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Starting a Fitness Journey: Nutrition
There is SO much information out there. The diet list is huge - vegetarian, vegan, keto, Atkins, weight watchers, Jenny Craig, Herbalife...then there are supplements, deciding which exercise routine to follow, choosing what gym to join, and then add in the macro and micro nutrient tracking, the math involved to do so, and approaching meal planning - it’s no wonder people struggle to begin or stay consistent!
- swap sugar for Stevia or Truvia
- stop drinking pop/soda - drink water instead! If, like me, you love flavored drinks and carbonation, you still have tons of options: La Croix, Perrier, flavored water (make sure it doesn’t have sugar added), or nuun tablets
- use skim milk in your coffee or tea instead of cream
- stop eating fried foods and picked baked foods instead
- instead of lattes, have coffee with (skim) milk and flavored sugar-free syrups instead
- BONUS TIP! You can purchase sugar-free flavored syrups at your local Starbucks and can then make your flavored coffee at home. This saves a lot of money!
- fruit juices are loaded with sugar - grab an actual piece of fruit, like an apple or orange instead, and eat it
- eat spinach instead of iceberg or romaine lettuces
- use oil and balsamic vinegar as salad dressings instead of buying processed ones - you can also make your own dressings quickly and easily
- you don’t need to stop eating grains, but do stop eating white grains - have whole wheat rice, pasta, or bread instead
- Start every morning with a glass of hot water and slice of lemon - this kickstarts your metabolism and lemons are full of antioxidants for overall health
- drink at minimum 8 glasses of water per day
- get 8 hours of sleep every night
- move your body at least 30 minutes per day, even if it’s going for a walk
- cook your own meals instead of eating out
Take each change one day at a time. Do not do everything all at once; slowly incorporate it all together. This then becomes routine and will be easy to maintain!
Health, nutrition, and fitness is not all or nothing. It is about creating sustainability. If you don’t enjoy what you are doing, you will not continue with it.
Food is not the enemy. Do not punish your body with food, or punish it because of food you eat.
Food is fuel. Protein is fuel. Fat is fuel. Carbs are fuel. Your body needs all of these. The key is knowing how to use it AS fuel. Eat whole, eat healthy, and HAVE that treat now and then.
When you deprive your body of things, you begin to crave them. After time, the temptations are too much so you eat the things you've been depriving yourself of, often in excess, and then feel sick, both emotionally and physically.
Learn balance. Be conscious of your portion sizes. Be carnivorous, vegetarian, vegan, whatever makes you happy. Just eat.
Eat protein. Eat fat. Eat carbs. Eat sugar. Have wine, ice cream, French fries. None of these things are going to hinder your progress when eaten in moderation.
Find the food, workout regimen and routine that you look forward to and enjoy - your health will improve and you’ll have fun doing it.