Here’s a series of 10 tips for faster results. There are many things you can do to jumpstart your program (such as switching up your foods, being more critical about your sugar intake, eating every 3 hours and committing to lifting weights), but these 10 will give you a lot of bang for your buck. Next time you’re wondering why you’re stalled out, check the list. And as always, the top three never change:
1. Hit your calories. 2. Eat clean food. 3. Aim for your macros every day.
Sleep is important for a variety of reasons. You make better choices when you are rested. You treat yourself better, are calmer and have more energy. Sleep deprivation alters levels of hormones in the body that regulate hunger, causing an increase in appetite and cravings. Understanding this is easier than doing it! Here are some tips for getting a good night’s sleep.
√ Keep caffeine to before lunch
√ Exercise during the day to elevate your heart rate
√ Warm herbal tea in the evening
√ Warm baths before bedtime
√ Yoga or stretching in the evening
√ Limit electronics in the evening and stop at least an hour prior to bedtime. Do as I say, not as I do (eyes rolling)
√ Try reading before trying to sleep
√ Check the quality of your mattress and pillow. Does it support you and yet cushion your curves?
√ Don’t work and watch TV in your bedroom, it’s for two things and two things only! Okay, you can get dressed there, too.
√ Keep your room clean and bed made if you find that comforting. I love getting into a neat bed. It relaxes me.
√ Keep your bedroom cool and sleep with a window open if possible (and safe).
√ Keep your bedroom dark. Night lights are nice, but they aren’t conducive to deep rest. Same with those bright alarm clocks. Cover them up.
√ Use earplugs as necessary. I use a humidifier to block out sound and earplugs to block out the humidifier! If you have small kids, this may not be the best plan but baby monitors will help.
√ Practice deep breathing and come up with a sleep-inducing image.
Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite…
Take a moment every day, whenever you can find your moment of peace, to give yourself positive feedback. Just before bedtime, tell yourself what you’ve done right today (this isn’t a review, this is positive talk only). Tell yourself what you’re grateful for. Positive feedback drowns out the critical voice that, for some of us, never stops. Start overruling it with this baby step. 5 minutes of positivity.
√ It’s been shown that gratitude is the one thing that happy people have in common over anything else.
√ Forgiving yourself for all mistakes give you a much better chance of making better decisions tomorrow.
√ Improving how you see and talk to yourself will begin to repair the underlying reasons why we overindulge in bad habits. That combined with action (eating right and exercise) will create life long health in mind and body.
√ Can you look yourself in the mirror and say something out loud that is positive? No? Ever wonder why? Try it.
PLAN, PREP, PRELOG
A critical part of program success agreed upon by the veteran members of Quest is planning ahead. The best ways to do this include:
√ One day a week, rough out your menu, prep your veggies, prep smoothie ingredients and make your cook-aheads. Suggestions for this include cutting up turkey breast into baggies for quick grabs; chopping veggies for a week of salads; cooking up a pot of soup or chili for lunches and dinners; freezing batches of kale and grated ginger for smoothies. Take a moment to look at veteran logs to see if they give you new ideas. Review recipes on 1fw website and Pinterest.
√ Prelog your foods into Myfitnesspal the night before to make sure your calories are planned and your macros are in line. If you’re too new to have macros, just start logging whatever you eat and make as clean a choice as possible. Clean = whole foods, not heavily processed or laden with food additives and chemicals.
√ Check out the menus online to restaurants you’re likely to visit this week. Pick ahead when you’re not hungry and don’t review again once you arrive.
√ Pick a new vegetable, one you haven’t tried or at least not lately. Mix up the nutrients and the flavors.
√ Review your previous week. Reward your achievements, no matter how small. Look for challenges and come up with new ways to work around them.
HEALTHY INDULGENCES. Somewhere in your day or week, it’s important to pamper yourself with something you want, not just something you need. Whether it’s one square of Theo at the end of a long day or a walk without the dogs, it’s important to treat yourself like a mama not a drill sergeant. Think about what you deem a reward and give in on occasion. Don’t pick things that trigger unhealthy responses or do damage to your hard work but find something that makes you feel loved and cared for. If it’s out of your normal comfort range, even better! My indulges are: a latte with a tiny bit of grated Theo on top, a walk with no destination, a soak in the hot tub and permission to sit and read a chapter. What are yours? Act on them today!
