Today I want to share some habits that can help you maintain a lean physique.
There are numerous articles, books, diets, and theories on how to eat for lean, healthy and fit physique – it can feel overwhelming and confusing about which path will get you where you want to go.
There are many ways to achieve weight loss but my question to you is this: Are they sustainable? The real key to your success is to slowly integrate new eating habits that benefit your body, mind and health.
When life throws your off your rocker and the going gets tough – can you sustain the way you were eating and exercising to help you keep your leaner body? Many people I meet struggle with maintaining weight loss because they are following a diet. When the diet ends, they revert to their previous lifestyle and end up in a vicious cycle. Oh, and I’d also like you to know that I have also fallen prey to this before! Can it work for some people in the long run? Sure, but the odds are not in your favor.
Here’s my advice: Instead of going to extremes and signing up for some weight loss challenge, cleanse or diet, choose to adopt a way of eating that will help you to look and feel your best. It isn’t sexy and it isn’t quick, but it really works and it really lasts!
I have listed a few nutritional habits that will give you a lean, healthy physique. Pick one and start working on implementing that until you master it. Although it can be tempting to want to just start doing all the things on this list – I don’t recommend it. Most people do best when they try to change one habit at a time. Use this proven method to your advantage and begin building your foundation to a healthier life today.
1. Think, Plan & Prepare
One of the best ways to start making changes to your eating habits is to give more thought about what you are going to eat by preparing in advance. How can start to implement this? Start by selecting one day each week where you make a plan for your upcoming meals, write your grocery list, and shop for needed items. Allocate a few hours of time to chop veggies, cook your food, and package it so you can just grab-and-go. You will find that 3-6 hours spent preparing will ultimately save you time because you won’t have to drive to and from restaurants. Also, because you took the time to plan ahead, you won’t have to spend time making multiple last minute grocery store trips. Having all of your food ready to go will make life easier, meals more enjoyable, and trust me – your body will reward you in many ways if you can build and sustain this new habit!
2. Express Gratitude
When you sit down to eat, take a moment to express gratitude for your meal. I know, it sounds so simple, but this one little act can help you to slow down and appreciate where you are in this moment.
3. Pay Attention
Think about your environment. Is it calming and relaxing, or rushed and chaotic? Too much noise and chaos makes it hard for us to focus. Allow yourself some time to sit down and enjoy each meal. Try to remove distractions such as the television – you’ll find when you do this it will be easier to pay attention to your true hunger levels.
4. Eat More Slowly
It’s not always easy! There’s so much to do. But just try it. Set a goal to slow down, pay attention to your body, your meal, and hunger. Chew your food. Really chew it. Another helpful habit is to wait before taking more food. Try to allow your body time to digest and for the feeling of fullness to set in, which can take up to 15-20 minutes.
5. Choose Wisely
Try to be more aware of your selections and how much you are eating. Instead of having all of the foods on the table, choose to focus on protein and veggies primarily and maybe a small tasting of the other items afterward. You may find you don’t really want those foods after all and this simple act will help push you closer to your ultimate goal.
6. Log Your Food
The simple act of recording your tool is incredibly useful in helping to increase your awareness of what and how much you are eating. Often times, I hear clients say to me they had no idea they were eating such high quantities of calorie-dense food, before they began logging. The purpose of this is not to simply count calories. Instead, it will help you to really look at how your food choices impact you. You might notice patterns and habits of low energy after consuming a particular food. Tracking also helps you to think twice about how you approach your next meal. I’ve even taken this a step further and logged meals beforehand, because it helps keep me aware and focused. Although I have used many methods for tracking, I have been using My Fitness Pal app for quite a while now. It takes some getting used to but, like anything, it gets easier and fast with time. You will learn shortcuts for recording that make it quick and painless.
7. Eat Regularly
There are many thoughts and opinions about what the ideal number of meals per day is. The truth is, there isn’t one answer that fits everyone. Instead of trying to follow an exact plan, think about what your daily habits and patterns are and how you can include regular meals. Where can you insert meals into your day? Do you find that you are super hungry late in the afternoon with a tendency to overeat at dinner? If so, consider trying to place a meal between lunch and dinner. Many people find they do best with 4-5 small, balanced meals per day. This helps to keep your energy up and will keep your In the beginning it may help to initially set alarm reminders on your phone.
Visit me here to learn more about how to start improving your health today through habit-based health coaching.