We just launched our September Reboot program here at Urban Fitness where we are taking men and women, holding their hands and helping them create momentum in improving their health and fitness NOW, as opposed to leaving it to start in the new year. As a result, we’ve had a number of calls and consultations with people this week as a result, and found that the number one thing everyone we’ve spoken to seems to need help with is nutrition. There are so many options and so much advice out there, it can be confusing what is actually the RIGHT thing to do… and once people know what they should be doing, there’s some struggle sticking to it!
Most likely, if you aren’t particularly happy with your body composition, it is a result of inadequate or poor nutrition, poor eating habits, or simply consuming too much. In addition, you are probably not exercising… with a trainer or in a gym. Finally, you see that you have some of these issues and you are just too lazy to address them!
We do want to help you get your nutrition sorted and address some of these questions, so here are 5 tips to help you get and stay successful with your nutrition:
You MUST plan ahead. If you are looking for success with weight loss or a body composition change, you have to plan ahead. You need to know what you will be eating for the week. Know how many calories you should be eating each day and if that number will change based on your activity levels and plans for each day. Plan meals, snacks, etc according to what you know you will be doing. I have never seen anyone do WORSE with a properly structured plan in place, and your nutrition is no different.
This may not be for everyone, but it’s been working really well for me… prep your food. Prepping food in advance keeps you from eating whatever is at hand because you are just so hungry you can’t stand it! I use a slow cooker on Sundays and Wednesdays and prep my food for a few days ahead. It’s so much easier to come home on busy weekdays and just eat food that’s already been prepped… plus, this cuts down on day-to-day clean-up!
Learn how to track. In my opinion, learning how to track your food even for a couple of weeks, is a very valuable tool in making changes to your health through nutrition. It gives you a really good idea mentally how much you should be eating, portion sizes, what is right for you from day to day… and once you get used to it, you can almost do it without the tracker. You just KNOW what serving sizes, etc, are right for you.
I have said this until I am blue in the face, but I’ll say it again… eat more protein/ eat enough protein. Most people reading this are not eating enough protein. In terms of making changes to your physique, protein is the most important macronutrient you can get. Also, make sure you’re getting enough vegetables and fruit. People have a misconception that fruit is going to make them put on weight. That the sugar is going to make them gain more weight. That’s not true… eating too much makes you gain weight. Don’t be scared of fruit. And vegetables. A good protein and vegetable combination makes you feel full and is very satiating. It keeps you feeling fuller for longer.
Get yourself a snackbox. Put all the snacks you are going to have in a given day in your snackbox, and any time you feel hungry, grab a snack. Then, once the snacks in the box are gone, you get no more snacks that day. This will also teach you how to spread your snacks out over the course of the day better… Some ideas for what you can keep in your snack box? Apples, mixed nuts, Bill Tong Beef, fresh vegetables…
And a Bonus Tip:
Go mad at the weekends!
OK, maybe don’t go completely mad! What I try to do on the weekends is stick as close as I possibly can to my calorie and macronutrient needs, but eat things that are completely different than what I would eat during the week. It’s a bit of a reset and helps you get right back into it at the start of the week.
For example, on Saturday night I just have whatever I want from maybe 8- 10:30pm. On Sundays, it’s a rest day, and I am not burning as many calories as I would on a gym day. I have to eat less. So, to keep things interesting, I just may change up the types of foods I use to meet my needs. I’ll eat something completely out of the ordinary just to change things up and make them less boring.
There. That’s SIX tips to help you meet your nutritional goals starting next week. Let us know how it goes!