I have a confession.
Late night binges and scrumptious afternoon treats had once been my protocol.
I would spend all day working or socializing and having a good ole’ time, to only be stopped in my tracks, left with no energy or super hungry because I didn’t prepare myself to eat a healthy dinner at a reasonable time.
Once or twice were merely a slap on the hand and I paid the price by feeling less than amazing, without focus, sleepy, and bloated. But as it became a habit, I started to see the physical changes in my body, my skin, my mental clarity, and my energy levels- and it wasn’t good!
I felt gross.
Through my own experimentation alone, I started to learn that proper nutrition and fueling of the body is essential for high energy levels, mental clarity, decreased stress and anxiety, and physical health. That is only naming a few!
I get it- you got a lot of shit going on! From work to family to the responsibilities of life, your day can get hectic. And let’s not forget the extra time it takes to take care of yourself and your needs AND still have a social life that is fun and fulfilling. I get it!
It is in these times of busyness and enjoying life experiences (because not all busyness has to be stressful) that proper nutrition appears to be more of a hassle. And, it the time that most people fail! It is more time that has to be spent on planning, but in the long run and with consistency, you will benefit greatly from proper nutritional planning.
We all know the benefits of eating right. I am not telling you anything new. There truly is no magic in all of that. We all know that if you eat healthy foods with portion sizes that are appropriate for your activity levels and you exercise to help build lean muscle to keep your metabolism elevated, you will improve your health. That is not rocket science. Then why is it so damn hard to maintain weight and keep your energy buzzing?
Because of everything else in life that challenges the basic building blocks of weight-loss and massive amounts of energy.
During busy times or times where you are socializing more and/or vacationing, having some guidelines to help steer you in the right direction will help you lose weight and keep your energy levels up. There are a ton of things you can do!
Since what you eat is 80% of your results, then let’s start with nutrition. Here are my top 5 tips:
- Cut down on junk food, alcohol, and eating out. Even if your workouts are done with maximum effort and focus, there will be no substantial gains if unhealthy fatty food and alcohol are consumed in excess. The first and easiest way to modify body composition and increase your mental and emotional health is to minimize or eliminate soft drinks, high fructose juice drinks, increased amounts of alcohol, and processed “junk foods” from the diet.
- Avoid late night binges. Eating late at night increases weight gain and interrupts sleep cycles. When you eat during the day, you are active and the metabolism is high. At night, the metabolism decreases and the food will not be digested as quickly. Not only is digestion slowed but it also interferes with the sleep cycles. Digestion will frequently wake you up and decrease the amount of REM sleep you are obtaining. The less quality sleep, the more likely you are to be unrested and stressed. Increased stress in the body increases cortisol levels which, in return, can greatly increase body fat and weight gain. If you must eat before bed, make it light and make it more carbohydrates and fats. Too much protein at night is hard to digest and it can interrupt your sleep.
- Eat small, frequent meals. By turning those 3-4 hefty meals into 6-8 smaller meals consumed every 2-4 waking hours, the risk of overeating is decreased and the metabolism is drastically increased. More frequent fueling means more fire to burn those calories. Eating smaller meals often will also decrease the amount of energy required to digest the food.
- Eat protein, healthy fats, and fiber-rich foods to decrease your hunger. Carbohydrates are essential for energy production and keeping our energy high. Protein, healthy fats, and fiber are extremely important for maintaining a healthy weight because they help to keep you fuller longer. Carbohydrates are broken down by the body faster than protein and fiber. Try adding these to your daily diet- Flax seeds, aduki beans, black beans, lentils, quinoa, oats, avocado, coconut oil, carrots, green leafy vegetables, and cruciferous vegetables.
- Focus on unprocessed, whole natural foods (and make them raw when you can!).
Love your fruits and veggies!!! Try to eat fresh, unprocessed fruits and veggies as much as possible. Raw foods creates raw, bountiful energy. Anytime you can eat raw is a bonus! Eliminate or limit processed grains, white flour, and sugar. These three zap your energy faster than you can pour your next cup of coffee! They also deplete your overall health and emotional well-being.
Take action now! Which tip can you start with? Which one resonates with you and how can you start to take back your health, even during your most busiest of times?
Pick one of these tips and make a plan. Plan out exactly what you will do and how you will put it into action. Having a plan sets you up for success so that you are not second-guessing yourself and letting yourself fall into old, unproductive habits!
Go to the comment section. Make a comment and let me know what you have struggled with, what you have tried, and what your action plan is. The best discussions start between like-minded friends! Share this with your friends and get more people in on the action.
Do you want to learn more? This was a just a snippet into how you can apply this to your own life. If you are craving more and need to make a change in your life right now (or even if you are scared and don’t know what to do), I am here to guide you in the right direction. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about what you can do to get you from where you are now to where you always dreamed you wanted to be.
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