Ok, so after the first part of this series you now should have your gym membership, or at least know what you are going to do in order to get in shape. Now it is time to attack the biggest part of what gets in the way of weight loss and getting in shape. This is simply your nutrition. Some people will use the term “diet” here, but often this is attributed to the idea that you have an end point. That you are only going to eat right for a few months and then you have now somehow “made it” and no longer need to eat well. This often rears its ugly head in the reasoning that “you can have some of (Insert calorie laden dessert) since you are (skinny, inshape, etc.)”, but the reason you are skinny or otherwise is because you don’t eat that stuff.
So your goal is to start eating healthier. Most of the time massive changes to your diet overnight are going to fail. If you try to immediately start tracking every single facet of your diet you are often going to find yourself overwhelmed and likely break down. Also, if you have a busy life in a general adding hours of meal prep and diet calculations off the bat can be a bit much for you and make it likely again that you fail. So the first piece of advice that I have for you is simply this:
Work on the diet slowly
Take one meal each day and cut a few calories from it while you KEEP EVERYTHING ELSE THE SAME. The goal here is to make one little change while you keep everything else constant. If you simply manage to cut 100 calories from your day for every day for a year you are going to lose more than ten pounds in that that year. It is easy to take one thing out and then add in something on the other side. Meaning people will eat a smaller lunch, but make up for those calories later by eating a bigger dinner. Just make one change at a time. Now when you make this one change at a time, keep that change alive for at least one week maybe even up to a month before you make your next change. Now when you make these changes my advice for the first one is this:
Throw away the crap
This means literally throw out your desserts, sugary beverages, and other foods that aren’t doing you any good. Soda has no real use in a person’s diet. It provides no vitamins or minerals and simply has carbohydrates in it. Finding carbs in the western diet is about has hard as finding a political nut job on your facebook feed during the election season. Yeah, it’s that much around you all the time. So just start off with no longer drinking soda (or switching to diet) and boom you have managed to cut worthless calories out of your diet. Once you get comfortable with this, cut out cookies, ice cream, or whatever type of snack chips that you can mindless pound through while watching Netflix. Take your time, the goal is to simple add up victories. Start off with something like this: if you drink 2 liters of soda each day, try and drink only 1.5 liters the first week and then cut down to 1 liter the second.
Autopilot your nutrition
While you are cutting down on the crap that you are eating, work on trying to put your nutrition on autopilot. If you have only a few different foods that you eat each day it will be that much easier to not make mistakes. This can mean that you always get a certain lunch each day of the week (whether you go out or pack if yourself is up to you), and the same can be applied to the other meals of the day.
Get a coach
If you have enough money get a coach. Find someone that is a dietician to help you write up a nutrition program for you that works for your life and what you like to eat. Aim for someone that you like to work with or has experience in working with people in your demographic. What this means if you are not a aiming to do a body building show, maybe don’t use a bodybuilding diet prep coach. You will likely just be starting off with a basic coach of training for health. Do yourself a favor and do some searching on the internet to find what will work best for you.
Do you really want it?
Here is something I want to harp on for people. It is ok to complain that you don’t want to give up your sweets or other types of “junk” food. But at the end of the day you need to make some changes. If you really want to lose weight you are going to have to make some changes since the decisions that you have made up to this point has made you in to who you are currently. If you are ready to make these changes then it is time to get uncomfortable. If you aren’t willing to make these changes, that is fine, but accept the fact that you aren’t willing do the work that is necessary. Just don’t complain that things didn’t work since you weren’t ready to make those real changes and then stick to them.
So it is time to start changing what you eat. Don’t make huge drastic changes in the beginning (unless that is what works for your personality). Be consistent with what you eat for each meal and then slowly take out some of the calories that aren’t doing you any favors. While doing that make your diet simple so that you can consistently take in the diet you want. If you have the money, hire a coach to help guide you on this process, make sure they have some type of certification and some examples of what success other folks who have worked with you can have. Finally ask yourself if you really want it. If you don’t want it, that’s ok, but doing the work that will make the real differences is hard. Good luck on your journey and I hope that you enjoyed reading this and I’m working on the next post which will be all about week one.