Ladies and gentleman, there is no easy solution. When it comes to trying to lose those pounds or get those six-pack abs, there is no “magic pill” that will make it happen. It requires a balance of healthy eating and exercise. No, I do not mean those little meals that you can find in the freezer section of your local grocery store. Those meals couldn’t satisfy a mouse. No, I am not talking about a leisurely walk to the ice cream shop either.
Here’s how it happens: you find foods that are delicious and contribute to well-rounded meals and exercise at least 3-5 times EVERY week. No excuses, no exceptions. There are no books that will motivate you. Only you can do that. If it helps, get a friend/roommate/spouse to do it with you. There is no one person that is fit that doesn’t need to continue healthy eating and exercising so there is someone who will go in on it with you. This article will give you step-by-step instructions and tools to help get you on track to a healthy body.
Step 1: Trimming the Fat
Throw out all those weight loss books, videos, and diet plans. No book is going to make you lose weight and no video will get you into shape. Remember, these books and videos are marketed to convince you that you need them in order to achieve your goal all for the purpose to MAKE MONEY. They are not going to keep you motivated. They are not going to help you curb those cravings. Get rid of them! They are dust collectors and nothing more. All you need is a set of weights, an exercise mat, a floor, and a little bit of self control.
Step 2: Substitutions and Healthier Eating
This step was actually fun for me. Start by getting rid of refined sugars and junk food. You like candy bars? Well Kellogg’s Special K makes perfect-sized protein bars that are significantly smaller but loaded with flavor and fortified with nutrients your body needs. I’m sure, like me, you enjoy chips from time to time. Replace them with Baked Lays, Triscuits or Wheat Thins. These are great substitutions for those greasy, salty potato chips. And how about that fast food? Who doesn’t like the juicy burger with those delicious fries? Many of the fast food chains are starting to offer healthier selections but save your pocketbook and pack a lunch. Eating out should be a treat and should be at nicer places than fast food joints. Big softie when it comes to your ice cream? Well, now you can have your cake and eat it too! Blue Bunny has a deliciously wonderful No-Sugar-Added, Reduced-Fat ice cream. Sound too good to be true? Not anymore! Many companies have begun to master creating a great tasting, healthier snack. Blue Bunny is at the top of my list for healthier snacks! Just remember to indulge but not over-indulge. Enough with the substitutions, on to healthier eating.
Start every day with a balanced breakfast. This does not mean egg whites and whole wheat toast (though if you prefer it, that is definitely acceptable). Feel like an omelet? Go ahead and have that omelet. Throw in a couple eggs and some veggies, maybe some turkey bacon or turkey sausage, a dash of garlic, your favorite seasoning. There are so many varieties of omelets you could make. Add a sliced orange or apple to you plate and you’ve got a beautiful breakfast! Not feeling eggs? How about some granola cereal with fresh blueberries or strawberries or bananas? Oatmeal on the brain? Throw in some raisins and almonds for a delicious way to start your day! Change it up but ALWAYS start your day off right with a great breakfast. It will help maintain those energy levels till the next meal and get you through your morning right!
Lunch shouldn’t be some boring turkey sandwich. Dress it up with Dijon mustard, leaf lettuce, tomatoes, and/or red onion. Throw some baby carrots and a SlimFast shake and you’ve got yourself a delicious and healthy lunch! Not feeling like turkey? Try some lean ham from the deli or some tuna salad. You could even try boiling and deboning some chicken breasts to shred into chicken salad-your-way. Don’t want wheat bread? Substitute Wheat Thins Flatbread Crackers. They are wonderfully delicious and cut back the carbs. Lunch shouldn’t load you down with carbs and fat and sugar. A light lunch will keep you going through the rest of your work day and help slim down the healthy way!
Dinner is a love affair…a love of food, I mean! From baked pork chops to steak, there is an even bigger selection for dinner. Eat what you want but keep it healthy. Feel like a juicy burger? Have one – just leave the bun out. Indulge from time to time and have those fries. Bake them up in your oven. There’s less grease and better for you this way. Just use your judgment. Get rid of that Fry Daddy and start baking. Throw out the vegetable oil for Pam or olive oil. Dinner should never be consumed after 7:00. Your metabolism slows down so try to eat dinner at a decent hour. And remember, dinner is fun!
Step 3: Disciplining Yourself
Exercise is always such an ugly word. No one likes to do it…that is, until they’ve gotten into a routine. What time do you generally get up in the morning? 6:30? You take a shower, eat breakfast and head off to work. Well, try getting up thirty minutes earlier. Find a workout that works for you. Trying to get six-pack abs? Do some crunches. Not just the normal kind but some that work the obliques. Trying to tone those arms? Get some weights and start going! And remember, higher weights and lower reps build muscle while lower weights and higher reps tone muscles. Got those thunder thighs that you just can’t stand? Do squats. Exercise in the morning helps wake you up and prepare you for a great, energy-filled day. Use Google and search for exercises that suit your need and then start out doing them at least 3-5 times EVERY week! And change out what you do, don’t always work the same muscles. Exercise in front of the TV while watching your favorite show. Turn on your favorite song and get moving! Exercise with a friend…friends help keep you motivated. And discipline yourself to do these exercises to the point you are doing them EVERY morning. And yes, it’s okay to take the weekend off your exercises but never healthy eating.
Now remember, diet is a four-letter word. Don’t diet, eat healthy! And start your day off right with a 30 minute workout designed by you. Have fun with it. And next time you have the choice of elevator or stairs, take the stairs!