It’s been a long time since I posted a Fitness Friday update. After breaking through my plateau upon returning from Africa, I seem to have stalled out again. Recently DH and I started Couch to 5K as it’s been awhile since we have done triathlons. However, I know from experience that exercise is not the magic bullet for weight loss. When Tony from Fit Marriage recently contacted me and offered to write a guest post, I knew exactly the topic!
Are there a pair of jeans in your closet that you’ve been wanting to put on again? Maybe you have a special event coming up, and you want to turn heads as you and your spouse walk into the room, or you simply want to eliminate the phrase “muffin top” from your daily thoughts?
You can absolutely do it! But if you think you’ll get there through exercise alone, even if you’re really working out hard, it’s time to face a harsh reality that many of us would rather ignore.
I know you can meet your fitness goals, but it’s going to take a paradigm shift by you on how you treat your food. Food is energy – put the proper food in your mouth, in the correct amounts, and you will succeed. Doing this will enable you to shed that muffin top and put those sexy jeans on once again.
Believe me, I know what it is like to exercise for hours on end and not get the results you desire, and I’ve worked with men and women in many different situations to overcome these same frustrations.
Here’s what I’ve learned and what I want you to take to heart:
1. 80/20 Nutrition Rule
You need to be eating clean, nutritious, non-processed meals 80% of the time. Doing this alone will help your body to shed fat. Over the course of a typical day, you might have 5 “meals” of 400 calories each equaling 2,000 calories per day. Four of those meals need to give your body the protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats that it needs to function at its best…and the fifth can be fun and guilt-free!
Finding a nutrition plan that works best for you and your family will take time and evolve. When you do find one that you like, stick to it! Don’t switch plans after a week, give it a solid month as you learn what works best for you and your body.
2. Food Scale
If you don’t already have one, you should pick one up. The one we use is a digital food scale from Wal-Mart and it cost around $20. You’re eating clean 80% of the time, but knowing how much you are eating is VERY important.
Over the years, our perception of a serving size has grown astronomically. When you go out to eat, the typical plate is actually 2 or 3 meals! You need to know the size of a 6-ounce chicken breast so that you don’t continue to add excessive food to your plate.
This was my biggest downfall for a long time. I was working out so hard but not seeing the results I wanted. After picking up a food scale, I quickly realized why. My portions were double what I should have been eating, and because of this I was adding at least an extra meal to my day.
3. Weekly Meal Journal
If you don’t know what you are eating at each meal, you won’t know how to adjust and make changes as you progress along. Be honest with yourself, please. You are only cheating yourself when you don’t put down the handful of chips you ate, the midnight snack you grabbed, or the piece of candy you snatched leaving the house to pick-up the kids.
Do this for a couple of weeks so that you know where you are succeeding.
Circle all of the times you are sticking to your nutrition plan with a green marker or crayon. Look at your successes and celebrate. If you are noticing patterns of poor eating, begin to make adjustments to your lifestyle at those times so that you don’t continue down this path.
Recently, I had clients of mine (a husband and wife) who were doing all the workouts in our Thrive90 Fitness Program. They were doing the work, yet after 8 weeks they weren’t seeing the results that they had desired. One night as I was chatting with the husband on Facebook, it came out that they were snacking on chips every day.
Well, on average 10 chips equal about 150 calories. As we talked, I found out they weren’t eating 10 chips each day – they were eating more like half a bag at a time! This one “a ha moment” for him has allowed them to realize why they weren’t losing the weight they had expected.
They are now back on track with their nutrition and they are hitting their weight lose goals!. On top of that, they have learned a valuable lesson about their nutrition and the power of seemingly small adjustments.
Are you ready to lose the muffin top and get into those sexy jeans? If you’ve read this far, I would say you are. For starters, pick up our free Family Fitness Cookbook and choose from over 40 nutritious (and fast!) meals that you can start using today as you begin your nutritional journey to losing weight.
Tony DiLorenzo is the co-founder of Fit Marriage where he helps busy couples and on-the-go parents get fit, stay healthy and live a life they love. Pick up your free Ready, Set, Go! 5K Training Blueprint along with six other awesome (and free) fitness resources when you visit today!