You know I love Beachbody programs and their nutrition guides. They put together solid guidelines for getting people in shape IF they are followed exactly. But what about those basic survival tips that help a person stay lean and mean for a lifetime? Here are a few things I’ve done over the years that have really helped me keep the weight off. I didn’t apply these all at once, it was a slow processes of testing and eliminating but what matters is starting. YMMV….
1. SUGAR BOMB
I mention sugar a lot in my articles. I honestly believe it is one of the biggest detriments to our waistline these days. We can get super technical counting grams and carbs, but the basic idea today is this: Pick something with a lot of sugar in it that you eat regularly and eliminate it. Maybe you love orange juice, maybe you eat 2 bananas a day, perhaps its ice cream or a coffee milk-shake thingie. Doesn’t matter. Look at your daily routine and eliminate the item with the most sugar. Be mindful to not replace the missing item with a different, equally sugary item. Do this one thing until you are used to it and have a new routine. Then pick another tweak to tackle.
2. SALT LICK
Next on the list is reducing your salt intake. Look at your daily routine again. What has the most salt? Fries? Chips? Canned or dried soups? Frozen meals? Take a look at the labels in your house and when you eat out. Pick something full of salt that you regularly eat and eliminate it. If you want to take it further, try and reduce salt everywhere. But if you only do this one thing it will help. A lot. In fact, just be reducing salt you might drop a few lbs in the first week.
Even the healthiest foods in to much quantity will make you gain weight or lead to other health problems. So once you have reduced your sugar & salt intake and you feel like you’ve mastered those changes, its time to work on the quantity of food you eat. The easiest way is of course a food portioning system that does the thinking for you. But in general this is about making better choices. Eat less pizza, cut your burger in half, only have half the giant burrito, order the small margarita (no salt), etc. And in its place, fill up on healthily prepared veggies or even a boring plain salad. You are still eating the foods you love, but you are eating less of them and filling up on something healthy.
Want to know the real key to success? People who keep the weight off will go through steps 1-3 regularly. Repeatedly taking stock of their diet, then making adjustments as necessary. For instance. I recently noticed my weight was ever so slowly starting to creep upwards. Now I eat a pretty darn healthy diet, but there were two things I had added over the last year. I had added a gluten-free granola to my yogurt and I had started eating Kind bars as a snack. Well, those are both full of sugar despite being “healthy” choices in general. They are both the most processed of the foods I eat as well. I eliminated those two last week and I can already see my weight slowly inching down.
These changes are just tiny drips in the bucket of life, but drips add up. And you know what? Its a hell of a lot easier to eliminate a few drips from accumulating than it is to empty an entire bucket! So today, find something to change and then stick to it. It can be small and easy, that’s the point. Small and easy adds up if done EVERY DAY.