Friday, December 31, 2010

Healthy Guidelines for a Healthier You!

Diet?  You don't need to follow a specific diet, but you might want to get ideas from a healthy cookbook or "diet book" to help you with your meal plans.  Check out cook books by Tosca Reno and Clean Eating, Bring It by Tony Horton, Body for Life, Southbeach, books by Jillian Michaels, and the nutrition planning tools in the Beachbody website.

Here are some guidelines to follow:
1) Eat within 1 hour of waking!
Your best bet would be within 30 min of waking.  It has been proven that your metabolism will fire up faster and you will burn fat rather than muscle if you eat ASAP.  If you find that you can’t stomach food first thing in the morning, try having a protein shake (like Shakeology) or eggs.

2) Eat no less than 20g of protein at each meal.
Most nutrition labels will give you this information.  If necessary, add a 1/2 protein shake with water (or protein powder) to your meals.  Most of them mix well in anything (soup, cereal, etc)

3) Drink no more than 16 oz of caffeine daily (coffee, tea, diet soft drinks)
It is time to tame the addiction!  If you need the caffeine that much you might want to find a way to get a little more sleep, make sure you are getting your multivitamins and consider a natural energy source like Shakeology.  More than anything, too much caffeine can hinder weight loss.  Herbal teas are fine.

4) If you are closely watching your calories and making great food choices, you need to "cheat" or break some of the rules for two meals per week! Or have a "cheat day".
Sounds crazy????  There is a method behind this that is twofold.  First, when watching food intake many people still count calories and restrict them, often too far which, over time, will slow weight loss.  By having one day that is a free-for-all, your body will never get “set” on a certain number of calories or “plateau” with your nutrition plan.  Second, you won’t feel deprived.  If you know that you have to be strict for 6 days but you can have ANY of those foods you crave on day 7, you are much less likely to give in on day 4 (with only 2 days left to go).  NOTHING is forbidden (or should be) but please have a little bit of self control.

5) Increase your veggie intake.
Vegetables are full of water, fiber and nutrients.  They take up a lot of room on your plate and help you feel full but are low in calories.  Try celery and carrot sticks for a snack, steamed spinach with sesame seeds for a side dish, or large tossed salad-just beware of the dressing!

6) Avoid all sugars and artificial sweeteners (other than stevia) except on “cheat” meal/day.
We all know that all sugars can cause weight gain but even artificial sweeteners can trick your body into believing they are real.  Even agave nectar and honey can wreck havoc if eaten too often.  Get your carbs from vegetables, fruits and then grains and you’ll find your sweet tooth disappears.  For those times when you HAVE to have something sweet, go for fruit (berries are your best choice!)

7) No more than two 1-cup servings of whole grains daily.
Regardless of your nutrition plan, be sure you are eating WHOLE grains (look for 100%) and fewer than you usually have.  Two servings is plenty to keep you fueled and ready to go.  If you are an elite athlete or working our excessively you may need more, but follow guidelines laid our with your workouts.

8) No eating within 1 hr of bedtime.
If you’re really desperate for something, try herbal tea.  Mint works well as mint has the effect of subduing the appetite.  Another to try would be vanilla.

9) Drink 50% of your body weight in water daily!
Water is vitally important for our bodies and if you are increasing your exercise you will need even more.  A well hydrated body will also flush out lactic acid faster which will leave you less sore!

10) Do 3 resistance workouts and 3 cardio workouts per week (20 min minimum each)
There are numerous workouts I could recommend (just email me if you need help with this) but as long as you are doing 6 20-min workouts each week, you’re good.  These can also be done back to back on 3 days (cardio and resistance on the same day). 

Try following these guidelines and let me know how they work for you.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns or if you notice no improvement in your  health and weight loss within the first few weeks!  Good luck!!!

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