Weight loss is a common goal and weight loss challenges, diet plans, and workout programs are a dime a dozen. The problem with these free programs, plans, and challenges is they don't take your individual needs into consideration.
Understanding your current health, habits, daily food intake, and stress levels should always come first. Then you want to work on meeting yourself where you are at today with changes while slowly making changes over time. This approach will give you the best bang for your fitness buck because, when mastered, it lasts a lifetime.
Let us help you get started.
1. Improving Your Lifestyle Should Come First:
Before you add anything to your diet, change your workouts, or give up on your gym, you need to take a look at your habits.
In order to properly absorb and utilize the fats, proteins, and carbs that you’re consuming you must first become consistent with your lifestyle habits:
1. Chewing your food properly: digestions actually starts in the mouth and takes between 36 and 44 hours. Your body begins to break down the food as you chew so your stomach and intestines can absorb the nutrients the body needs. So, chewing your food properly allows your stomach to break down your food with less effort and absorb more nutrients from each bite. So chew each bite of food between 20 and 30 times before you swallow!
2. Moving every day: get at least 30 minutes of movement each day. This could be going for a walk after supper, taking 3 - 10-minute breaks during work to walk outside, completing your regular chores, etc.
3. Practicing good sleep habits: getting the best quality sleep each night is essential to weight loss, mental acuity, and allowing your body to recover. You want to get between 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night in a cool, darkroom. Aim for as many hours before midnight as possible to take advantage of your rem cycles.
4. Maintaining hydration: everyone should drink between half of their body weight in ounces each day. Example: if you weigh 150lb you should drink 75 ounces each day. That is 2 liters! Hydration helps with concentration, digestion, weight loss, muscle recovery, and helps you feel fuller longer.
5. Managing your stress: we all have stress but when stress begins to affect your body's ability to mobilize fat, we go into a state of survival. This means that no matter how much salmon and broccoli you eat, you are going to have trouble dropping those extra pounds. Take some time to look at your overall stress, what the root cause is, and start working on addressing it.
These simple behaviors have a big effect on improving your digestion so your body can absorb the new foods that you are consuming.
OPEX Coaches work with you monthly to discover new ways you can add these habits into your day to day without significant effort. Making them doable for you long term.
2. Expand on the types of fats, proteins, and carbs you are consuming:
You want to get a good variety of fats, protein, and carbs in your diet. Variety is the spice of life and you need to cease it! But before you can reep the benefits of variety you need a good understanding of the different types and which are your best option.
Let's look at fats as an example. There are lower-order fats like fried foods, pastries and margarine, and higher-order fats like nuts, seeds, avocado, and olives. You want to focus on increasing your consumption of the higher-order options because they have higher nutritional value.
Example: if your entire fat consumption is lower-order (pastries, fried food, etc.) you want to slowly move towards substituting in higher-order fats overtime (like olives, nuts, seeds, etc.).
Not sure where to start? Download the Precision Nutrition "What Should I Eat?" infographic to help you move towards higher-order fats, proteins, and carbs.
3. Your diet plan should be made for you:
Changing your diet all at once is a recipe for disaster and so is taking a diet plan off the web and trying to make it work for you.
Here's how to get started on a new plan for weight loss success:
1. Take time to look at your current health: We always suggest that you talk to your doctor before making significant dietary and exercise changes.
2. Start a food log to see what you are currently eating each day and BE HONEST: Taking a look at what you are currently eating is a good way to see how much protein, carbs and fats you are actually consuming each day.
3. Assess your daily caloric needs: This is based off how old you are, how active you are, how sendentary you are, and what you need to sustain you each day. This will give you your starting point and slowly move towards a more optimal diet.
Meeting yourself where you are at today by customizing the changes you are making to your diet as well as practicing proper lifestyle habits will allow you to find success for the long term.
Meeting yourself where you are at today by customizing the changes you are making to your diet as well as practicing proper lifestyle habits will allow you to find success in the long term.
You don't have to do it alone! Our OPEX coaches are here to take the guesswork out of building new habits at home or in the gym. Set up a free consultation with us today to learn about our new Premium Remote Coaching Membership!