It’s opportunity time. The year is almost over, so most of us start to focus on what we are going to do differently next year. If getting fit and healthy is on your list, here are a few tips to start the year out right.
1. What you eat is everything. You can work out until the cows come home, but if you want to see those rock-solid six-pack abs, you need to stop eating your way to tubby town.
2. Don’t agonize over genetics. Each and every body is different, but great results are possible for all shapes and sizes. So don’t blame genetics either. And speaking of the blame game, don’t blame anything — not the temperature of your house, not the color of your kitchen, not the smell of your office.
3. The foundation of any good weight loss nutrition plan is lean protein and green vegetables. You can eat broccoli until you throw up before it would cause you to gain weight. And protein is an important component of every cell in the body. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues, make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. But unlike fat and carbohydrates, the body does not store protein, and therefore has no reservoir to draw on when it needs a new supply.
4. Add low Glycemic Index foods (such as brown rice, whole grains, nuts, and oatmeal) to each day. Carbs often get a bad rap, but the reality is that they provide many vitamins and nutrients that are essential for fat loss and metabolic function.
5. Watch liquids. Water should be the most common drink — try for at least 6 to 8 glasses per day. Drinking water before and after meals causes that full feeling, which can prevent overeating.
6. Cheat meals every now and then are okay. I love to go to Red Robin for the endless basket of fries. Pizza also tops my list. This may sound counterproductive, but weight loss can’t happen if people are too strict with their diets. Eventually, they break down and fall off the wagon for good.
7. When snacking, always add a protein to that carb. Only eating carbs for a snack can cause an insulin spike, which can lead to big time cravings or hunger pangs later on. Adding protein keeps the insulin stable and produces a slower release of energy that keeps us on track throughout the day.
8.Fill up on fiber by eating fruits, whole wheat, lentils, beans, nuts, veggies, and even certain types of cereal can be a great way to create a sense of fullness, while providing a key nutrients to the body that will help with weight loss.