EAT YOUR PROTEIN
Find your favorite protein. While this is easier for non-vegetarians, lean protein can come from a number of different sources. Make an easy reference card to review when you’re stumped.
Add to it:
√boneless skinless chicken breast,
√peas and beans
√whole grains like brown rice and quinoa
√veggies like avocado, spinach, kale, sweet potatoes…
Protein is a critical aspect of your diet. It feeds the cells which keep you alive, healthy and building muscle. While overdoing protein is a real concern, life without it is impossible. Keep your gas tank full of clean and lean protein today and every day. Your skin, hair, red blood cells, bones and muscles will thank you go it.
MOVE YOUR BODY
Okay you’re going to say “yeah, yeah” I’ll do it when I have time. Trust me there will never be time if you don’t make it a priority to
move your body! For me, I dance in the living room to funk or whatever dance music comes on Spotify Dance. Just so you don’t have to imagine such a frightening thought, I attached a photo. Besides going to the gym, walking the dog, or parking a little further from the entrance to where you’re going, try to move every hour. Get up from your desk, or wherever you spend your time, and stretch, twist, dance, jump, whatever gets your blood flowing. You will burn a little extra, you will be happier for it and you will be far more likely to follow through on getting to the gym. I’m always happier for it. Live a little, dance a little.
EMERGENCY CLEAN FOOD KIT
Don’t leave home without an emergency kit. You just never know when you’ll run into a delay. Whether it’s sitting in traffic, after running into a friend and stopping for a chat, last minute work that keeps you late at the office, forgetting your lunch on the counter… Being out in the world without food protection can lead to a disastrous drive through or worse, not eating at all. Regardless of what packaging you like (there’s some pretty cute options out there), fill it with foods that supply satisfaction, taste and nutrition. Protein is easy to carry, but don’t forget to curb that sweet tooth as well. I also add dried fruit for a change of texture. Whatever you pack, pack it up and carry it in your car, backpack or purse! Don’t forget your water bottle.
Skipping meals or going longer than 3 hours without food requires your body to pull from sources you don’t want to mess with for fuel. Eat well and eat often.
EAT YOUR VEGGIES!
Every day, flush your fat with vegetables. I use this bad boy (http://www.onefitwidow.com/detox-smoothie-2/) every day at 10:30am to:
√ Flush out the fat that my body wants to hold onto
√ Provide my body with nutrients that include minerals, vitamins, difficult-to-get-enough-of potassium, amino acids, dietary fiber, protein, carotenoids, beta carotene a potent antioxidant and much more.
√ Fill my belly and my macros with carbs and proteins
√ Curb a late morning sweet tooth. Even though there isn’t much sugar here, it seems to help cravings.
OATMEAL & EGG WHITES FOR BREAKFAST
Start as many mornings as you can with a bowl of oatmeal and egg whites. Why?
√The easiest meal of my whole day that catapults me into perfect macros. It is hard work to get those calories and macros in line, but each time I start this way, it’s like magic.
√With or without eggs, it’s good protein
√Get the good stuff and you’re gluten free
√It’s filling and creamy
√It provides the elusive potassium without the sugar that bananas and other potassium suppliers give
√It can lower your cholesterol and is a great source of fiber
√Tips: use less than 1/2 tsp coconut sugar on top and only 1/2 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk for great numbers. When you can get them, top with berries for the perfect nutritional combination of Vitamin C and whole grains. Don’t use instant oatmeal, use traditional. It only takes another 2-3 minutes.
DRINK YOUR WATER, STARTING WITHIN YOUR FIRST 15 MINUTES
Within 15 minutes of waking, drink 16-20 ounces of room temperature water. Why?
√Flush out yesterday’s food & toxins, this is significant for my success
√Hydrate your cells, and give your brain optimum starting power so you can make good decisions
√Get your metabolism going!