Every year millions of people spend billions of dollars to get in shape, get lean and lose that unwanted weight but fail! Are you one of those people?
Through all types of media, we are told we need to be healthy, lose weight, build muscle and we should be eating a sensible diet if we want to live a long life. We are told people who get lean and stay lean tend to live longer.
We are told to eat a diet that includes 4-5 meals a day. Many people skip breakfast but breakfast is truly the most important meal of the day. Many of opt to snack until lunch. Then we over eat and go back to our desk job where we sit for the next 4 hours. We snack again until dinner and then we tend to over eat again because we know we will most likely miss breakfast again.
Does this sound familiar? If this does check out this article on how to do proper meal planning.
The other problem is the same media that is telling us to eat health and workout is bombarding us with commercials that encourage us to eat fast food. Food that is high in sugar, carbohydrates, salt and fats.
With all the mix messaging we are subjected to no wonders the health industry is making billions each year as we continue to struggle towards our fitness goals.
My Reason to Get Lean
I believe we all want to lose that unwanted weight. We all would like to live healthier lifestyles. We can all live healthy well past the age of 100 and not need a cane, a wheel chair or any assistance. That’s a goal we should all strive for.
This would mean we would live longer, need less assistance from doctors and the pharmaceutical industry.
May 3, 2018, I will turn 40 years old. As I inch closer each day I realize my body is not the same body that it was when I was 20.
I believe if I had focused on my health more in my 20’s and 30’s I could have a healthier physique.
The great thing is I could get lean by the age for 40. I could be stronger, faster and in the best shape of my life.
My Diet Before
Each day I do my best to eat as healthy. On Tuesdays, I do not eat meat. My parents asked me not to when I was young. I adopted that habit as a part of my lifestyle.
As the New Year approaches, many of us will want to get the holiday weight off. We will work towards losing the extra weight that we have wanted to for years.
Some of us will succeed but far too many of us will try again next year.
Do I always eat healthy? NO.
Do I always drink 3 – 4 liters of water each day? NO.
My wife, Lien Kaura, and I do our best to eat health every day, there are days we eat less than our best.
We are not perfect and do enjoy eating chips, candy, cookies fries, burgers and pizza. One thing we have focused on is look for ways to not over indulge in these foods, so we can live the health lifestyle we want.
Cleaning up My Diet
Last year I came across Tim Ferriss book, The 4-hour Body. I started applying the information Tim give in his book and I lost 10 pounds without any exercise.
My results were based on me sticking to a diet where I counted my carbs, fats and protein intake. I also sat down and did my best to develop a meal that worked for me and my diet restrictions.
9 Tips for Better Heath
Below I share with you 9 tips which I have used over the years to eat right and get leaner as I get older. These tips have worked for me and if you apply them I know they will also work for you.
Remember if you do not feel you are in shape that ok. You can start today and change the life you have, to the life you want.
The 9 tips will help you get lean but you must stick to your personal health goals. Fitness is about the long-term not short team lifestyle.
Remove Junk Food from Your Home
This first tip is the easiest to do but not always the easiest steps to follow.
After reading this first section go to your pantry and follow the instructions. Then come back and proceed to the next tip.
Go to the pantry and removing the chips, cookies, candies and anything you know is not good for you.
You can tell which items you will need to remove at the unhealthy foods are usually high in sugar, fats, carbs and salt. They also tend to be highly processed.
If you have not opened any of the items, you can donate it to the food bank. Now if the items are open, then you have two choices to make. First you can finish the food which I do not recommend or you can throw it out. I don’t recommend throwing out food but if we are going to get serious then this is a step you will have to take.
When I got serious, I picked the second choice. When there is no junk food in your home you are forced to find something healthy to eat.
Eat Protein, Carbs and Fats with Every Meal
With all the talk of no carbohydrates, gluten free, low fat, high protein diets it can be hard to know what to eat every meal without being confused.
When I learned about eating within my marcos my diet plan changed again. You can figure out what percentage of protein, carbs and fats you need to eat by going to the IIFYM calculator.
I started preparing my breakfast, snacks and lunch the night before. This mean I still get a great home cooked meal every night.
I have found ways to eat healthy fats such as avocados, health carbs such as veggies and a small amount of animal protein with every meal.
Your body needs all three along with various vitamins and amino acids to function. Give your body what it needs and give it the best options from all three groups.
You begin to find when you exercise and eat right your body burns fast for energy.
Do not Snack After Dinner
If you are just starting off at the gym, doing yoga, cardio, CrossFit, biking, cycling, walking or hiking you will notice that you are hungrier than normal. Don’t be alarmed, its ok because your body needs energy to do these activities you may not have been doing before.
I recommend not snacking after dinner. Something you may want to consider is to have more meals during the day.
To cut down on my snacking after dinner I have set up my meal plan where I have a snack between 930-10pm. My snack keeps in within my allowable fats, carbs and proteins without going over my marco count.
I’m not perfect and sometimes I want to reach for something other than my last meal of the day but since I clean out my pantry it is hard to find any junk food.
If you did step one already good. If you did not go and clean out the pantry then go and do it right now.
When there is no junk food in your home, you will not snack. If you want to snack at least you will reach for something healthier like a piece of fruit or some veggies.
Do Not Fast for Long Periods of Time
Unless your celebrating Ramadan and it is a part of your religious believes too fast, I do not recommend fasting for long periods of time.
If you want to get lean you can’t skip meal contrary to the believe if you eat less you will lose weight.
