You might think you are doing “everything you can” to eat nutritiously, but just like most of my clients, chances are you might be unknowingly breaking one of these extremely important “rules” of nutrition.
- Eat Breakfast! - Eat breakfast within 15-30 minutes of waking up – the sooner you “break your fast”, the better! Breakfast not only gives you the necessary energy to get through morning and that mid-afternoon slump, but will jump-start your metabolism and help you reach your optimum energy and fitness goals.
- Don’t skip meals – and eat 5-6 meals each day (3 meals, 2-3 snacks). Starving your cells of needed fuel only confuses your body – and skipped meals only lead to slower metabolisms and fat storage (much like the person who limits their water intake and ends up bloated). Instead of skipping meals and then over-compensating later, eat every 2 – 4 hours (3 is optimal). This will keep your metabolism working strong and hard to give you the physical and mental ENERGY to get through your day (and your workouts) with gusto!
- Eat every 2 – 4 hours (3 hours is optimal) - Fasting is BAD for your metabolism! That said, don’t leave your dorm room/ apartment/ home without FTF15-approved snacks that you can whip out in the middle of class, work, or after your gym session (Plan ahead!)
- Follow the 90-10 principle - NOBODY’s PERFECT. SO, don’t expect yourself to be! Eating 100% perfectly 100% of the time is just impossible. Instead, give yourself some flexibility and aim for an 90 -10 principle with regards to diet. That’s why I have built the nutrition and workout program to allow you to “cheat” guilt-free every once in a while if you need to (twice a week!). What constitutes a “cheat”? Well, just replace one of your meals with 350 calories of whatever you want! What I find though, is that as the program progresses and you start to look and feel better than ever, you will crave fewer and fewer of these little “gimmes”.
- Drink AT LEAST 6 – 8 glasses of cold water each day – That’s right, WATER YOURSELF, and you’ll be happy when you WEIGH YOURSELF! At least 8 glasses a day will ensure that your metabolism and energy levels remain high, while your appetite is kept in-check. Contrary to what you may think, drinking enough water will also prevent nasty cycles of bloating and water-weight-gain that so many women struggle with from day-to-day (our bodies hold onto water weight only when we don’t get enough of it!)
- Eat whole grains instead of refined ones – Not all carbs are created equal! Although whole grains and table sugar both end up as glucose in your blood stream, much less insulin is released when you eat WHOLE grains. This means less fat storage! Many whole grains also contain a lot more fiber, which also inhibits fat storage by binding with fat molecules during digestion. The abundant vitamins, minerals and enzymes specific to whole grains also make our bodies more metabolically active. If the grain isn’t WHOLE grain, skip it!
- Eliminate all excess sugars, salts, and fats from your diet - This includes all non-diet sodas, white breads, cookies, chips, and deep-fried foods. These items have no nutritional value. Plus, after a few weeks without these awful things, you won't want ‘em anymore anyway -- Your body will thank you! Also watch out for fatty salad dressings, the #1 source of fat in most women’s diets.
- Don’t eat within 3 hours of bed-time - Don’t eat within 3 hours of going to sleep, because this is wasted fuel that your body does not need before bed. If you find that you are still hungry at the end of the day, then start by adding in extra servings of non-starchy vegetables at any of your meals or snacks.
- Drink Green tea! -This is basically nature’s very own “diet pill”. Drink it iced or hot, (without added sugar) in the morning for the ultimate energy and metabolism boost! If you need to sweeten it, add a bit of honey!
- Eat enough healthy oil!-(if you don’t get the recommended 2 Tablespoons of healthy oil per day from fish, nuts, and salad dressings, then take 3 fish oil capsules in the morning)
- Keep a log of what you eat!-Studies have shown that women under-estimate their caloric intake by as much as 700 calories/day on average! That’s why writing down what you eat is so important when you start any fitness program. In fact, studies have also shown that women who kept a food log lost an average of 7 lbs more than those who didn’t keep track. While I am not saying you should write down everything you eat from now until the end of time, I AM saying that you SHOULD write down everything you eat while you are on this program. In fact, after 10 weeks or so of keeping track, you won’t need to anymore… because at that point, eating for optimal health and fitness will be naturally ingrained into your mind and your daily routine.
Do you already follow these 11 rules?? If not, start adding the rules into your daily routine one-by-one until they have become a part of the new, sexier, happier you!