10 Simple Calorie Cuts You Can Make Now to Make A Big Impact

Losing weight is hard. Unfortunately, we often make it harder than it needs to be. We read about the latest diet trend and flip our whole lifestyle upside down.

Sure, this may work for some – but let’s be honest, it doesn’t work for many.

Going from a standard American diet to the latest green smoothie, gluten free, dairy free trend is like trying to go from 0 to 100 in your grandmas Oldsmobile. It’s going to be a struggle, and that much change at once is hard to stick with.

To lose body fat, you need to be eating fewer calories than you burn – and here are 10 simple swaps you can make to save you calories over the course of the day. If you currently eat these foods, you don’t need to stop, just make these small adjustments and you will be golden.

1 – Bread – are you a sandwich person? There is nothing inherently bad about sandwiches, they really get a bad rep. Look at your bread. How many calories per slice? How many grams of carbs and fiber per slice? I really like to keep it in the 15 carbs per slice and 2+ grams of fiber per slice range. 50 calories.

2 – Milk – if you can handle milk, lucky you. Switching from 2% to skim, or even from whole to 2% can shave off some calories over the course of a day. 40 calories.

3- Soda – yes, in a perfect world we would all drink water. But even by switching from regular to diet, you can REALLY cut off some calories especially if you are a big soda drinker. And no, you don’t need to worry about the artificial sweeteners unless you are drinking over 23 cans per day…then we should talk. 150+ calories.

4 – Cheese – do you REALLY taste the cheese on your sandwich or burger? If not, cut it out. That alone can save you 80-120 calories.

5 – Breading – breaded chicken or fish may taste great, but between the breading and the grease that is trapped in the breading, there can be a whole lot of calories that can be cut. Go with baked or broiled and you will still get all the protein and none of the grease. 200 calories.

6 – Mixers – just like the soda, switching from regular soda or tonic water in cocktails to water or club soda (different than tonic) will cut out unnecessary calories from your drinks. Or just relive your glory days and rip some shots (kidding, sort of) 150+ calories

7 – Lean meats – switching from 80/20 beef to 93/7 or leaner is a big calorie saver. And be aware of ground turkey. Just because it is turkey, it can still be 80/20 – so leaner red meats are still fewer calories. One of my favorites is using 99% lean ground chicken for tacos – because once all the seasonings and other stuff is added, you can’t tell the difference. 200 calories.

8 – Eggs – if you are big egg eater, try switching out even one egg per day for some whites. You can still get all the protein but cut calories from the yolk (fat). Yolks are not as bad as once thought, but even cutting back from 3 to 2 eggs will shave off 80 cals.

9 – Carb swap – if 1/3 or 1/2 of your plate is usually carbs (rice, pasta, potato) – try dropping it to 1/4th of your plate and fill the void with more veggies. This will make sure that you are still getting enough volume in your meal, without as many calories. 150 calories

10 – Coffee dessert drinks – switching a latte for a cafe Americano will save you 200 calories. If you still need creamer at home, I suggest Walden Farm’s creamers. They are zero cals and still taste awesome. 200+ calories

There you have it! 1340 calories of savings – without much of a change!

10 swaps you can make right now, without completely revamping your diet.

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3 Reasons You Aren’t Losing Fat

1)You’re eating too much

2)You’re eating too much

3)You’re eating too much

…really.

In all seriousness, this is the cause of weight gain. Too many calories in over time, with the body not able to expend them, leads to fat gain. Notice that I say “losing fat” vs. “losing weight”.

Weight loss is dumb. Weight loss is frustrating, confusing, and random. Unfortunately, so many people only focus on weight loss, instead of really focussing on fat loss.

If you lose weight, here’s what could be lost:

  • Water
  • Muscle
  • Poop
  • Urine
  • A limb

If you lose body fat, here is what could be lost:

  • Bodyfat

The goal should never be to lose water weight, lose muscle, or most definitely not a limb. So how can you determine if you are losing fat?

Many options, but my favorites include:

  • Belly button measurement – if it goes down or up, this MAY be from water retention, but over the long term, it is a good basic measurement of body fatness.
  • Skinfold measurements – make sure you get them down by someone who actually knows what they are doing. Still plenty of room for error.
  • DEXA Scan – the gold standard of body fat analysis, but it will cost you $75-$100.
  • The clothes test – do your clothes fit better? Down a size?
  • The naked mirror test – how do you look to yourself?

