Have you been searching for easy to follow steps toward your health and fitness journey? Look no further! We will keep you up to date with tips right on this page!
Here are the MOST IMPORTANT areas to focus on when taking the steps to a healthier YOU!
The one common denominator in every fat loss story is switching to water. It is calorie free, zero sugar or carbs. Too many empty calories come from liquids such as soda, juice, alcohol.
Drinking 16-20oz of water immediately upon waking can increase the metabolism by up to 40%. As we sleep, our body becomes dehydrated. All our organs and metabolism slow way down. Water will hydrate our organs, helping your body wake up and function properly. It is extremely important to drink water before consuming breakfast or your morning coffee. The small intestine is responsible for nutrient uptake. If it is not functioning properly, you are losing out on valuable nutrient absorption. If you are to drink a caffeinated drink such as coffee, the caffeine will dehydrate you even more, and you will not utilize that caffeine you are drinking. Bottom line, drinking water beforehand will help you utilize the nutrients and caffeine in your breakfast and morning coffee.
DIETS AND CALORIES
Many people are obsessed with the scale and keeping their weight as low as possible. They are starving themselves, doing endless amounts of cardio, and only feeling worse. In return, your energy levels are going way down, and your cortisol (stress hormone) levels go way up. Having high cortisol levels can be detrimental to your health. It can lead to body fat gain, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, mood swings, irritability, and depression.
If you are on an extremely low-calorie diet, your body will go into starvation mode, and you will end up burning muscle and storing more body fat. Do not fall for the low-calorie fad diets. Focus on choosing healthy options and altering your calories in moderation. To lose body fat, you will need to take in less calories than are going out, but there is a fine line, and you do not want to be too extreme, otherwise your body will go into starvation mode, leaving you looking and feeling worse.
Instead of focusing on the scale, focus on your body composition. We have had clients who GAINED weight, but they burned fat, built muscle, and are happier than they have ever been. Did you know that having muscle on your body can burn fat when you are at rest? One pound of muscle burns twice as many calories per day than one pound of fat. That means the more muscle on your frame, the easier it is to burn calories and stay fit.
FOODS/DRINKS TO AVOID
Sugary beverages: Soda, sports drinks, and fruit juice usually contain added sugars. Consuming these beverages add useless calories to your diet and do not help you feel full.
Baked goods: cakes, cookies, pastries, etc. are some of the worst foods you can consume. Not only are they high in calories and added sugar, but they are high in the specialized sugar: fructose. Fructose is almost like a drug because it will leave you with a desire for more food and more fructose. Baked goods also usually contain trans fats, which can lead to obesity.
Fried Foods: Fried foods generally have added calories and unhealthy fats from the oils they are fried in.
White breads and pasta: Generally, these foods are very high in calories and carbohydrates, but low in fiber and protein.
Ultra-processed foods: Chips, crackers, deli meats, etc. can be very high in salt and calories, but low in important nutrients like protein and fiber. High processed foods have a direct correlation to obesity.
Ice Cream: not only is it easy to exceed the recommended serving size (1/2 cup), but ice cream is also very high in calories and sugar with very little protein or fiber.
FOODS YOU NEED TO FOCUS ON CONSUMING (Protein and Carbs)
Protein is important for body composition, performance, and overall health. Once ingested, protein is broken down into amino acids, which are the building blocks for tissue growth and repair. It also helps with chemical reactions in the body such as hormones, enzymes, neurotransmitters, and antibodies.
Protein is by far the best macronutrient to help us feel full longer. Ingesting an ample amount of protein will help manage hunger levels, keeping you from snacking on potentially unhealthy foods between meals.
Protein is also responsible for maintaining muscle mass. Whether you are trying to gain muscle size through a calorie surplus, or lose bodyfat while in a caloric deficit, protein will help your body keep the muscle you worked so hard to build. It is recommended to ingest 0.8 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight to maintain muscle mass; someone who weighs 150 pounds should aim for 120 grams of protein per day.
Different sources of protein:
-Lean meats: Beef, Turkey, Chicken, Lamb, Pork, etc.
-Fish: Salmon, Tuna, White fish, Shellfish, etc.
-Dairy: Milk, Cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, etc.
Carbohydrates are the body’s main source for energy. They also help fuel your brain, central nervous system, heart, and kidneys. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that aids in digestion, helps you feel full, and maintains cholesterol levels.
Carbohydrates are very important for those looking to gain muscle size. Carbohydrates are partially converted to glycogen, which is a form of energy stored in muscles. Ingesting carbohydrates will give you the energy to power those long, strenuous workouts.
Low carbohydrate diets can aid in weight loss. Having a diet too high in carbohydrates can leave you storing excess bodyfat. Consuming lower amounts of carbohydrates will help you feel full longer, leading your body to burn excess bodyfat for energy, which ultimately leads to weight loss.
Different sources of healthy carbohydrates:
Sleep is far more important for overall well-being than people realize. While we sleep, our body is busy repairing injuries, rebuilding muscle, and regulating hormonal levels.
The main hormone to focus on for sleep is Human Growth Hormone. The majority of Growth Hormone your body produces, and releases, is during deep sleep cycles. Growth Hormone repairs injuries, builds muscle mass, boosts metabolism, burns fat, and improves the quality and appearance of your skin. It also stimulates protein synthesis, which affects your lean muscle gains, fat storage, and your metabolism.
Your body has an internal clock, or circadian rhythm. If you are neglecting sleep or going to bed too late, you can disrupt your Growth Hormone release, which in turn will affect your mood, skin, lean muscle gains, and fat storage. Therefore, progress is delayed, and your goals will be much more difficult to achieve.