How do I start improving my nutrition when I don’t want to follow some strict diet? The good news is IT’S EASY! In this post I’m going to cover some changes you can start to make little by little that will improve your nutrition. As you make small changes and stick with them, they become habits. As you develop new eating habits, you will create a new lifestyle. The problem with diets is that we view them as temporary. When you meet your goals, you go back to your old ways and run the risk of gaining the weight back (sometimes more).
1. Read labels. Note serving size – all the nutrient amounts and values listed relate to the serving size. For example, the serving size for a popular cereal is ¾ cup. So if you eat 1 ½ cup, you have to double the calories, fats, etc. In general, when comparing labels, you want to choose the product with the lower fats, cholesterol and carbohydrates and the one with higher vitamins and minerals. If you are diabetic, pay particular attention to the amount of carbohydrates.
2. Eat more foods that don’t need labels. When you pick up an apple, you don’t need a label to figure out what is in it….it’s just apple! Try to eat vegetables with each meal (yes, even breakfast) and a serving of fruit a couple of times a day. When you have fruit, whole fruit is best so that you get
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Today is the Day to Begin Your Fitness Journey
Have you ever felt that losing weight or getting in shape seems impossible? This post is for you. I read a quote today by Charles C. Noble that is the inspiration for this post. It read, “You must have long term goals to keep you from being frustrated by short term failures.” So begin your transformation journey to a happier, healthier you by picturing what that might look like. Dwelling on how you look and feel right now is not productive and doesn’t get you up off the couch. I spent many years doing that so I know what I’m talking about. A couple of months ago I had an epiphany. I was already on a quest to “lose some weight.” Yes, my goal was that vague….”some weight.” I read an article about a lady in her 50’s that not only lost weight but became a bodybuilding champion. All of a sudden I had this thought that I had been selling myself short. I had the thought that I need to THINK BIGGER. I needed to see myself as more. I needed to see myself as being worth the journey…worth the work.
When I have set weight loss goals in the past I never set them low enough to be within my ideal body weight – I just wanted to be good enough. I began to change that thinking and see myself not only in a healthy weight range but FIT! When I began to think this way it was like a switch flipped in my head. Suddenly it all seemed possible. I began to be excited about working out and eating right. It totally changed my focus. I started realizing that I wasn’t on a diet but I was making permanent lifestyle changes. I have lost weight before but I was never fit.
So, where do you begin your fitness journey?
1. Set a goal. Think bigger. Think about what the ultimate you looks like and feels like. Go crazy. Be bold. Dare to dream. Write it down and commit to it. Then you can start working towards that goal one small step at a time. Break your goal down into small actionable steps.
2. Get an accountability partner. Studies show that people are more successful with weight loss and fitness when they have a support system for accountability. One easy way is to click here and join my team. I am an independent Beachbody coach and I love to help others take charge of their own health. Signing up to have a coach is free.
3. Start tracking your nutrition. Even before you make any changes in your eating it is helpful to start tracking every bite that goes into your mouth. You can do this on paper or online. My personal preference is myfitnesspal.com. The website is free and they have a great nutrition and fitness tracking system. Doing this every day will help you see what you are eating (including the bites that you take while you pack your kid’s lunches).
4. Take your measurements. Sometimes you can get frustrated when you see that the scale is not moving or (gasp!) moving in the wrong direction. This can happen when you first start building muscle. The scale may not show progress, but when you update your measurements you will see that you are actually slimming down.
5. Be patient. You didn’t get this way in just a week or two and it will take time to reach your goals. Forgive yourself when you get off track and move forward, pushing towards the goal. Begin your fitness journey today!
So, what does craving fitness mean to me? In a nutshell it means that I’m giving up the craving for weight loss and exchanging it for craving a lifestyle of taking care of the body God gave me in the way He intended. It means acknowledging my craving for Him first of all and seeking after Him with all that I am. It means that I am worrying less about the number on the scale. It means I am fueling my body with whole foods and exercising to keep my body functioning at its peak. It means I am connecting with others who can help me on this journey and whom I can help as well. This all sounds great, but it is a daily battle. It is not yet accomplished and it is not easy.
I have spent a lifetime craving food and the comforts that I thought it gave me. I was wrong and I was self-destructive. Why? I have no idea. It is so easy to slip into old patterns of behavior and writing this is a way of attempting to develop new habits and new patterns that can carry me to the finish line. The chorus of one of my new favorite songs says so much about the way I want to feel about myself. The song is called I am New by Jason Gray:
Hidden in Christ
Made in the image of the Giver of Life
Righteous and holy
Reborn and remade
Accepted and worthy
This is our new name”
Now to figure out how to live like these lyrics describe me.