Back to the topic of this post, you need to focus on the “why”, not the what.

Just stepping on the scale or measuring your waist makes you aware of body fat, but it doesn’t change anything. This is the desired result, not the desired process.

The 3 areas that I see most people underestimating their intakes on are:

You Drink Too Many Calories

Alcohol, soda, milk, juice, creamers, all add up to your total caloric intake. Some are obviously better options than others. If you can stick to zero-calorie drinks as much as possible – water being ideal – this will make the process so much easier.

https://www.bodysculptorsaustralia.com/diet-sabotage---dont-drinking-your-calories.html

https://www.bodysculptorsaustralia.com/diet-sabotage—dont-drinking-your-calories.html

Alcohol especially is a double whammy on the fat loss goal. When you drink, your body diverts energy to break down the alcohol – because it is toxic. Where does it divert this energy from? Your fatty acid oxidation and muscle protein synthesis pathways. When alcohol enters your body, your fat burning system slows down, AND your muscle building/repair system also slows down.

5 beers might “only” be 600 calories – but the caloric toll it takes on the body is likely closer to 1000+ because of the slowing of your other metabolic processes.

Not saying you can never drink – but I recommend a self-audit on your intake, and if you are over 3-4 drinks per week, this might be an area to address.

You Snack Too Much

A nibble here, a bite there…it all counts.

If you try to stick to 3 square meals a day with nothing in between, could you do it? This strategy has worked for many of my clients based on the pure fact that they are chronic snackers.

At the moment little bites of things don’t seem like much. But look at how it can add up – and even with “good” foods.

 

500 calories, mostly from carb and fat. This might be an okay meal (little skimpy on protein if you ask me), but these are things that most people might have here or there during a day, and even if they track their food, they forget about. These aren’t massive portions either.

Awareness is key, and sometimes cutting back on areas that you know you struggle with is what it takes.

You Are Too Impatient

Lastly – the big one. Your body is always going through changes. As stated earlier, water weight can fluctuate like crazy, and this can drive people nuts. This is why it is very important to focus on the long game, watch your progress from week to week, month to month – instead of day to day.

Observe this 2-month stretch. Between the lines is 10 pounds.

You can see the day to day ups and downs. But the overall trend is money. It’s easy to get discouraged after a few days of hard work and nothing to be seen on the scale. This is where most people say screw it and give up. You have to get past this point. This is also why DAILY weighing can be so powerful and helpful.

Can you imagine if the weight was only measured on a weekly basis? That is where all the highest peaks are! (This person always weighed the most on Mondays…as is typical 🙂 This would be tremendously frustrating and psychologically disastrous to most people.

With daily weighing, you can see the trend over the long haul, and with the right mindset approach – this can make a huge difference.

Before you toss out your scale and down a dozen doughnuts in anger, remember – you are likely eating too much over THE LONGER period of time, not day to day – and this is okay, but if you want to make change, you gotta take some action, and it starts with taking a good honest look at yourself.

 

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Never Strength Trained Before? No Problem.

Strength training is growing in popularity among average Joe’s and Jane’s, which is friggin awesome! I write about its importance all the time, and how it is literally the fountain of youth (when done correctly).

One of my client’s grandsons just signed up for a gym membership because he enjoyed training this summer. How cool is that? However, I want to make sure that even he has a credible resource that he can go to for training because there is a ton of fluff out there!

If you have absolutely no experience, are afraid, need a refresher or have zero clue where to start and what to do – this is for you.  I will try and lay it out in the post, step by step, as clear as possible. If you have any questions feel free to post or email me – mike@mgfitlife.com.

1) Focus on all the fundamental movements – push, pull, squat and hip hinge.

What the heck are these?

PUSH – think push up, or pushing AWAY from your body, like a chest press. Can’t do a push up? Try hands elevated pushups. Any pressing machine or dumbbells will work as well.

PULL – pulling weight towards you. Start with a form of horizontal pull like a dumbbell row, a body weight row, or cable row.

SQUAT – pretty much exactly how it sounds. The squat is more of a knee dominant exercise and it tends to work the quads, or front of the legs more than the hamstrings, or backs of the legs.

Start with just body weight, then add weight once you can sit down to the point where your thighs are parallel with the floor.

