Had a little bit of time off this past week to visit some close friends. While I was in town I got to speak with them about how training was going for me and they explained to me some of their pitfalls. Sometimes your friends and family are the hardest ones to help make a change in their lives. While talking there were some things that they told me made it difficult for them to really commit to their health and fitness,especially their diet. Some of those things I want to share with you as you may have hear them before or may be saying them yourself.
- “I am so busy, and don’t have enough time.”
- ” I am out of shape because my wife cooks so good.”
- “It’s hard for me to eat the right foods while I am away at work.”
I can go on with this for a while but not the point here, the point is we can find reasons not to do a bunch of things, but what about reasons to improve our health and fitness.
- Improved heart health
- Strong Bones
- Improved energy, reduced anxiety and depression
Again, this list can go on and on as well but all in all the benefits of increased health and fitness far outweigh any reason you can think of as to why you can’t. Of course everyone has their reasons why and they may not include anything that is on here, and that’s fine too.
What we are going to talk about today is not getting started but the biggest hurdle that holds people back and that’s too much too soon. Mostly in the case of Nutrition. There are a million experts and nutritionist but very few tend to actually talk about this in a easier way. How did I learn about how to eat? I learned from my 3 year old son. Now when I say that there may be some that know what I’m talking about because I have shared this story before. For others it may be something completely new. If you have heard this before then awesome, share that information with someone. My son does not like to eat! Pretty much at all! You know when he does eat? When he gets hungry. When he is full, he stops eating. Those are my rules to maintaining my weight and I have held onto that with great success and encourage everyone I work with to do the same.
This is how we were made as people. To eat when we get hungry, not to eat because food is present. You know who doesn’t like how my son eats? My wife. She is constantly trying to feed him more, just like my mother did to me and I’m willing to bet your mother to you and you to your kids. It is completely from a place of love and possibly fear of your kids dying under your care from starvation. This won’t happen, we are animals and are going to survive. We will not let ourselves starve. when our body needs food it will ask for it and we should fulfill that request until the body signals that it has what it needs. What your mom did was damage that signaling. So, this is the first step. I call it a metabolism reset. You may have heard of something very similar but this is a different more natural sustainable approach. The steps are easy:
- When you are hungry, eat something. Now in the beginning you get a break. Try to stay away from fast food and if you do choose the healthiest options possible, we are not trying to be overwhelming here. But simply eat a meal that is going to keep you full. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and it’s hard to mess that up, so let’s start with that.
- When you are full, stop eating. This is the hardest part, you see that plate or bowl full of food and you need to choose to listen to your body and not eat with your eyes. Stop eating once you first feel full, your are going to want to clean your plate. Fight that feeling.
- When you are bored and want a snack but are not really hungry, choose to move instead of eat more. This is also very difficult and will force you to have some self control and listen to your body.
- Increase your activity level. This doesn’t need to be crazy intense, we will talk about why in a moment but just get moving. Whether that is a 30 min walk every day or a 20 min run. Start somewhere, just get moving.
What you will find will happen fairly quickly is that you are not eating as much as you are used to and you will feel very hungry. Don’t panic! Two other things will happen, you will lose weight, because you are not eating nearly as much as you are used to and you will get used to it. This first phase of our reset takes about two weeks. It is the hardest part, because it takes 14-21 days to form new habits this will be very difficult. If you make it past it, then the rest becomes very easy and starts to get interesting.
In this first phase you are restricting your calories, lets be clear about that. There will be a period of adjustment. This is what we are looking for, to get you back to the point where you started. So let’s go over it again.
- When you are hungry eat something. If you eat fairly well already this will benefit you as far as your energy goes during the process but right now don’t overthink it. Just get some food in.
- When you are full stop! You need to learn self control. You are full! You are just eating because you have nothing better to do in that moment.
- Find something better to do. Don’t sit around. If you are hungry, really hungry then eat.
- Increase your activity level. If you already work out but are finding it hard to shed the pounds give this first phase a try.
What you are trying to avoid is too much work too soon. You wouldn’t go into the gym and start working out with 300 pounds on the first day. So why try to eat food you haven’t been eating and in an amount you have never had. Again, don’t stress over the calories, just feed yourself without being excessive.
Next, we will talk about how you go from a calorie deficit to a surplus naturally and how if you stick to this the right way you will start to increase the amount of food you take in based on your bodies natural signaling and not out of having anything better to do.