Improving your health is a journey; a journey only you can take. Today is the first day towards a healthier, leaner, stronger you.
Many small changes made over time lead to great changes months and years from now. Changing the way you eat, exercise, sleep, and relieve stress is a big deal and won’t be easy every day.
Accept that you will make some wrong decisions; this is okay and normal. Follow mistakes with good choices. Over time you will find yourself making more and more good choices.
I know it would be great to take a magic pill or to follow a paint by numbers plan and instantly have the body you want. This just isn’t reality.
Everyone is different, and no single solution will work for everyone. That is why the steps above are not called rules.
Experiment and try them. Listen to your body, your energy, and your health.
Take ownership of your health. In part one of this blog we provided 10 steps to a healthier, leaner and stronger you. In this article we'll go into each of the steps in depth.
MORE DETAILS ABOUT THE 10 STEPS
PLAN YOUR MEALS
- Keep it simple & eat healthy when no one is looking!
- Check out our blog on Healthy Meal Planning: 3 Steps to Simple, Healthy Meal Planning
- Example of a healthy day:
- Breakfast: Eat a Green Smoothie for Breakfast every morning
- One serving of Propello Life protein powder (16-21 grams)
- 4 pieces of frozen pineapple
- 1 small chunk of ginger (peeled)
- 1 cup of spinach
- 10 ounces of water, coconut milk, or almond milk
- Blend until smooth
- Lunch: Eat a salad with grilled chicken or fish (regular dressing is better than low fat/calories, vinaigrette is better than creamy). Use leftovers from last night’s dinner and throw it on top of some greens to keep it easy!
- Dinner: Eat a lean protein, veggies, and a complex carbohydrate (quinoa, sweet potato, brown rice, etc…) for dinner. Start with a side salad; veggies should cover more than half your plate.
YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT
- EAT WHOLE FOODS!
- Eat as pure and healthy as you want to be – eat as much foods and drinks that occur in nature (whole foods). These foods have the highest nutritional value and will provide the majority of vitamins & minerals your body needs naturally.
- LIMIT THE AMOUNT OF PROCESSED FOODS
- Limit the processing your foods goes through; long nutrition labels are highly processed. Shop the outside of your grocery store for produce and meats, leave the processed food in the middle on the shelves and out of your cart.
- ELIMINATE ALL FRIED FOODS
- Fried foods are very nutrient poor and cause a ton of inflammation. Eliminate fried foods from your diet for the first 30 days; after that only indulge occasionally
- LIMIT YOUR PROCESSED CARBS
- Eliminate all bread from your diet (including whole grains) for the first 30 days; after that slowly bring back in to see how your body responds.
- AVOID FAST FOOD
- FOOD IS EITHER FUEL OR A TREAT; RARELY IS IT BOTH
CHOOSE YOUR DRINKS CAREFULLY
- Water – drink it a lot!!!
- Black coffee & unsweetened tea are good – hold the cream, sugar, artificial sweetener, etc..
- Propello Life Aminos (how could we leave this favorite out?!)
- Zero calorie drinks & diet drinks are a no-no. Artificial sweeteners are worse than regular sugar.
- Limit (3/week) or eliminate alcohol
- Avoid soda – diet soda is not okay either
SUBSTITUTE A HEALTHIER OPTION: EAT THIS; NOT THAT
- Protein: the less legs the better (fish, chicken, real turkey better than beef or pork)
- Veggies: vegetables should make up 50% or more of your lunch and dinner – instead of french fries
- The more color the better - Eat the rainbow!!!
- Best: raw veggies, Better: steamed or lightly cooked, Good: cooked
- Carbohydrates: quinoa, sweet potatoes, whole grains, rice instead of french fries, pasta, or white bread
- Fat: substitute raw coconut oil, grass-fed organic butter, or EVOO in place of vegetable or canola oils, margarine or non-organic butter. Healthy fats (avocados, coconut oil, EVOO, nuts and beans) are actually essential to you losing weight, but non-healthy fats (donuts, cupcakes, vegetable oil, etc.) are not.
