We start our New Year’s resolution with the promise “this is the year when I’ll get fit.” We may be committed to doing so, but every little action that we take, every step will guarantee our success or failure. So, I’m giving you a few tips to get your home ready. These were the things that I did:
- Get rid of any unhealthy snacks, chips, crackers, cookies, cereals that contain flavors, sugars, etc. I also got rid of butter and margarine (since I cook with a minimal amount of grape seed oil and olive oil.)
- Go shopping: Prepare a list with plenty of veggies, (carrots, zucchini, celery, mushrooms, tomatoes, bell peppers, any and all vegetables are good for you) Fruits: Stay away from bananas for now at least. Buy apples, pears for now (pears are high in fiber when you eat it with the skin on and if you eat Granny Smith apples, they are low in sugar, make sure that the apples you buy are small). Buy good sources of Omega Fatty acids: almonds, olive oil (good fats), fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, they should be eaten once a week. Poultry (turkey, chicken). This of course is for meat eaters, not vegetarians.
- Have healthy things to snack on. I snacked on hard boiled eggs (1), almonds (about 8), carrot sticks, apples (1) and almond butter (1 teaspoon). Remember portions are very important.
- Have plenty of water. We are not used to drinking as much water as we need. Many times we confuse thirst with hunger. It’s also a good idea to drink water first thing in the morning. If you don’t like the taste of plain water, store it in the refrigerator with slices of lemon or cucumber.
- Learn to read labels. Yes, I know, it sounds tedious but I promise you that if you really put your mind to it, you’ll master it in no time. I read labels and it takes me just a couple of seconds. Once I know what I can/want to eat, I just go buy it. Hint: vegetables will be a much better choice for you when coming to snacks.
- Meals and snacks: Yes, you will eat more than you think you’re capable of and you’ll start to notice how much more satisfied you are. You know why? Because you won’t be eating empty calories anymore, you know the types that leave you feeling nothing but bloated and ugh! Eat 5 times per day. That means eating three good meals per day (for women I recommend 4 ounces of meat or poultry (for men 6 ounces) and 3 servings of vegetables, and like salad, or steamed veggies with lemon or lime juice, a drizzle (as in 1/4 teaspoon) of olive oil, a little bit of salt and pepper. Your snacks should be 100 calories and no more.
- Eat egg whites instead of eggs. We buy the 60 eggs from Costco, yes I know, some people prefer “organic” eggs but in this economy, we needed to save some money and that’s how I did it. We separate the yolk from the whites, cook the egg whites scrambled with some veggies.
Things to stay away from:
- Bagels. Not even whole wheat bagels are good for you. Here’s my tip when buying food: Check out the carbohydrates, I try to buy things that are between 9 and 13 grams of carbs per serving. Make sure that you know the size of the serving as well. I personally was horrified when I looked at a bag of bagels the other day and found out that they had more carbs than a candy bar, and no, this doesn’t mean that you should buy a candy bar instead 🙂
- Stay away from flavored cereals. If you must, buy plain oatmeal.
- If you’re going to have starchy carbohydrates, I would recommend not having any for the first two weeks and then introducing them little by little. If you choose to have carbohydrates regardless of what I’m saying here, make it only 1 serving per day. In other words, have a 1/4 cup of raw oatmeal (and cook it of course), or one slice of bread. But try starting without and see how that goes for you.
The most important tip I can give you is DON’T GIVE UP! It takes 21 days to create a new habit. Partner with someone so you can support each other in keeping your promises. Keep a food journal (trust me it helps!) make it SIMPLE, don’t get too complicated. My food journal goes something like this: 1 Serving protein (meat, poultry fish which is equivalent to 4 ounces since I’m a girl) per meal 2 – 3 servings of veggies per meal (the nice thing is that you can have as many as you want); 2 serving of fruit per day (apples mostly); 1 serving dairy/day (this can be 1 cup of nonfat plain Greek yogurt with 1 teaspoon of honey or agave syrup or 1 cup of non-fat milk); 1 tablespoon healthy oils per day (olive oil, grape seed oil, canola oil.) For snacks, it’s important to make sure that you have a snack in between meals worth 100 calories (you can have an apple, or the serving of dairy… I normally have the yogurt as a snack, or you can have carrot sticks or celery with almond butter.) Just make sure that you eat often and drink at least 64 ounces of water. If you have questions let me know. I’m always here to help and support you in your fitness goals.