Sometimes people think that if you skip a meal it’s a smart thing to do. The logic behind what the though is sounds good. Sure, you might lose weight in the short-term but our goal is long-term health and fitness goals.
If you are not eating your recommended calories based on your activity level you can gain weight.
When you skip meals, you cause your body to go into starvation mode. The next time you eat a meal your body can decide to store the calories from that meal as fat on your body, instead of using it as fuel to run your body.
Your body does this because it does not know when the next meal will come. It could be something our bodies have been doing since the hunter and gather days.
It is much better for us to eat 5 or 6 small meals each day and not to skip meals unless you are sleeping.
Don’t Quit at Your First Setback
Not everyone is able to accomplish the goals they set the first time they attempt to for them.
There are going to be times when you are not going to be able to control what is for breakfast, the types of snacks available, what is for lunch and dinner.
There will be times when you are out at a party, a work social or on vacation and there will be a bowl of something unhealthy for us to eat.
That ok. You should live a little. If you are hungry and don’t want to miss a meal then have just a few.
Let’s say you could not help yourself and you ate the whole bowl of chip. Don’t be mad at yourself. You are not off track and you will not fail at your health and fitness goals. You can still get lean.
What you can do is revisit your goals. Have a plan for situations where there are events you will go out to. For you to reach your fitness goal you should know some alternative foods you can eat outside of your set meal plan.
If you do eat the chips or the whole bag, remind yourself why you ate them in the first place. Was it because that all that was available or was it because you could not help yourself? Make a conscious effort to look for something better to eat next time.
Enjoy in Moderations
This may not be easy all the time. We all want to enjoy our favorite foods guilt free even if they are not the best for us and will not get the desired results we are working towards.
We have already talked about replacing junk food with healthier options.
If you like your beer, wine or cocktail remember to drink in moderations. A glass of beer with a meal now and then is fine.
Tim Ferriss says a 4oz glass of wine with dinner was ok with his diet plan.
It’s when you drink that third or fourth glass of beer, wine or cocktail that takes you away from your health goal.
Remember although you may enjoy that extra glass of beer, wine or cocktail it is empty calories.
If you are not able to say no to certain food and work towards your goal of getting lean, then take small steps. You can succeed if you try.
It is not a crime to eat what you love and it is your body and you can choose to put anything you like into it.
But if your goal is to get fit and live a healthier lean lifestyle then you will need to become conscious of your decisions.
If your goal is to get lean, I would recommend considering a health and fitness app. When you use this type of app you soon learn to say NO to certain foods and drinks. The app helps you stay on track as you count our marcos.
Eat Pre and Post Workout Meals
It is not unusual for most people who go to the gym to have a pre and post workout meal. They include these 2 meals as snacks and they are a part of the 6 meals they eat daily.
We you exercise you need to make sure we have enough energy for a good workout if we are going to achieve the results you want.
If you are going to the gym, for a walk, doing yoga or any type of exercise you will need to eat something your body can use as fuel.
After your workout is complete, this is a critical time. This is when your body is screaming for nutrition. After a cardio workout of heavy weight workout your body will need carbs.
Have a protein shake or protein bar to fuel, repair and energize your muscles.
Use Less Condiments with Your Meals
I have a confession to make. Before I cleaned out my pantry and fridge I used to be the condiments king.
You could find Ketchup, Bar-B-Que sauce, various hot sauce, mayo, soya sauce and other random sauces. To this day, I still miss having 5 different dips for my French fries. I used to believe the lie the media told me, the sauces enhanced the taste.
Over the last 10 years, I have cut down on the amount of sauces I use. Today I have 1 dipping sauce, usually hot sauce. I have cut out unnecessary calories that were adding to my waist line.
Instead of using BBQ sauce, ketchup, salt, soya sauce or mayo, today I reach for dry spices such as Cheyenne pepper, mustard, garlic and ginger powder.
Have A Cheat Meal
Like I mentioned early I have made a meal plan that works for me. It allows me to eat the right amount of fats, proteins and carbs each day.
I have also included in my meal plan one cheat meal each week. The cheat meal does not take me over my macro count. I am still able to eat within my needed calories.
If I know I will be headed to a party or a work social I adjust my eating based on that.
I have heard people say the idea of the cheat meal is to trick the body in to believing it is getting food it normally does not get, so it processes it differently.
Win-Win I would say. You get to enjoy a meal you have been working hard for all week and you still allow your body to work on getting you lean.
Remember you do deserve that cheat mean. You also need to remember that it’s a meal. Do not over eat and eat your normal portion size.
There are many ways to get fit and get lean. I have shared with you 9 different ways you can achieve your health goals.
It is important to drink water the recommended 2-4 liters of water each day.
These are just a few simple things you can start today, to see some results.
I would recommend finding a fitness partner to exercise with. If you are married get your spouse on board. If you are not married look to a friend or co-worker.
It is a lot easier if you have someone you can be accountable with your goals.
If you want to get lean it will not happen overnight. It has taken you year of not looking after your health. The good news is within a short period of time you can reverse the negative results you have been living with.
What one tips will you implement today to start your health and fitness journey?
Share these 9 tips on your favorite social media.
Leave a comment below and let me know much weight you are planning to lose and keep me posted on your journey.
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Maveen has built his career in Banking, Insurance, Home and Automobile Sales. Providing exceptional customer service is his passion. Writing is a way to share his knowledge and help change the lives of million of people. Like the Facebook Page to support him.