HINGE – this is also a lower body exercise but focuses on hinging from the hips – and works more of the backs of the legs – hamstrings and glutes (butt).

Start with a slight bend in the knees, but then push your hips back keeping your spine straight. Go to the point of feeling a stretch in the backs of your thighs then return to the top.

If using weights, keep them close to your legs, and shoulders back and tight.

If you know you have lower back issues, do not feel ready for this movement, or don’t think your form is on point, you can also use the floor glute bridge as an option.

 

So these are the 4 basic movement patterns that will cover most muscles of the body, now what do we do with them?

Start with ONE workout, because one is infinitely more than zero.

First – warm up. This can be as simple as a 5-10 minute brisk walk followed by 20 forward and 20 backward arm circles to warm up your shoulders.

Do 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions (reps) of the first exercise before moving to the next. Give yourself about 1 minute rest in between sets.

What weight should I use??? Use a weight that allows you to get all 8-10 reps, but it somewhat challenging by the final rep. If you know you have some natural strength, you may have to start with some ramp up sets. This means you wouldnt jump to a max effort set on set one, but rather build up to it. Say your working weight is 100 pounds.

You might start with 1×10 @ 50 (ramp 1), then 1×10 @75 (ramp 2), then 3×10 @ 100

You still shouldn’t go to failure on your working sets, and you shouldn’t force sloppy reps.

I often use the cue – leave a few reps in the tank. Meaning, if you absolutely HAD to do 12 or 13 reps you could.

How does this look?

Example:

  • 10 push ups or dumbbell presses – rest for 1 minute
  • 10 push ups or dumbbell presses – rest for 1 minute
  • 10 push ups or dumbbell presses – rest for 1 minute
  • 10 rows – rest for 1 minute
  • 10 rows – rest for 1 minute
  • 10 rows – rest for 1 minute
  • 10 squats – rest for 1 minute
  • 10 squats – rest for 1 minute
  • 10 squats – rest for 1 minute
  • 10 hinges – rest for 1 minute
  • 10 hinges – rest for 1 minute
  • 10 hinges – rest for 1 minute

That’s it!

See how you feel 2 days later, and if you feel up to it, repeat the same exact workout once or twice in the week,

Then what?

The most simple way to progress is to add reps until you get to about 20. Then go back to 10 reps and add weight. This will cover you for a decent amount of weeks and if you are truly new to lifting weights you will be good to go.

Example:

  • Week 1 – 10 chest presses with 10 pounds
  • Week 2 – 12 chest presses with 10 pounds
  • Week 3 – 15 chest presses with 10 pounds
  • Week 4 – 18 chest presses with 10 pounds
  • Week 5 – 20 chest presses with 10 pounds
  • Week 6 – 10 chest presses with 12 pounds
  • Week 7 – 12 chest presses with 12 pounds
  • And so on and so on…

That is literally the most basic form of weight training you can do, and if you are totally new to it this will be a great place to start!

Don’t try to get ahead of yourself and add weight every workout. It takes time for muscles to grow, and slow and steady is always the way to go!

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Reach Your Goals Faster By Adding THIS to Your Plan

“I’m going to get healthy”

“I’m going to save more money for ____”

“I’m going to spend more time with my family”

All reasonable goals that people might say. However, what is the one common trend among them? They are all about “I”. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to do things for yourself, and go at it like a lone wolf, the power that other people can have to help accelerate your progress can be tremendous.

Three Ways to Use Others to Accelerate Your Progress

Use sounds so harsh, but know that this is not in a bad way like manipulating or taking advantage of, but rather using the power of others to progress quicker, stick to plans, and boost results.

1 – Make a Promise

Studies have shown that when you make a promise to someone, you are more likely to do it. If you make a promise to a group of people, you are even more likely to do it. If you make a promise to a large audience – like your social media circle, a crowd of people, etc. you are even MORE likely to follow through (tell that to the politicians though… 🙂

It is our human nature to not want to let other people down, and not disappoint social expectations.

When it comes to these promises, make sure that they are centered around your process goals (actions to reach the goal), and not your result goals (actual goal).

If your goal is to lose 10 pounds by Jan 1, write out the things that you need to do to reach this goal, then choose 1 or 2 to focus on, and make that promise to someone, or a bunch of people. Write it out, make a contract, etc. The more “intense” you make it the better.

