By Jaime Brenkus, L.E.A.N. Living
Becoming frustrated with the process is a big reason many of us find it easier to give up rather than face the challenge of slow and steady progress.
Our mind is a very powerful entity. When we make the decision to become healthy, lose inches, drop clothing sizes, and become LEAN, many of us expect those changes to happen within a matter of weeks. Progress takes time. This steady approach works 100 % percent of the time…even if you’ve failed in the past.
If you truly want to change…your focus needs to be on becoming Fit, Healthy and Strong…not only with your body, but also with your daily thoughts.
- Eat about 20% below your current calorie level. For instance, if you’re eating approximately 1800 calories for the day, take your intake down to approximately 1400 calories for the day. Plan to eat about the same number of calories at each meal throughout the day. The total should be within your calorie range. This ensures that you will tip that energy equation in the right direction without cutting out your favorite foods. Your first task this week is to substitute, or get rid of something you eat on a regular basis that isn’t healthy for you.
- Eat something every 2 to 3 hours: Keep your metabolism revved and your blood sugar level in check. This will help with both cravings and energy. These don’t have to be full-course meals, just enough food to get to the next meal without being starved. Think about 300-500 calories of healthy, balanced, filling, whole foods. I’ve found that when you graze throughout the day, it keeps your sugar levels even.
- Eat something green every day.I need to see something green on your plate today. Have a salad for lunch instead of fries. Double up on your dinner vegetables today. Eat 4 to 5 servings of vegetables per day. This is as simple as having 1-2 servings with each meal you eat. Make vegetables the Superstars of your plate.
- Don’t join the cLEAN plate club. I want you to leave something on your plate today. Try it. You don’t have to eat everything that’s in front of you. Chances are, you’re eating more than you really need, simply because you were taught to cLEAN your plate, even when portions weren’t carefully measured for weight control.
- Have a LEAN protein at every meal. Basic rule: feed your muscles to stave off hunger. This is important for satiety (feeling of fullness). Eat a source of complete, high-quality protein with each meal. Keep your proteins LEAN, which include turkey, chicken, pork, eggs, egg whites, or any type of fish. Eat only 3-4 ounces per meal. If you want to get LEANer faster, make seafood the protein on your plate 2-3 times this week. For the next seven days, eat red meat only once.
- The kitchen is closed after 7:30 PM. This is such an easy fix, and an effective way to get LEAN. Although your body doesn’t know what time of the day you’re consuming calories, the bottom line is that late-night eating adds to your inch gain because you have less time to burn off calories. Let’s face it, who really wants to burn off those extra calories when you’re tired at night?