At the start of this year, I decided to tighten things up a bit.
My first move was to start weighing and logging my food. I wasn’t restricting, but I needed a reality check. Man, oh man, it was enlightening! On some days, mostly weekdays, I would barely break 1,500 calories, and on other days, mostly weekends, I would consume over 4,000 calories. It wasn’t intentional; it was simply mindlessly eating and certainly I know better than that. So, now I’m back to a reasonable amount of daily calories for my activity levels and goals.
Then, I started to look at my activity levels outside the gym. Using the health app on my iPhone, I looked at my average steps, and it’s no surprise, I was walking an average of 4,000 steps a day. These apps aren’t perfect, but in this case, it was close enough. You would think I was more active being a trainer, but nope. I am pretty sedentary when I am out of the gym. So, I made it a goal to walk a little more during the day and after dinner with a goal of 10,000 steps. I bought an office treadmill and when it gets warmer, I’ll walk outdoors and get some sunlight.
Last but not least, I’m back to meal prepping. I actually enjoy cooking and prepping my meals in advance. You see, I have a system. I block off 1 hour ONLY, and to me, it’s like meditation. I have my all my tools available much like an assembler on an assembly line: food scale, measuring cups, spices, all my ingredients, pots, pans, proper knives, air fryer, rice cooker, and lots of different sized Tupperware containers. I systematically weigh and package my meals for days ahead. I have a fun lunchbox that travels well, and I log my foods in the morning, so I’m not on my phone all day long. It’s usually 4-5 ounces of lean protein, 1 cup of mixed veggies, brown rice, or starchy root veggies. The next morning, I grab my meals and go….nothing like saving time and money.
Like most people, I was grossly underestimating my food consumption and overestimated my activity levels. This isn’t healthy. Logging is something I enjoy doing for now, but it can burn you out at times. So, I’ll do it as long as I can.
For my daily activity, I personally enjoy a daily walk. It’s low impact, and I can listen to my favorite podcast or YouTuber simultaneously. A family walk is a great habit to get into as well. In other cultures, people take walks after dinner, which is great for the digestive process and less bloat. But moving more is my goal, and without being obsessive about it. I’ve said it before and I’ll say I will again, training more is not the answer; being more active in a low-stress way is.
And my meal prep is literally one of favorite things to do….my goal here is to make it fun. Two weeks ago, I made Greek yogurt deviled eggs. Last week, it was protein banana bread. I don’t have a plan for this week yet, but I have paleo lasagna on my mind, so I might give it a go. Food prep doesn’t have to be boring, and it’s an important skill everyone should have.
So that’s it, those are my secrets for success without overtraining, under eating, and feeling good about all my food decisions. In case you’re wondering, it’s working. I’m seeing actual results physically, feel less inflamed, more alert, and energized by simply eating better. The scale is moving in the right direction, and I feel like I’m in control of my health all over again.
If someone that wants change, start with these 3 simple tips and I guarantee things will turn around for you.