2 – Band Together with a Tribe

We want to fit in. We want to be accepted. Again – it’s human nature – actually it’s nature. Even animals show interesting traits of wanting to fit in when they are in groups.

You are much more likely to achieve your goals if you spend time with like minded people. Saving money for a house? Maybe you shouldn’t be trying to keep up with your friends who want to party every weekend and don’t have the same goal as you. I’m not saying you need to abandon your friends, but pick and choose when you hang out with them based on the influence that it might have on your ultimate goal.

Joining a group that has the same interest or goal as you makes it easier to continue to do those things because it’s seen as the norm when you are with that group. It’s what these people do, so I should to it to! Peer pressure isn’t always a negative.

Even more powerful is joining a group with the same goal as you that also has a current shared interest/commonality.

Mom’s Reading Book Club – Goal: To Read More, Commonality: Mom’s

Ladies Lifting Group – Goal: Lift weights and get jacked, Commonality: Ladies Only

Young Entrepreneurs Networking Group – Goal: Increase Network, Commonality: Young Entrepreneurs

You get the idea. Find a tribe or group, and hang with them more – and the challenging actions from outside of the group will magically become the social norm for you.

When you constantly hang out with people who don’t align with your goals, you are much less likely to achieve them. Sure, willpower can work for some time, but eventually you hanging out with the group of friends that wants to crush beers, pig out, and sleep in until 11 AM will pull your further and further from your goal of losing fat.

3 – Use a Friend to Increase Your “Risk”

Give a friend $500 and tell them that for every day you go to the gym with them, they have to give you $5 back. Every time you back out, they get to keep $5.

Seems outrageous, but it’s actually more likely to get you to the gym frequently. This gives you 100 money making opportunities to get to the gym. That is a pretty damn good goal, wouldn’t you say?

Even one step further – tell them that every time you back out, they get to donate your $5 to the political party that you DON’T align with. Classic reward/punishment system here.

Whatever you choose to do, the more you put on the line as far as potential rewards or punishments, you are more likely to have that extra kick in the pants when it comes time to do your action.

The key here is involving someone else. When you make promises and set up reward systems for yourself, you are more likely to make excuses, and justify half assed promises. It can really be anything – someone will pay for dinner, will buy tickets to _____, will take you ____, – anything that gives you that extra kick to push towards your goal.

Even if you are more of a lone wolf, finding one person to align with, make a promise to, or setup a reward system with will increase your odds at winning. Link ALL 3 techniques together, and I think you would be pretty much unstoppable!

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Chronic Macro Tracking Gone Wrong…

My latest article was just published over at DrJohnRusin.com, and it is one that I am very honored and proud to have written for him and his team.

CLICK HERE TO READ IT!

Those of you who know me or work with me might find yourselves scratching your heads a bit though, saying “Mike, I thought you were a fan of macro tracking?”

Yes – I am, to an extent, and as one of many tools that can be used.

As stated in the article,

Tracking macros can be a great tool. It is one of many tools that can help to fix a broken relationship with food and to improve one’s health. But like any other tool, you shouldn’t have to keep using it for a lifetime.

Initially, tracking food intake either with a basic food journal or macros tracking can be used to determine an objective and reliable starting point. It is a great way to learn about what food contribute to carbs, proteins, and fats. Macro tracking is also a great way to see how quickly calorie dense options can add up, or how a few little bites here and there throughout the day can add up to be more calories than a meal.

Over the course of tracking macros, one must learn and soak up this information, with the eventual intent on building off of it and creating a plan that is truly sustainable for a lifetime, without having to rely on your food scale and an app on your phone to log every single thing. This is why macro tracking is not a “diet” but rather a form of lifestyle education.

Read more to see where it goes wrong, and how one should expect to function, work, and thrive for a lifetime without tracking your food every single bite!

 

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Eating While on the Road

***THIS WAS ORIGINALLY SENT TO MY INSIDERS EMAIL LIST***

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I got so much feedback on this one that I figured I would post it here as well, but this is rare, and might never happen again 🙂

If you travel a lot for work or find yourself in the car a large portion of the day, it can seem like the food choices are stacked against you if you are trying to maintain some sort of healthy diet, or even tougher if you are trying to actually lose some weight.

Truth is, it is “harder” but not impossible – and it is actually rather simple if you follow these simple rules.

Rule #1: Are you actually hungry? 

