(This article comes from May 6th weekly motivational email newsletter. To receive motivation straight to your email every week, sign up for my mailing list here.)
Have you ever heard someone say, “Well, I went to the gym today so I can have it.” Or have you said it yourself? Too many people think that just because they get a workout in, they can eat whatever they want…and then they wonder why they’re not seeing any results on the scale!
If you want to see a loss in weight and fat, your diet is even more important than your workouts. Don’t get me wrong, you still have to get in activity to keep your body working – but 80% of weight loss is in the kitchen!
Want that six pack? Crunch all you want…but you have to get rid of what’s covering those muscles by cleaning up what you put in your mouth.
Weight loss very simply comes down to calories in vs. calories out. You always want to burn more than you’re eating, which will equal steady and healthy weight loss. A pound of fat equals 3,500 calories, which means if you want to lose 1 pound a week you should burn at least 500 calories more than you eat a day, and if you want to lose 2 pounds a week you should burn at least 1,000 calories more than you eat a day. Anything over a 1,000 deficit can put your body into starvation mode and you definitely don’t want that – so keep your deficit between 500 and 1,000 calories a day to see results.
Those calories you take in need to be good calories, too! If you’re filling your body with greasy burgers and fries, it will act like it’s fueled on grease and you probably won’t see a change on the scale no matter how much you workout, and you probably won’t feel that great either. But if you fill it with lean meats, whole grains, and fruits and veggies, you will not only feel so much better but it will reward you with results!
Not sure how much you’re burning daily? The Fitbit is a wonderful tool that truly puts everything into black and white, and I’ve seen a lot of results with it. You pay $100 initially for the purchase, but after that all monitoring is free – such a great deal! And I highly recommend you start tracking your calorie intake with My Fitness Pal, which is a free website and mobile app that will help you see exactly what you’re putting in your mouth, and will help you figure out how many calories a day you should be eating. It makes calorie tracking SO easy, even my husband uses it…and he’s so finicky about any type of tracking, he’ll usually throw it to the side if it’s too complicated. If you have a Fitbit, it works seamlessly with it…another perk!
If you don’t record what you’re eating, it’s super easy to consume an extra 100-300+ calories that you don’t even think of…and completely ruin your results.
If you’re at a loss for where to start cleaning up your diet, here’s some helpful tips. And of course you can always contact me - I’m here to help!
- Eat at least 1,200 calories a day, never under. A common misconception is you have to eat less to lose weight, and that’s wrong. I can honestly tell you that I lost more when I was eating 2,300 calories a day (with big workouts) than when I was only eating 1,500 calories a day – you have to fuel your body correctly! If you eat too little, your body will think that you’re not giving it anything else, and it will hold onto every calorie that you put into it, not knowing when the next fuel will be arriving. Eat!
- Go through your house and pitch all processed food, your body doesn’t need it. Cookies, chips, soda, etc. And don’t bring it back in! If you don’t have it in your house, you’re more likely not to cheat.
- When shopping at the grocery store, stick to the outer ring as much as possible – those are the foods you need. Only go into the middle aisles for specific items. Make sure you take a list with you…and stick to it!
- Consume 5-6 meals a day (3 meals, 2-3 snacks in between) to keep your metabolism working with with the good calories you’re putting into your body. If it has to keep figuring out what to do with everything you’re eating, it will work for you all day long.
- At meal time, portion your plate correctly: 50% veggies, 30% lean meat, 20% whole grain. If you have a fat of any kind (like butter or oil), keep it very small. Every night at dinner, my husband and I have a fresh salad with our meal to make sure we’re getting in our veggies, and also to help make us more full with less calories. Works every time!
- Eat breakfast! People who eat a healthy, balanced breakfast lose more weight because they’re less hungry throughout the day, and they start the day by giving their metabolism a jump start.
- Drink your water! You should be drinking at least 64 ounces of water each day – and your final goal should be half of your body weight in ounces (so if you weigh 170 pounds, your goal should be 85 ounces). Drink periodically throughout the day, which will help you feel more full…and soon you’ll start to understand when you’re hungry vs. when you’re “bored hungry.”
- Plan ahead for your week of meals – the more prepared you are, the less likely you’ll be to order a pizza last minute because no one can decide on what to eat, or you don’t have what you need in the house. If you’re going out to eat, look at the online menu and plan ahead there, too.