- Don’t use low fat dressings – use the regular stuff; just less of it. Good balsamic vinaigrette recipe: ½ c EVOO, ¼ c balsamic vinegar, 3 T honey
- Sweets – if you are craving sweets, eat a piece of fruit or a small piece of quality dark chocolate instead of a dessert (just don’t go hog wild with the fruit or chocolate, either!). Check out our blog: 4 Healthy Ways to Satisfy Sugar Cravings
- Try to cook at home instead of eating out as much as possible – you never know how they cook your food, and most likely it’s not how you would at home. Salads are a safer option when dining out.
ADDRESS VITAMIN & MINERAL DEFICIENCIES
- Get a blood test to baseline your numbers
- Talk with a trusted doctor or health care professional about deficiencies and how to resolve them
- Mindless eating will sabotage your efforts
- Eat a piece of fruit if you are craving sugar – apples and berries are a great option
- Eat nuts or cottage cheese if you are hungry
- Make a Propello Life protein shake: Check out our smoothie recipes on our HEALTHY RECIPES page
- Drink a glass of ice water with lemon
- Try to understand what triggers your hunger – is it stress, boredom, etc… then come up with healthier responses to these emotional triggers
MANAGE YOUR STRESS
- Find an activity that becomes an outlet for your stress (walking, yoga, exercising, stretching, running, meditation, etc…)
- Talk with someone you trust
- Write it down in a journal
- Just don’t bottle it up and let it fester!
SLEEP IS PRECIOUS:
- Get 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night
- Don’t watch TV or read in your bed. There are only two things you should do in your bed: sleep and….well you know the other ;)
- Sleep deprivation leads to:
- Increased Cortisol levels – stress hormone
- Increased Ghrelin levels – hunger hormone that tells you to eat
- Lowered Leptin levels – fullness hormone that tells you to stop eating; also plays a role in burning fat as fuel
- Check out our blog post: The Importance of Sleep on Your Health for more details
EXERCISE IS MORE THAN CALORIES BURNED
- Lift weights!!!
- There are 5 main movements you need to train Push, Pull, Hinge, Carry, & Squat
- Push: push-up (put your hands on a chair or stairs if you can’t do regular push-ups; not on your knees!), bench, etc…
- Pull: pull-ups, chin-ups, rows
- Hinge: Deadlift variations
- Carry: farmer carry variations
- Squat: Lunge & squat variations
- Girls won’t get big doing this!
- Guys will!
- High Intensity is best: 30 minutes of high intensity
- warm up for 10-15 minutes
- 30 min of high intensity exercise
- 10 minutes to cool down and stretch
- At home option: Buy a TRX to get an entire body weight workout for about $100 and do it at your house
- Form Matters: Master your own body weight first, then add weight!
- Exercising builds your lean muscle mass – leading to a higher resting metabolism!!!
- Exercising lowers your insulin response to food; insulin is a storage hormone. Insulin is the hormone that tells your body to store excess glycogen (digested sugar and breads) as fat.
- A lower insulin response leads to less of what you eat being stored as fat. This is a good thing!
- Calories burned during your workout are great, but the calories you burn the other 23 hours are more impactful!
TREAT YOURSELF EACH WEEK
- You should aim for 3 treat meals each week. Eat what you want with those meals. Try to keep it to one day if possible.
- Celebrate your progress to a new you and a new way of eating for the rest of your life. Once you get going, you will be proud of yourself!
THE MOTIVATION YOU FEEL TODAY WILL GET YOU STARTED. YOUR DEDICATION TO THE PROCESS WILL GET YOU TO YOUR GOAL.
So again, everyone is different, and no single solution will work for everyone. That is why the steps above are not called rules.
Experiment and try them. Listen to your body, your energy, and your health.
Take ownership of your health.
LETS GET MOVING
TiadXP Guest Blogger, Duke Armstrong is the Founder & CEO - Propello Life, a nutrition products company, committed to providing high quality all natural supplements. They produces supplements that are , NON-GMO, free of artificial ingredients, minimally processed, authentic, sustainable and great tasting. If you are interested in learning more about Propello Life, check them out here: https://www.propellolife.com/