Well, we have reached an important segment in my Fitness Friday series: diet! When I say diet, I am referring only to what you eat and not an actual "diet" or "diets". I am not a fan of diets. I don't do them, I don't like hearing about them, I just... don't. If you want to clean up what you eat, then do so! But I think it's important to do so without restricting yourself (or at least feeling restricted) as that will more often than not backfire. No one likes it when things backfire, ESPECIALLY in the form of weight gain. Am I right?
The reason your diet is so important is that it accounts for about 80% of your results. You might have heard that "abs are made in the kitchen". Well it's true!
Something my mom has said that has stuck with me is that you can make a big impact by cutting out 5 things: sugar, butter, bread, cheese and booze. What kind of life would that be?!?! This is a case of "do as I say, not as I do" because you will NOT find me (or my mom for that matter) removing some of those things from our diets (*cough* cheese *cough*), BUT it is good to be aware of them and your intake of them. I think moderation is key here, or slowly cutting back. The easiest one for me? Sugar. I find that by removing bad foods from my diet I crave them less, and then when I finally have that food again, I enjoy it less. I'm sure you've heard that before, I had, but I never really thought it was true until I experienced it first hand. I should also note, this happens after not having something for a LONG period of time, not a week. It's not that easy.
When I'm on a kick I just try to eat healthy, clean foods all day everyday - much like how I try to work out everyday - if I try to do that then the days where I don't or can't, I don't feel bad about indulging! Another thing I've noticed though is some people think they're eating "healthy" foods but they aren't healthy at all. In fact instead of helping you lose weight they are potentially causing you to gain it! Check out the ingredients in your food to try and understand what you're putting in your body. I also want to explain what "clean eating" is for anyone who is unsure. For me, it is best understood as NOT eating foods that are processed, foods with preservatives, foods with added sugar or salt, or foods with bad (saturated or trans) fat. Not always easy or ideal to do, but worth an effort or a consciously thinking about when making food choices. If it's clean, it's healthy!
Let's also remember another key to success: portion control. If you're overeating healthy food, at the end of the day it's still overeating. I like the practice of only eating when you're hungry and eating at a pace that allows you to know when you're full.
Unless a good diet has been a part of your existence for a long time, it is another situation that requires a fair amount of motivation. What are your goals? You need to know what it is you want to achieve before you can effectively work your way towards it. Once you figure that out, what are you willing to do (or give up) to get it?
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