30 Years Of Fat Loss Wisdom
The article is about 30 Years Of Fat Loss Wisdom. This is a continuation of the story from my last blog post about my personal journey with fitness and maintaining fat loss. The key to looking good and maintaining an eye catching body into your 50’s and beyond is to develop and maintain STRATEGIES, RITUALS AND HABITS repeated consistently. Repetition is the mother of habit and consistency is the father of success.
[How to have your cake and eat it too – or look great while still eating cake.]
Here Are A Few Proven Strategies For Permanent Fat Loss
#1 – Always Maintain Boundaries And Rules Around Food
The best way to structure your week is “eat clean” 5 days a week. Just determine you will follow the rules of healthy eating at least 80% of the time. This allows room for unexpected and unavoidable poor food choices, restaurant meals, moments of unpreparedness and splurges. Striving for 100% perfection is a set up that never works! My personal rules for weekday eating are : NO SUGAR OR FLOUR PRODUCTS and EVERYTHING IN IT’S MOST NATURAL AND UNPROCESSED STATE WHENEVER POSSIBLE. That’s it. I keep it simple. It’s challenging but workable.
Here is a sample day:
- Breakfast– 6 egg whites, spinach and low fat cheese, black beans or berries.
- Snack– 100 calories of nuts, or apple/pears with 1 TBS peanut butter
- Lunch – Sesame grilled chicken breast and a sweet potato with cinnamon
- Snack– Low fat cheese and fruit
- Dinner– Barley soup, Grilled fish, green vegetable and greek yogurt for dessert.
- Snack– Cottage cheese or protein drink
#2 – Think “More Taste Less Waist”
Be creative and adventurous in your food choices. Think ABUNDANCE NOT DEPRIVATION. I strive to make the usual boring “diet food” choices more interesting by making substitutions for the usual chicken breast, brown rice, broccoli and fruit combos. I use buffalo, pork tenderloin and wild salmon for protein. I rotate starchy carbs through barley, Quinoa, steel cut oats, purple sweet potatoes, butternut squash. Produce -fresh or frozen -opens up a whole world for tasting and exploration. I love collards, kale, swiss chard, purple cauliflower and jicama. Fruit in season from a farm stand is always a treat, especially in spring and summer
#3 – Know Your Food Triggers
Some of us have unavoidable overeating problems around certain foods for various reasons that are both physiological and psychological in nature. It’s best to avoid them altogether or create alternatives . I have a great big sweet tooth and love cookies and milk. I NEVER BRING THEM IN MY HOUSE. If I want a cookie on my splurge day, I go to starbucks or a sit down dessert place and have it. Don’t kid yourself about willpower. THINK HISTORICALLY NOT CALORICALLY! Let your personal history be your guide.
#4 – Develop Mantras
I have some personally motivating things I say to myself to remind me about my goal of staying lean. I have used these with clients over the years and they seem to help.
- “Eat a salad as big as your head everyday”
- “Green is lean- white is light”
- Losing weight is no big deal with protein and fiber at every meal
- I taste everything and finish nothing
- I follow the rule of HALF- I eat half of the indulgent snack.
- The rule of 1/4 – I always leave a quarter portion on my plate- I can have more later
- Is what I am about to eat going to move me towards my goal or away from my goal?
- If it’s in the house it’s in your mouth
#5 – Portion Control
No amount of healthy food can trump portion size and calories when it comes to losing and maintaining fat loss. I teach portions, do food label lessons and show examples of typical servings right from the start with all my clients. It’s crucial to learn the calories and the quantities needed to keep from over eating and thwarting your efforts.
#6 – Do Damage Control When You Backslide Or Fall Off Your Plan
Do what you can after the binge or indulgence – eat less 100 calories less at your next 5 meals and add 15-20 minutes of extra exercise. Accept that it happens and you will have a way to avoid it in the future.
#7 – Adapt And Adjust To Situations, People, Places And Things That Sabotage Your Eating Plan
It’s unavoidable- your best laid plans can be ruined by parties, restaurants, well meaning friends, vacations, and holidays. Accept it and have a plan – If plan A doesn’t work go to plan B and if that doesn’t work be prepared for plan C, D or E! Do whatever it takes!
#8 – Don’t Allow Emotions, Feelings Or Moods To Rule Your World
We all have good days, bad days and lots of neutral “in between” days. Once you know all moods and feelings are temporary ( like the weather) you have mastery over your reaction to them. You simply acknowledge them and accept them and move on. Do what you know you need to do – whether you feel like it or not!
Overeating to soothe your moods only perpetuates an unhealthy cycle of dependence and weight gain. Exercise has been shown to alter moods with in 30 minutes and to relieve symptoms of depression the same as Prozac. Keep your goal top of mind and realize everything is temporary and will pass with time.
These are some of the many nuggets of wisdom I hope will be helpful to you as you practice living a healthy and lean lifestyle. Your best life is lived in a place where you feel you are comfortably challenged and growing. I hope the advice in this blog gives you the courage to make the changes you know you need to make and to live your life in a body you can be proud of into your 50’s 60’s and beyond.