In a country where Americans are spending north of $60 billion dollars each year, collectively, on diet and weight loss products, while simultaneously obesity levels are still outrageously high and autoimmune diseases are skyrocketing, maybe it’s time we have a tough yet honest conversation.
As someone that use to be categorized as “obese,” and use to eat nothing but chicken salads and drink “healthy” smoothies all day only to see limited results, it was time I began working smarter, not harder. Achieving fat loss nowadays has become so overly complicated thanks to TV Doctors, Twitter users with PhD’s, celebrities, and even our own neighbors all inserting their own opinions on what a healthy lifestyle actually looks like that it’s no wonder why we are all scrambling around confused like chickens with their heads cut off.
Let us be honest for a moment, when we’ve realized that we would probably benefit from dropping some pounds, what’s the first instinct we have?
Maybe it’s to run to our local supplement store and buy “x” weight loss product that was recommended to us through said TV doctor, celebrity, etc.?
Maybe it’s to jump on the latest fad diet that gave our neighbor such great results?
Maybe it’s to commit to going to the gym consistently and walking/running on the treadmill for several painful minutes?
Maybe it’s to cut out all fun foods, pastas, breads and more because we’ve always heard “carbs are bad.”
See where I’m getting at? These subconscious habits and beliefs have led us to where we are today and are keeping us from where we should be...living a flexible, healthy, and stress-free life. So, let us take a deep dive into establishing some new healthier habits so we can finally achieve our weight loss goals.
Being constantly aware of our feelings is so important. Chronic stress and the hormonal release it causes can have quite an impact on how our body metabolizes and stores food as well as it’s impact on our hunger signals. Getting enough high-quality sleep is key, 7-8 hours recommended nightly, as well as performing daily activities that keep us calm such as journaling, praying, going on walks, performing yoga, and more.
Keeping a Whole-Food Eating Habit Approach
One of the most simple changes you can make is simply looking into your cabinets and refrigerator and ask yourself, “what item in here came from the earth and what was processed in a lab somewhere?” If it came from the earth, eat more of it. If it came from a lab, most likely in a box/bag/can/package, eat less of it. Every plate should hold about ¼ protein source, ¼ starch source, and ½ veggie and fruit source (depending upon your goals obviously.)
Tracking Daily Movement
With the majority of us having desk jobs and even being reduced to staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, our activity levels just haven’t been at the levels needed to burn off more than what we take in. Most of the time, individuals are quick to reduce the amount they eat but aren’t so quick in getting off of the couch. Research has shown time and time again the importance of eating, on average, 2,000 calories per day and allowing our bodies to recover from long periods of dieting. Regardless of what the activity is-walking, strength training, playing with your kids, mowing the lawn, just get moving! Make it a goal to stand up and move around every hour on the hour if possible. I personally have my phone and watch set to “ping” when it’s time to move, try it out!
Maintaining Balance and Sustainability
One of the biggest reasons individuals quit or fail diets is due to the unrealistic lifestyle demands they suggest. Whether its drinking meal replacement shakes, cutting carbs, or skipping meals entirely, for any diet to be successful, it has to compliment our current lifestyle and demands. Have that office party coming up? Wouldn’t it suck to be the only one not enjoying themselves and sipping on a few drinks while eating some of the delicious homemade dishes that get provided? As someone that use to religiously stick to his diet plan, even on holidays, it not only made me feel like the odd-ball out and major inconvenience to everyone else, but it also made me feel like I was missing out on some of the amazing memory-making opportunities. Nowadays, I eat mainly nutrient-dense meals but when that family gathering comes up, I allow myself the freedom (and grace) to enjoy myself without having this feeling that I have to “make up for it” somehow the next day.
At the end of the day, achieving our health goals doesn’t and shouldn’t be complicated. It’s time we allow the TV doctors, celebrities, and others to yell all they want about how their plan is the best (while they cash those checks at the same time) but it’s ultimately up to us how we are going to react to the noise. Lets finally reduce the confusion around dieting and achieving weight loss and finally become aware of our behaviors, beliefs, and what actually creates success.
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"Coach Taz" aka Taylor Rodriguez is owner and head coach of Taz Fitness & Nutrition. He is a Personal Trainer & Nutrition Coach located in Deltona, FL that coaches individuals online and in person. Taylor was a former partying pro wrestler turned fitness enthusiast after the economic downturn of 2008-2010. After losing almost 70 lbs, his new passion is to help struggling individuals find a new confidence within themselves to achieve any goal that they see possible. To begin coaching with Taylor or to request a free consultation, contact us today.
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