New Year, New Waistline!
By: Erin Toth
Summer is right around the corner and we all have resolutions we would like to tackle, whether it’s weight loss, weight gain, sleeping more – the list goes on. If you’re anything like me, losing weight is always towards the top. We all spend a lot of time in the gym each week and it’s important for that hard work to show. That’s where the motivation comes from, seeing results!
There are a couple important things you need to get a handle on before the numbers on the scale begin to change: exercise, recovery, and nutrition. Chances are, if you’re reading this you’ve already found a great gym that will help you tackle the exercise part! Second is recovery. That includes sleeping 6-8 hours each night, staying hydrated from the minute you leave the gym until you get back for your next session, and listening to your body when it needs a break. Last and certainly not least, is your nutrition. Initiating a healthier lifestyle can be exhausting, so were going to work on this slowly. Going cold turkey doesn’t really work long term, so here are some goals to shoot for as we begin your weight loss journey:
Week 1: Don’t change anything IN your diet… easy right! Let’s focus on serving sizes
- At home, put those small “side” plates to use for a visual of proper serving sizes!
- When you’re out with friends or family, share an entrée! If that’s not your style, consider packing half to-go before you start digging in…out of sight out of mind!
- Do NOT skip meals, especially breakfast. You’re likely to make bad decisions when you’re famished. We’re laying ground work for denying those donuts your co-workers will bring in next week J
- Drink 16-20oz of water as SOON as you wake up in the morning. You could have a bottle next to the bed or a cup ready in the bathroom. Also have a glass just before lunch and dinner. It is important to drink throughout the day… but these instances are a must.
Week 2: Continue on with week one’s goals, while eliminating one thing you eat regularly that is filled with “empty calories”.
- Have one serving of this food on Saturday or Sunday if you’d like (i.e. cookies, sweets, fried foods, sugar in your coffee, chips, soda, sports drinks when not playing sports, etc.).
Week 3: Along with week 1 & 2 goals, this week let’s eliminate all “fat-free” or “sugar-free” foods.
- These foods may have less fat and sugar per se, but they are not better for you. Full-fat dairy is a great source of protein and saturated fats. When you take out fat and sugar… you better believe they’re adding something artificial to replace it. Eat REAL food; no chemicals/additives J
Week 4: To ensure you’re getting all essential vitamins and minerals, include all colors of the rainbow (fruits and veggies).
- Colors are good indicators of which vitamins/minerals are in your food. For example, while green veggies provide plenty of folate, iron, and fiber they lack the vitamin A found in orange veggies like sweet potatoes and carrots! A “balanced” diet means just that… your diet must include a variety of meats, fruits, veggies, nuts, and grains. By doing this you won’t need that pesky daily multi-vitamin (unless Rx’d by your doctor).
Next month we will build on these fundamental ideas. Your challenge this month with be to eat a little healthier than the day before, get in the gym 3-4 times week, and take part in the Cave’s monthly challenge. Good luck… but remember, accomplishing goals is less about luck and more about action!
About the author:
My love for Nutrition began during my ten years of naval service as a Command Fitness Leader, and matured further when I found CrossFit Caveman. I have a B.S. in Nutrition (University of Houston) and earning my M.S. in Nutrition at Texas Woman’s University. I am also interning at the Michael E. DeBakey VA hospital as a Registered Dietitian. As a former member/Certified Level 1 Coach of CrossFit Caveman (2012), I’m a true believer of CrossFit Caveman’s philosophy and the unique community they have built over the years. I have a deep passion for fitness and nutrition, and how they both lend to a better quality of life.