If you just ate breakfast or lunch, you shouldn’t be hungry. Driving long days in the car can be stressful, boring and tiring. However, using food to cope with these three emotions is never a good idea, especially when you are stuck in a small confined space of a vehicle.

If you find yourself mindlessly stress snacking in the car, the first thing to address is the question of “how did this snack food get in here in the first place?” – you. It all starts with you. If you know you are prone to this, don’t buy that stuff. You are only exposing yourself to an opportunity to mindlessly eat.

It’s like a recovering alcoholic popping in the liquor store to buy a water…not the best idea.

Rule #2 – Protein First

I like the rule of “20 grams or bust” – anything I eat in the car, when I am actually hungry, has to contain 20 grams of protein or more per serving. This will help keep you full, minimize the possibility that it is a junk food, and should hold you over until you reach your destination.

It doesn’t have to be all from one food, or even at one time either, but keeping it to 20 or more grams of protein is key.

Some examples might be:

  • Quest Protein Bar
  • Fairlife (Core Power) High Protein Milkshake
  • Jack Links Tender Bites
  • Hard-boiled eggs

These are all things that you can buy at most well stocked, larger gas stations.

Just like avoiding the snacky, mindless food takes the preparation of not buying them, making sure you are stocked up on quality protein foods also takes preparation.

Rule #3 – If Eating Fast Food…

Let’s be real. You’re going to stop for fast food at some point. While it may not be ideal, it is still possible to do some form of damage control. Applying the protein rule again – this should be your first focus. Luckily, most fast food places have the calories listed on their menus now, so you should be able to figure out what the better choices are.

Stick to these basics and you should be covered:

  • Don’t drink your calories – water, or diet soda ALWAYS
  • Non-breaded chicken is the leanest option
  • Minimize the extra fat – cheese, bacon, mayo, all can be skipped
  • You might be better off getting 2 sandwiches than 1 sandwich and fries…
  • 6″ subs with double meat are always a good choice
  • You don’t need dessert with your fatty lunch…ever.
  • It is already high in calories, so no, you don’t want to supersize it.

While it may not be the most convenient, eating on the road and sticking to your goals is possible. Like accomplishing anything else, it takes a little planning, and little prep, and a little bit of willpower.

In the end, it comes down to keeping your target goal in mind, and reminding yourself what this is all worth, and where you are trying to get to in your health journey.

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What’s the Deal with Gluten and Dairy?

Maybe you just read the latest article from that magazine in the check out aisle at the grocery store and it said that gluten and dairy are to blame for bloating, gut issues, and fat retention. Maybe your friend Cindy told you that she stopped eating gluten and she feels so much better and has lost 15 pounds. Or maybe you have been thinking about cutting out dairy because you always feel gassy afterward.

What is right? And what is wrong?

They all could be both.

To put it simply, nutrition is a very individualized subject when it comes to certain topics, and this is one of them.

Here are the facts:

1) Cutting out gluten and or dairy might help you lose weight

Not because of the evil powers of gluten or dairy, but because of a reduction in calories. If you truly cut out all gluten and dairy from your life, you are likely cutting out a huge number of calories, and even if you are trying to replace them with other options, might still be creating a deficit. This is like any other diet that people will claim is magical – you cut out a whole food group, and you cut out calories.

2) Gluten and or dairy might be the cause of your bloating/gas

Everyone is different. Our gut biome is so vast and complex that there is no way that a blanket statement about anything being a for sure intolerance is appropriate. Sure there are studies showing different food components effects on the gut microorganisms – but these are done in isolation and often in a petri dish, which the human body is just a little bit more complex than.

The only way to find out is to run an elimination diet. Cut out all dairy from your diet for a week. See what happens. Make an assessment of your own, and make appropriate moves. Same thing with gluten.

However, gluten tends to be slightly different in the sense that it gets blamed for a lot of things that it shouldn’t. I’ve had people tell me they cut out gluten and felt so much better. Nice! When I ask what they cut out it’s usually this –  “pizza, burgers, chips, cereals, desserts….”.

So was it actually gluten that was making you feel like crap? Or was it – highly processed carbs, high doses of saturated fat, high intakes of fat overall, high sugar levels making your blood sugar spike and crash, and on and on…

3) Everyone is different – remember this

I want to reiterate this point. EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT. If something works for you, don’t start claiming you are a nutrition professional and can solve everyone else’s problems. If something works for your friend, don’t assume that it will work for you.

