We've all been at the point in our fitness journey when we've hit that plateau. It can be discouraging, especially after all the hard work you have put in. Don't worry, there is good news! I've got 5 tips for you to lean out! These are all great to be implemented in your fitness program to get you out of that slump and propel you towards seeing more results.
Don’t Drink Your Calories
Calories we consume from beverages are usually forgotten. This can include alcoholic drinks, energy drinks, soda, fruit juices and coffee. These drinks are often tempting and can be found absolutely anywhere; at your gym, the gas station and even at your work! The worst thing about these drinks is all the added sugar, which has no nutritional value. Consuming too much added sugar can lead multiple health problems such as obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Having a soda every now and then isn't going to have long-term effects, however indulging in sugary drinks everyday will.
Drinking your calories is a big contributor to weight gain. These drinks can be seen as empty calories meaning they have little to zero nutrients but are high in calories. Before you know it, your stop at the coffee shop can turn into an additional 300 calories. Another downfall of these sugary drinks is they do not make you feel full. After you consume these drinks you are still going to eat and drink more which means consuming even more calories.
There are lots of easy and yummy substitutions to lower your caloric intake when consuming beverages. If you are a big coffee drinker, opting for black coffee with no sugar is a good start to lowering your sugar intake. Instead of drinking tea with sweetener, try it with fresh lemon slices. Drink water with your meals instead of soda or juice. Water doesn't have to be plain either! I love to add lemon and mango aloe to my water every morning. This is an easy way to sweeten up the water without adding any sugar.
Eat Your Protein
Consuming enough protein daily is great for your body in multiple ways. It helps build your muscles, it's good for your bones and helps maintain weight loss. Eating your protein helps you feel fuller longer and should be a staple in your nutrition. The amount of protein to consume is different for everyone. Your weight, height and activity level all are key factors into how much protein you should eat. Finding your protein number is the best way to make sure you are consuming the adequate amount for nutritional purposes but also to assure you are reaching your fitness goals.
Protein feeds your muscles and muscle tissue is much more dense than fat. This means that it takes up less space. 5 lbs. of muscle vs 5 lbs. of fat is a dramatic difference on the body. Consuming protein is also good to maintain weight loss because it takes more energy in your body to digest the protein which means more calories burned overall. When you lose weight, it can be common for you to lose muscles as well. However, by eating a protein rich diet, your body will lose fat instead of muscle.
It is very simple to add protein into your daily food intake. High protein products can be found everywhere. It's easy to only think of meat or fish as a source of protein. These are both great, but there are so many options available. Nuts, oats, cottage cheese, broccoli, quinoa, tofu and lentils are just a few high protein foods that are easy to find and delicious to eat. There is a wide variety available and something for everyone to enjoy. Check out my blog on Why You Need Protein For Results!
Fuel Your Body Throughout The Day
You can't turn on your phone with 0% battery. The same concept applies to your body. It can't run with no fuel inside! Feeding your body with nutrient dense foods throughout the day is the best way to give yourself all the beneficial nutrients without overeating and consuming too many calories.
When you wake up in the morning, eat breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up. This is going to give your body the fuel it needs to start strong. In the morning it is also crucial to start drinking water. Your body just went multiple hours without hydrating so consuming water first thing is a great way to begin clearing waste from the body and kick start your metabolism.
Eating 3 balanced meals throughout the day and consuming healthy snacks between meals is a good way to keep your metabolism moving and your body running efficiently. Your metabolism naturally slows down in between meals. By adding in healthy snacks throughout the day and eating every few hours, your metabolism keeps going strong which allows you to burn more calories throughout the day. Healthy snacks is also a good way to make sure you don't over eat during your larger meals. Not sure what to cook for your meals or eat as snacks throughout the day? The BTES App has over 300 recipes that you can choose from to cook for breakfast, lunch or dinner!
Eat Leafy Greens
Leafy Greens are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals which provide a healthy body. Greens are a low calorie food but high in nutrients so you can eat lots of them which make them an ideal food to incorporate into your nutrition. They are very important for maintaining a healthy body weight.
Consuming more leafy greens increases your intake of dietary fiber. This fiber regulates your digestive system. Which, if you ain't poopin, you ain't loosin! Your body needs to get rid of waste and fiber is necessary for eliminating body toxins and waste. Without proper functioning of the digestive system, in the colon, the body can actually reabsorbed the waste and toxins into the bloodstream!
How much fiber is enough? The American Heart Association Eating Plan suggests total dietary fiber intake should be 25 to 30 grams a day. Incorporating fiber into your diet doesn't only mean eating a salad. You can add greens to your omelet in the morning, into your tuna wrap at lunch and even into your stir-fry at dinner time. They will add lots of flavor and even an extra crunch.
A few more tips about fiber that are important to mention. If you are incorporating fiber into your diet for the first time, stat small. Since fiber is not digestible you want to makes sure you don't over do it. This will help you avoid constipation and bloating. When you are eating fibrous foods, make sure to chew them up good. By doing so you are actually releasing the nutritional components of the greens.
Get More Sleep
Your body recovers when you sleep, so even though you aren't physically active when you are sleeping, your body is still working to detoxify and repair. When you sleep more during the night you have more energy the next day which allows you to maintain productivity levels and crush your workouts.
Making sleep a priority should be at the top of your list. Would you believe me if I told you it actually helps you from gaining weight? When you don't get adequate sleep your body produces a hormone that boost your appetite and stops producing a hormone that tells you when you're full. This combination is what leads to those late night fast food runs! Sleeping a full 7 to 8 hours is the best way to stay sharp and fight off any of those food cravings you might have.
A good nights rest will put you in a better mood and increase your productivity. When you wake up feeling rested, you are automatically in a good mood and ready to take on the day. Your productivity levels will increase because you can focus better on the tasks in front of you. Whether this be at work or in the gym, your energy levels will be elevated which will have positive affects on your concentration and brain function.
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Enjoy these tips and let me know how they are working for you in the comments!
Love you lots,