10 Easy Tips for a Healthier, Leaner You
Just because you may exercise regularly doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want. By following these 10 basic guidelines, you’ll not only get great lean muscle-building and fat-burning results from your exercise protocol, you’ll enjoy better health and a higher level of energy throughout the day.
1 - Eat More Often
If you’ve been following the typical nutritional advice of cutting back on calories and consuming no more than “three square meals” a day in the hope of shifting your fat-burning efforts into high gear, you may actually be throwing the whole process into reverse. According to scientists at Georgia State University, active folks who skimp on calories and eat infrequently (only three times a day) may be training their bodies to get by on less energy and therefore more readily storing unburned calories as body fat. Instead, these researchers and many nutritional experts advise active people to eat more frequently (about every three hours) to accelerate metabolism and maintain steady energy levels throughout the day.
2 - Combine Proteins and Healthy Carbs at Every Meal
The simple fact is our bodies work better with a balance of carbohydrates and protein. Not only is protein essential for building healthy, lean muscle and maintaining a strong immune system, it stabilizes insulin levels, which leads to steady energy throughout the day. One more benefit: eating protein has been shown to reduce your appetite. This doesn’t give you a license to go “carb crazy,” you should employ smart decisions replacing all your white flour carb choices (pasta,, breast, rice, bagel, etc) for whole-grain, whole wheat or whole-wheat lite choice. Proper portion sizes are also critical, as you can completely derail your weight loss efforts by super sizing your protein and carb servings. One final recommendation is to restrict your carb consumption to breakfast or lunch to ensure your body has adequate time to burn off the carbs and calories before converting it to fat.
3 - Choose Appropriate Portion Sizes
USDA statistics show that because of increased portion sizes, the average total daily calorie intake has risen from 1,854 calories to 2,002 calories over the last 20 years. That increase—148 calories per day—theoretically works out to an extra 15 lbs. every year. Portion size is important to weight management.
4 - Plan Meals Ahead of Time
You may even want to try different recipes and decide what works for you before you begin your training program. Experiment with different seasonings, try a variety of vegetables, and find which microwave settings work best for preheating food. By the time you’re ready to start, you’ll have the supplies you need and the confidence that you know what you’re doing. Then, fix your meals in advance and freeze them. It’s important to shop at least once a week. If you forget, you’ll run out of good food and be tempted to cheat on your diet.
5 - Keep Healthy Meals, Snacks and Drinks on Hand
When you’re hungry, you’re hungry, so help ensure you make nutritious food choices before hunger strikes by storing healthy single-serving meals and snacks on hand. Keeping water and other smart beverage choices around not only helps keep your stomach full and your appetite in check, it also helps curb the impulse to pick up a soda or some equally unhealthy, sugar-laden drink.
6 - Drink 8-10 Glasses of Water Daily
It’s especially important to stay well hydrated when following a comprehensive exercise, nutrition and supplementation program. Drink at least one glass of water with each of your six meals and an additional four more throughout the day. If you have an occasional diet soda, coffee or tea, you’ll need to drink an additional glass to compensate for the diuretic effect of these beverages.
7 - Get Adequate Amounts of Sleep
People who regularly exercise report having fewer episodes of sleeplessness than people who don't exercise. This is due, in part, to the fact that exercise helps your body transition between the phases of sleep more regularly and more smoothly. Also, since exercise places physical stress on the body, the brain increases the amount of time we spend in deep sleep, the phase of sleep during which our bodies repair themselves.
8 - Supplement with Natural, High-Quality Nutritionals
Adjusting your diet and implementing a new regimen not only reveals gaps in your nutritional consumption, it can take its toll on your body. Take measures to counteract this by investing in natural and nutritious supplements. Javita's high-quality, functional beverages are a great start to support your healthy weight loss efforts by supplying products that can help you control your cravings and blood sugars, keep your mind sharp, fortify your immune system and more. But adjustments to your diet could cause some short-comings. Reputable multi-vitamin formulas and high-protein shakes can help you overcome some of your nutritional deficiencies.
9 - Remember Your “Why” You Want (or Need) to Lose
Researchers at George Washington University discovered that people who successfully transform their bodies are set in action by some sort of “emotional trigger” that helps to clarify their reasons for deciding to make change. In the study, researchers found that any event which elicited strong emotions such as alarm, embarrassment, shame and/or fear actually inspired people to transform their bodies for the better. Take a moment to consider your “emotional trigger” and use it to stay committed to your nutrition program. Furthermore hold yourself accountable for your decisions regarding your nutritional consumption and /or exercise regimen.
10 - Strive for Consistency, Not Perfection
You can be sure there will be the occasional meal or snack that’s not on the recommended food list. When you get off track in this way, don’t allow it to slow you down. Enjoy the divergence, recommit to your goal, and get back on track with your next meal.