The only way to find out is to try something for yourself and make your own conclusions. Like anything else – take the time to care, learn and make decisions on your own, based off of what is best for you, and what makes you feel the best – not anybody else.,

 

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It Doesn’t Matter How Much You Know

Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care”. – Teddy Roosevelt (or other’s have been attributed to first saying this)

This quote is pretty universal to many industries, especially anything dealing with providing a service for someone. You could be the smartest trainer in the world, have 10 different abbreviations after your name, and be able to write out the perfect plan for packing on solid muscle…but that will only get you so far.

This is a quote I strive to live by. My mantra so to speak. I hope that I accomplish this daily, and with everyone that I interact with. While providing training and nutrition is my job, providing care and treating people like people is my number one goal.

When a client has a nagging injury, it bugs me, like REALLY bugs me. I feel for them because I’ve been there. I want them to feel better, and it bugs me when they aren’t. I instantly turn to research, books, and articles and try to find out what I can to help. At the same time, I’m not afraid to say “I don’t know” – and then help them find someone who might.

When a client is struggling with their nutrition it bugs me. Not in a way like, “OMG, I can’t believe they ate THAT!” (because I’ve been there too) but in a way that I feel for them, and want to help them find happiness, and results and not feel like they are suffering through deprivation. I bring up several different strategies, approaches, or other ways to look at the issue and work through it.

This doesn’t just apply to clients though. I strive to do what I can for everyone I know, and everyone I don’t know.

I post daily free tips, fitness, nutrition and mindset stuff – things that hopefully inspire people to make a step in the right direction of health.

This is where knowing on the other end isn’t enough, and the point of this post.

All the info is out there. Exercise, nutrition, life skills, etc. We live in a time that you can find out how to do anything with YouTube videos, web tutorials, and access to professional resources at the click of a button.

It’s safe to say that most people know what to do when it comes to health.

Bridging the gap between knowing WHAT to do, and HOW to do it is where a coach, a guide, or a mentor comes in.

When people ask what nutrition coaching or online training is all about, this is what I tell them. It’s not telling someone exactly what to eat. It’s not handing out cookie cutter programs.

It’s about helping guide people through all the noise.

It’s about being there when challenges arise with diets, training, and life, and helping troubleshoot through these challenges.

It’s about helping celebrate the wins and helping lift up from the falls.

While it’s important for a coach to have a good understanding and knowledge base of exercise, nutrition and the likes, it’s more important that they are there to guide you through the rough patches, challenge you when you need a challenge, and support you when the rest of the world seems to be providing enough challenges of its own.

This is what I do. This is what you should look for in a coach. This is what it’s all about.

I’ve got 2 spots open for online coaching – full coaching – training and nutrition. If you are ready to commit to yourself, and invest in your health, with me as a guide, then click below.

LEARN MORE ABOUT ONLINE COACHING

I’m ready for you.

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The 10 Commandments of Nutrition

Nutrition and diets seem to be on a level of religious status these days. People swear by them as the end-all-be-all way of living, claim to cure disease, if you eat a certain food you are damned to hell, and these foods will cleanse the already cleansing and healthy organs like the liver and kidneys…

Sugar is the devil. Carbs are the devil. Gluten is the devil. Fat is the devil. Animal protein is the devil…. CAN I GET AN AMEN?!?!

Whatever happened to finding what works for you and keeping it to yourself, or at least not talking about it like it is some sort of miracle approach, or pushing it on others?

It’s one thing to suggest something that worked for you might work for someone else, but it’s another to use a social media platform and proclaim from the top of a mountain that you are telling people the right way to eat, and the right way is your way – or even worse consider yourself a nutrition coach…

HOWEVER…

I GIVE YOU THE 10 COMMANDMENTS OF NUTRITION! 

There are some things, that should be accepted as universal when it comes to our diet. Keep in mind, these would be for a generally healthy person because certain medical issues have their own set of rules and nutrition guidelines.

1 – Thou Shall Drink Water – our bodies are made of a lot of water, so it’s a good idea to drink a lot of it. Simple.

2 – Thou Shall Eat Vegetables – all colors, mix it up, we all know veggies are good for us.

3 – Thou Shall Eat Protein – no matter what your goals are, you do need some level of protein in your diet to not only survive (because just surviving is lame) but to thrive! Studies have shown that while not necessary, or advantageous, HEALTHY individuals can consume 2g/per pound of bodyweight in protein with NO adverse effects.

