“Nothing worth having comes easy.”
1.) Eliminate Processed Sugar (and Soda)
Admit it, you often get sick right around the holidays. Ever wonder why? This is due to eating tons of sugary snacks and desserts. Who doesn’t love those cookies, cakes and pies for every meal during the holidays.
But you have to understand that processed sugar will destroy your body. Not only does it make you fat, it will make you sick. It causes inflammation, joint pain, and hardening of the arteries. It can also weaken your immune system and cause cancer.
It is also important to note that blood sugar spikes are the real cause of weight gain, not fat consumption. So if you want to lose weight, you are better off eating an entire stick of butter than you are drinking a can of soda (or mocha-frappuccino).
*Diet soda is actually worse, basically, they increase sugar cravings while changing the way your brain responds to simple sugars, causing your body to store them as fat.
2.) Drink Lots of Water
Facts: our brain is 90% water and our body about 70%; the majority of our blood and every cell in our body are composed of water. Meaning, we need water for our body to function properly.
Water helps us think, focus, concentrate, recover, heal and function. It will increase your energy and endurance, keeps you active and alert. Flushes out toxins, boosts your immune system, and keeps you alive.
So make it a daily habit to drink a lot of water (I’m 160lbs, very active and drink 3-liters daily) . To accomplish this you will need to keep it with you at all times (I prefer these water bottles). If you need to get up every time you get thirsty you’re drinking too little too late.
ProTip – To improve digestion try not to drink too much water right before a meal, because you don’t want to dilute your stomach acid. I also press a lemon or lime into a glass of water following my meals, the citrus juice acts like an enzyme and will improve the digestion of your food.
3.) Morning Cardio
Start each morning with a slow jog, ranging from 25 to 45-min in length. For weight loss this works best on an empty stomach before breakfast while your blood sugar levels are depleted. Morning exercise is also good for the brain and now the primary reason I jog every morning.
If your goal is to lose weight, a good rule of thumb for cardio is to maintain the ability to have a conversation but at the intensity where it’s difficult to talk too much. Depending on your fitness level, you can start off by walking for 20 minutes, then walk-jog until you’re jogging for 20 minutes, and then increase just a little every week. But you must go for more than 20 minutes, as it takes your body that long to get to the fat burning stage.
ProTip – Start slow and at your own pace. You’ll be doing this new habit for years and you don’t want to make the common mistake of going too hard too fast and burning out. In fact, if you hold back at the beginning it will be frustrating but will increase the likelihood that this new habit sticks.
4.) Salads For Dinner
Make it a habit to prepare a big salad with good protein every night instead of the carb heavy meal you usually have for dinner.
You can have amazing salads with tons and tons of veggies and protein, covered with healthy fats like olive oil, nuts and avocado. Just remember that the goal here is to put your food on top of lettuce instead of potatoes and rice.
Sounds horrible? Definitely not! It could take some getting used to, but once you do, you will be amazed on how good you feel and how much better you sleep at night.
5.) Six Meals Per Day
Avoid having three heavy meals per day. Why? Heavy meals tend to “shock” your system and will temporarily suck your energy. Your blood sugar level increases, but once the meal is fully digested, it falls abruptly, taking your energy and mood along with it.
Having small meals five to six times a day help prevent this, making our bodies function more efficiently the whole day. The small, regular introduction of food keeps our energy levels balanced, making it easier for us to manage our activities and responsibilities for the day.
This also gives us the chance to have more variety in our diets, enabling us to get more of the nutrients we need. With each meal I strive for two different sugars, two carbs, a protein and a fat.
This was my breakfast today:
1/2 cup rice
1 piece of toast with olive oil
*If you want to accelerate weight loss, eat fibrous carbs (ie. asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts) instead of starchy carbs (ie. rice, bread, oats, pasta).