I have spoken over and over about the number one factor when it comes to maintaining weight loss: committing to a healthy lifestyle. Here are the top 14 habits for eating clean and living a healthy lifestyle. The sacrifices that this lifestyle requires are far exceeded by the benefits gained. Being in excellent shape, eating clean, monitoring your alcohol consumption, and committing to a healthy lifestyle does not guarantee ones happiness, it simply gives you a higher probability of achieving such a goal. Smoking four packs of cigarettes a day doesn’t guarantee you’re going to get lung cancer. It simply increases the probability of such an event to take place. It takes 21 days of consistent action performing an act over and over before a new habit can be instilled.
1. Have at least one meal replacement a day. Meal replacements can be protein powders, ready-made drinks, or protein bars. Top-five meal replacements are: 1. Ideal Protein meal replacement packets (Ideal for traveling or those on the go) 2. Premier protein shakes 3.EAS ready-made shakes 4.GNC chocolate and vanilla ready-made drinks 5. Pure Protein shakes & flavored waters.
2. Have written out workout programs for cardio and strength that range from 10 to 90 minutes. There are many workouts you can do on vacation, traveling, in your home, or at the gym. Your exercise philosophy has to start from the premise that every workout has you moving in the proper direction, whether it’s 10 minutes or 60 minutes. Set the bar low so that you consistently work out.
3. Don’t have your house filled with processed foods, liquid calories, diet pop, and desserts. Stop making this harder than it has to be. Testing your kids will power on a daily basis with unhealthy food around the house is the quickest way to failure.
4. “Resets” You must commit to a minimum of two 7 to 10 day resets per year to allow you to maximize fat loss over a very short timeframe. Don’t wait until you put on 25 or 30 pounds of extra weight before you decide to do something. Short resets allow you to erase 3 to 5 months of weight/fat gain.
5. Build every meal around a lean protein source. You must consume a minimum of .7 to 1.0 g of protein per pound of body weight for the body to create protein synthesis.
6. Determine your 5 pound range of happiness where you feel like a rock star. Once you reach the upper limit of that range, it’s time to do a reset and/or seriously start to monitor your eating habits. This system never allows your fat/weight issues to ever get out of hand. This system ensures that as soon as I exceed the high end of my range I have a plan of action. Conversely, I also go out of my way to be at the low end of my range of happiness knowing I am leaving for vacation or going to that so-called workshop in Vegas.
7. Have a plan for dealing with disaster. Define the amount of food you know is not good for you before you begin eating. As an example, before I have potato chips, which I love, I put the amount I am willing to have on a plate beforehand and will never exceed that amount. I limit the negative consequences of the food going in my body. Chips, ice cream, brownies, desserts, etc. get us into trouble because we don’t know when to stop.
8. Get your 8 hours of sleep. Quality sleep is critical to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. There is a Catch 22 with sleep. The higher percent of fat on your body the less likely you are to get a quality sleep. A client this week after using the mask for sleep apnea for the last four years is no longer using it after just six weeks on the Ideal Protein/Results 22 diet.
9. Control your sugar levels. Every time you over carb, be it alcohol, potatoes, etc. you have 3 defenses. Your one defense before consuming too many carbohydrates is to put a protein source in your system. Protein in the body will slow down the rate at which the carbohydrate is broken down. Protein also is the macronutrient responsible for giving you the feeling of being full. Therefore, if you know you’re going to go out for pizza or you’re on your way to a Christmas party that you know is full of candies and treats, make sure you consume a meal replacement with 20 to 40 grams of protein. After consuming too many carbohydrates you have two tools at your disposal:
a. Do as much cardio as possible as it is burning 85% carbohydrates and start to take down the percent of sugar in your bloodstream.
b. Eliminate all carbohydrates from your diet for the next 48 hours. Fruits are not good for you when your sugar levels are full.
10. Supplements – Focus on the fundamentals of supplementation.
a. Vitamin d3 range of 50-60 ng/ml.
b. Fish Oil of 1200 mg per day.
c. Multivitamin. While there is not overwhelming research confirming the use of a multivitamin every day, I do believe a multi-vitamin plays an important role in providing us some of the micronutrients we are missing in our diet.
d. Fiber. 91% of women do not have enough fiber in their diet. 83% of women do not consume the correct amount of protein. Fiber and protein are the two major building blocks behind any sound nutritional plan.
11. Slight edge. This is the ability to repeat consistent habits on a daily basis. Missing your supplements for one day is not going to make a difference, but once you take that attitude you don’t understand the slight edge. A slight edge is easy to do, but easy not to do.
12. Listen to your body. Taking medications, wearing baggy clothes all the time, drinking coffee or energy drinks to stay awake, drinking diet Coke throughout the day are all blatant signs of your body telling you that you are not taking care of it properly. Change your behavior.
13. Timing is everything. Two best times of the day to take in simple carbohydrates (fast acting) are when you first wake in the morning and within sixty minutes of completing your exercise routine. These are the two best times of the day for your cheat meals as well. Eat a plain white bagel within sixty minutes of completing your workout and your body will store none of it as fat. Eat the same bagel before you go to bed at night and your body will store half as fat.
14. Eat more vegetables. Your goal should be to consume three vegetables for every one fruit. The average American consumes five fruits to every one vegetable.
It’s easy to eat pizza, ice cream, sweets, and drink calories. The question you have to ask yourself is “What are the consequences for these unhealthy actions?” The answer to this question could change your life. Committing to a healthy lifestyle does mean less alcohol, fewer sweets, limited simple carbohydrates, which equates to less pleasure in your life being driven by food and beverage. It also means greater energy, an increase of self esteem, and a greater happiness and joy in everyday events such as putting on your clothes, working out, or going to the beach. I have no doubt that once you experience the joy and happiness that comes from a healthy lifestyle you will realize that it far outweighs the pleasures we seek through unhealthy food choices.
In Good Health,