I’ve been talking to a lot of friends lately about their own “healthy” friends. Here are the common beliefs among these friends:
The less food I eat, the small I will be.
The less often I eat, the small I will be.
The less fat I eat, the more fat I will lose.
The more cardio I do, the more calories I’ll burn and the more weight I’ll lose.
I will still lose weight if I eat candy or desserts, as long as I skip a meal.
I will lose weight as long as I’m eating salads and cottage cheese.
No matter how little I eat, I don’t lose weight.
It’s hard to lose weight in your 20’s. Your metabolism really slows down.
I don’t weightlift because I don’t want to get bulky.
I can drink alcohol because I didn’t eat dinner.
If a calorie is a calorie, it doesn’t matter what type of food I eat as long as I stay within my calories.
If this sounds like you, it’s time to do some research. If this sounds like a friend of yours, make sure to leave one ear open when chatting with them, so his or her health advice can go in one ear and out the other!
There are many food myths out there, but the truth is, you cannot rely on “common sense” to lose weight. Weight loss is a science.
Anyone can lose weight, and anyone can have the body he or she desires. There are very effective and healthier ways to lose weight, so why wouldn’t you do your research first?
My weight loss advice:
1. The template or outline of your meals should only include a variation of the following: lean protein, vegetables, complex carbohydrates, and/or healthy, natural fat.
2. Eat frequently. Eat every 3 hours. This means smaller serving sizes.
3. Do not eat processed snack foods. I don’t care if they are low in sugar, low in calories, or organic. They are low grade fuel compared to whole foods.
4. Drink water. Frequently.
5. Weightlift to boost your metabolism. More muscle= more calories burned just sitting there. This is the best method to shape and sculpt your body. Muscle is more compact than fat- it takes up less space for the same amount per pound. This means that even if the scale isn’t moving, you can still be shrinking.
6. Limit Sugar. Flavored yogurt may be low in calories, but it is high in sugar. Switch to plain yogurt, and you’ll be dropping double digit grams of sugar with each cup. Remember- there is NO nutritional benefit to sugar. And yes, dropping 5 pieces of fruit per day down to 2 will help you reach your goals (I know- fruit is a very healthy food option. The greatest concern of yours should be to cut sugar from the processed foods, candy, and dairy(like yogurt). Just don’t go crazy with fruit as a result!)
7. If you want something done right, do it yourself. This is why I cook- you can’t trust restaurants or your school’s convenient store to provide healthy food options. Take matters into your own hands. Come prepared and always bring your own food.
8.Commit to the lifestyle. What will I do once I lose the weight? EAT THE SAME FOODS! Give the sub-par food options up for good. You’re in it for the long run. No looking back.
9.You are your own time manager and food moderator. Take ownership of your actions. You are the one in control of your time and intake.
10.Believe in yourself. If you want to be healthy, you must believe you can do it. Remember- YOU are a part of the support system around you. Be your own cheerleader. While I have a great support system around me, I know I am the greatest believer in my own potential.
Don’t play into the magazines, tv infomercials, and friends who are trying to give you a “quick fix”. The “slow fix” is a healthy lifestyle.
But watch out- this “slow fix” will result in feelings of self-worth, confidence, positivity, strength, and limitless potential.