4 – Thou Shall Minimize Processed Junk Food – eat your heart out IIFYM pop tart eaters… while some may be able to do this, the fact of the matter is it’s not a long-term approach nor an ideal diet for a healthy, optimal lifestyle, or diet that is promoting internal cellular health, longevity, and minimal inflammation.

5 – Thou Shall Minimize Trans Fat Intake – going off of 4, Trans Fats – partially hydrogenated oils found in processed baked goods, poor quality desserts, greasy foods, etc. have been shown to be the one fat that we can all agree on is bad for your body.

6 – Thou Shall Listen to Thy Body – feel like pooping yourself after drinking milk? Feel like you are 9 months pregnant after eating Chinese food? Have to run to the bathroom after eating pasta? Then maybe your body is trying to tell you something! Awareness is key, and if you really listen to your body, it will tell you what you shouldn’t be eating.

7 – Thou Shall Not Drink Calories – the only time I recommend drinking calories is when someone is trying to gain weight. The fewer calories you can drink, the better off you will be – plain and simple.

8 – Thou Shall Not Covet Thy Neighbors Diet – “Tina is doing _____, I am going to do that too!” If you haven’t noticed, the human body is super complex. We are all different. Just because something works for one person, doesn’t mean it will work for others. Refer to #6 as well.

9 – Thou Shall Try to Prepare Their Own Food as Much as Possible – most restaurants meals weigh in at easily over 1000 calories. The more control you have over what you put in your mouth, the more success you are likely to have.

10 – Thou Shall Not Be An A-Hole About Other’s Nutrition – if someone is getting results, and they are enjoying their diet, let it be. Even if you don’t agree with them, if they are ENJOYING it, that’s great.

However, if someone is hating the diet plan that someone else told them they NEED to do, this would be an opportunity to step in and show them the light – that no matter what diet you choose to or have to follow, it probably doesn’t need to be as painful or bad as you might think.

 

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Stay healthy my friends,

Something Over Everything

We want it all. We want it now. We want to do mega change right now…

Some people can handle this, but most people will crumble, and quit. Think about anything big, and life-changing.

This time 3 years ago I was just under one month out from my wedding. I may be a bit biased, but it was the best wedding, ever. Everything went smoothly, most everyone had fun (there was ONE incident that I won’t name names…but it definitely has turned out for the better 🙂 and it was a wonderful night.

We spent almost 10 months planning that wedding. Working on a little bit at a time, even 30 minutes of doing something when we could, chipping away at our checklist, and our bank account.

Anyone else who has planned a wedding would tell you it would be crazy to try and plan a successful day and night in a few short weeks or days.

A few months ago, we bought a house. We had been saving for YEARS to be able to make a substantial down payment. Putting a little bit aside each week, and increasing this amount by even $5 if we could.

We got the house, and we reached our goal of being able to put a great amount down.

Now we are tackling being parents. We learn something nearly every day, and we build off of that. Luckily, Adalynn only grows one day at a time, so that kind of regulates how much new stuff can pop up overnight.

We will be learning through this process as we go, rights and wrongs, ups and downs, all along this wild ride that is life.

Enough analogies – when someone is looking to reverse years and years of no self-care, self-sabotage, and not taking care of their health…they want it to happen NOW.

They sign up for a 5 day per week workout, (even though they haven’t worked a muscle in years) an intense and often radical diet program, throw away everything in their cupboards, because it’s time for a cleansing. Well, what often comes of that? Burnout, disappointment, and regression. The ol’ hampster wheel of progress…

So this is where I encourage you, if you are doing nothing right now for your health – just do SOMETHING. Pick one thing. Walk 10 minutes on a Monday. Eat one vegetable at dinner. Do one pushup each morning. Eat one less bon-bon per week. Drink one less soda per day…pick any of those things, and do it. Again, and again, and again…

Then build on it. Ask yourself, “okay, what can I add now?” Another walk? Another pushup? One less soda?

Just like chipping away at loans, building up a savings account, or planning a huge overpriced event (worth it 🙂 – it will take time, and little steps along the way to avoid overload and burn out.

It won’t always be easy, you will have little slip-ups, but it will be totally worth it in the end.

 

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Stay healthy my friends,