When a diet becomes a lifestyle
Many of us start a new fitness or nutritional journey with a result in mind; whether it be weight loss or tone muscles, or to fit in a bikini. As women, this feat can be extra scary. I wanted to talk a little about “guidelines.” Some of the major questions I get is how do [...]
Many of us start a new fitness or nutritional journey with a result in mind; whether it be weight loss or tone muscles, or to fit in a bikini. As women, this feat can be extra scary. I wanted to talk a little about “guidelines.” Some of the major questions I get is how do I compare my needs to the recommended guidelines? How do I lose weight without starving? How can I tone my muscles without bulking up? The three keys to answering those questions are; why your “diet” matters, When to eat and what, and What to expect. I think once we recognize all the indicators that help focus our results, we will better understand the guidelines that are set up for us.
Let’s talk recommended guidelines. If all things and people were created equal and there was a simple solution that would fit us all, we would all just follow it to a tee and look like Jessica Alba, right? Well, obviously, that isn’t the case. When it comes to calories per day the recommended amount is usually 1200. There are a ton of formulas out there to figure out your energy level (your resting metabolic rate and your daily activity burn). This exact formula can be found in the P90X Nutrition Guide on page 5. Here is the thing…it is just a guide. I like to tell people who are beginning a change in their “diet” to figure out how many calories they are consuming currently, what percentage comes from carbohydrates, proteins, fats. Only once you know your current caloric intake can you begin to tweak it.
Why your “diet” matters is very important to understand when it comes to changing it. I have the word diet in quotations because I believe this word should represent all of the foods you place on your plate and not the societal notion of “lettuce and carrots.” The simple understanding is this, the better you eat, the better you’ll feel, the better you’ll feel, the more work (exercise) you will do. The result being that your body will begin to burn the stored energy you have (body fat) and increase your lean muscles. On average lean muscle per pound burns 50 more calories.
Okay so know you know that what you eat matters and why, so now WHAT do you eat, and when? First things first, toss out all the C.R.A.P. (Carbonated, Refined, Artificial, Processed foods) I know it is a hard task, but your success will equate your effort. Here is a trick, start small. Make a list of all of the C.R.A.P that infiltrates your house. Then cross off 2 or 3 things you can immediately eliminate. Work every week to get rid of one more. The next thing to do is focus on the foods you can add into your diet. Sometimes replacing old foods with new ones is easier than the thought of eliminating old ones. It is also important to have an eating schedule. Once you figure out how many calories per day you will be eating, next you will need to decide how many meals you will eat a day. And then you can distribute the calories accordingly. Keeping a schedule and eating even if you do not feel hungry is important because it will keep your blood sugar regulated. This avoids the peaks and falls which can happen and then lead to over eating and making poor eating choices. The most successful people are those who eat small, planned meals and eat often throughout the day. Keep in mind the last meal should be about 3 hours before you go to bed to avoid all remaining carbs to become stored as fat.
Now that you have an eating plan and your diet becomes more of a life style change, what are some things to expect? As you continue to mold and shape your body from the inside out, you will notice some major changes. You will begin to build strength and lean muscle mass. And in doing so you may not see huge results on the scale. My advice is to try on your favorite pair of jeans before you begin a new “diet” and then use those jeans to help gauge your progress. You will begin to feel the results in your clothing and with your increase in energy.
Here are some quick tips directly from the P90X Nutrition Guide:
-Do not skip meals and eat off schedule
-Do not follow trends and fads, such as overemphasizing certain food groups and completely excluding others.
-Do plan your food choices ahead of time.
-Do not skimp on fruits and vegetables.
-DO drink plenty of water (6-8 12oz glasses a day)