of an absent mindset towards health.
5. Learn to control emotional eating.
Be aware of your eating habits. Have you ever found yourself devouring a complete bag of chips or an entire box of cookies without even realizing it?
Start by having a simple conversations with your food. Yes, I said conversation. Ask three questions:
- Do I need the food I am about to eat?
- Do I need it right now?
- If I need this right now, ask WHY?
Often when we are worried or exhausted, we turn to food to give us that quick energy or relief. However food will not help the problem. The only thing that will change is your internal body composition (your blood sugar levels, triglyceride levels, cholesterol levels, fat levels and then vascular tension levels leading to high blood pressure).
Emotions drive us to food and even drive us crazy. Choose healthy ways to deal with the emotions.
For more information see: How to Overcome Emotional Eating Habits
6. Get your portions under control.
This is not a new concept. You must get rid of the big plates and try a half order or smaller size. Take half a portion especially when it is later in the day. Stay away from seconds and thirds. It takes 20 minutes for your gut to link up to your brain and tell it that it is full.
Why would you want to put yourself into a sugar coma and feel drained within the hour of your meal? To eat for success, simply eat less. Fill your plate with a large amount of greens, clean protein and minimal amount of other types of carbohydrate.
7. Learn the trick to short intermittent fasting.
If this sparks your curiosity, Dr. Mark and I have written multiple blogs on this (Intermittent Fasting: How to Reset Your Metabolism). Setting up a fat burner system is important before embarking upon this journey. This is a topic for another day, so stay tuned for tips on living a healthy lifestyle.
Practice the above tips vigorously and adapt them to your daily routine. Do this and you will stay lean and be a fat burning machine. Dr. Mark Sherwood and I encourage you each day to be better in every way and live the “Wellness” life with us! We believe in you.