Fitness and Nutrition Tips
Here are some of my favourite tips. With so many out there you need to discover what works for you and your life. Remember that the road to change is not a straight line. However, these tips have worked for many and are simple and based on common sense.
- Always eat breakfast. Your body needs food in the morning to get your metabolism fired up for the day. When you skip meals – the minute your body feels hunger pangs – you become a fat storing machine. Eat often throughout the day but smaller portions. This will keep your blood sugars more even and keep your metabolism cranked.
- Move every day. Take any opportunity you can to fit exercise into your day. Leave running shoes and socks in your car and walk or run when your kids are at their sports. Sprint up any flight of stairs you see. Park across the parking lot. Skip with your kids. Walk the dog morning and evening. All of this movement, along with your workouts, keeps your metabolism revving throughout the day.
- Strength train 4 days a week. While this may seem like a lot, most of us have fairly sedentary lives. Strength training is so important for maintaining bone density – particularly for women - as we age. But strength training is the one thing you must add to your workouts if you want to change your body composition. Cardio is the slowest way to lose weight. Resistance training will burn more calories faster and will add the needed muscle to speed up the metabolism.
- Only do intensity cardio. (If your goal is change in body composition) Intensity cardio is less boring and will get you closer to your goals in less time. Unless you have a heart condition or have been advised by your doctor to wear a heart monitor, crank up your workouts. Examples of intensity cardio are sprinting, suicides, running stairs, running hills, HITTS on cardio machines, boxing, etc.
- Drink up. Water helps you lose weight. Forgo the fruit juices and sugary or diet sodas for water with a bit of lemon or lime, green tea, herbal tea. Drinking 3 L of water a day can burn 50-75 calories and double your energy all while clearing your skin.
- Sugar is ENEMY #1. If you were to do one thing and one thing only – this would be it. Eliminate the processed and refined (anything that isn’t fruit or veggie) sugar from your diet. Sugar causes an immune-suppressed state of chronic fatigue, depression and hormonal imbalances in the body. Read labels carefully. Fat Free does not mean ‘good’. Most fat free foods are loaded with sugar. Fat does not make you fat – but sugar does!
- Eat whole natural unrefined foods. You may have heard ‘shop the perimeter of the store’ or ‘don’t eat what your grandparents wouldn’t recognize’. Both are excellent bits of advice. Be wary of anything in a box (read the labels) and eliminate and/or reduce all processed foods and junk foods full of additives from your diet and your home. Additives have been linked to increased cravings in carbohydrates and sugar.
- Choose a lean protein, carbohydrate and healthy fat with each meal and snack. Each time you eat make sure that you have mix of lean protein, carbohydrate (fruit and veggies and whole grains) and healthy fats (olive oil, fish oil, etc.). Eating protein and fats at each meal/snack ensures that you feel well satiated and are less likely to reach for something unhealthy.
- Save the bulk of your carbohydrates for after your work outs. Your meals after a workout can contain more carbohydrates, particularly whole grains. Think of it as being an ‘I earned it’ meal! Don’t load up on carbs until you’ve earned it.
- Keep Things Simple! The fastest way to failure is complicated schedules, routines, too much change too quickly, complicated diets, and too many rules that are hard to keep. Keep things simple – back to basics – and common sense. Do things that you like to do and slowly implement change into your life one step at a time. Smile.
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