#Seriously?! Let’s cut the crap, shall we? Top 10 tips for finally getting (and staying) in shape.
Let’s cut the crap, shall we?
Processed food is cheap, heavily promoted, and engineered to taste good. Natural food is more expensive, not as promoted, and doesn’t always taste as good. Seriously, when did you ever crave brussel sprouts during a meltdown? Now, let’s run through a typical day of what you are shoving in your mouth (but hopefully aren't).
Let's start with breakfast, a couple of bowls of Cap’n Crunch with whole milk. Or do you just swing by Starbucks and pick up a White Chocolate Mocha? Entranced by the Krispy Kreme "hot" sign? How about a dozen donuts for you and the office? I'm sure they really appreciate the gesture. For lunch, a couple of hot dogs (do you even know what they’re made of?) or a hamburger, a side of fries or onion rings (hey, potatoes and onions are vegetables!), washed down with a gallon of Dr. Pepper. For the lazy dinner, a bologna sandwich smothered in mayonnaise and some Doritos on the side (the whole bag isn't a serving?). Or maybe you actually cooked a greasy beef casserole smothered in cheese (can we say a heart-attack waiting to happen?), and a side of mashed potatoes from a box, washed down with another gallon of diet Coke (have to cut calories somewhere). Let's go to the movies! Great, tack on a super-sized popcorn smothered in a pound of "butter" with Sprite (it's clear, it has to be better, right?). Oh, and for dessert, a bag of double stuffed Oreos and a half of bottle of wine.
Also, make sure you have a defibrillator handy; you’re going to need it!
Here’s something to consider; if it makes you feel like crap, most likely it is crap and that’s exactly how you’ll feel when you’re done inhaling ANY of the foods mentioned above.
Let’s talk then about what’s good for you; what will keep you healthy, energized, fit, and off lethargic island. You can either try every diet under the sun: low fat, low carbs, low both, raw, vegetarian, vegan, the cabbage soup, the chocolate-cake- for-breakfast diet, Weight Watchers (Jessica Simpson has done it after every child she’s had!) Nutrisystem (Marie Osmond lost a ton of weight on it, and so can you because you two were identical twins separated at birth), Atkins (as long as you don’t exhale your bacon breath in someone’s face), the South Beach Diet...or I can tell you to remember that the First Law of Fat says a calorie is a calorie is a calorie whether it’s from fat, protein, carbohydrates or alcohol.
The Second Law of Fat says that the line between being in and out of energy balance is slim. Let’s say you consume 5 percent over a 2,000-calorie-a-day average (which is way too high for most women). That's one hundred calories over; the equivalent of a glass of apple juice. Since 1 pound of body weight is about 3,500 calories, that glass of juice will add up to an extra 10 pounds/year. You’d also gain 10 pounds if, due to a more sedentary lifestyle, you drive instead of walk or take the escalator instead of the stairs and start burning 100 fewer calories/day.
Keep those two laws in mind and here are ten suggestions you can do to cut the crap and get in shape:
1. Cut the crap! Yes, that means ditch the chips, the candy bars and cookies, that pint of ice-cream, and all those dips and salad dressings you think you need. Stop buying it at the store and get it out of the house if you don't want to eat it. Don't even look at it in the grocery store. We’re starting over!
2. Eat real food: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, monosaturated fats found in nuts, olive oil and avocados, polysaturated fats found in salmon and flaxseed oils, lean meats like chicken and turkey, and please ditch the pre-packaged crap and the fatty red meats.
3. Read up: Check the label for proper serving sizes and all the additives DO COUNT! So, if a cup of cereal is a 100 calories it doesn’t INCLUDE the milk! But you drink the milk too, don’t you? Those condiments add up fast too.
4. Ditch the soda. If you do nothing else, start there! Yes, that includes diet soda too. Even better, replace it with water; less calories, less sugar and less gas and bloating.
5. Step away from that fried chicken…or anything fried for that matter. Yes, you can indulge, but if you do so every day, I’m pretty sure that’s a habit and you’ll end up with a Mama June body.
6. Eat out less. Again, common sense is a must. Anniversary, yes. I’m too lazy to cook, no. Even if your lunch comes from Whole Foods, if you smother that salad with a cup of ranch dressing, you might as well eat at Burger King; at least you’ll save some money!
7. Plan and pack your meals. It takes out the guessing from the process; it saves you money and you know exactly what you’re eating…and should you find yourself ‘starving’ you don’t have to run to the vending machine and devour the first bag of chips you see, which brings me to the next suggestion.
8. Eat on a schedule and DO NOT SKIP MEALS. If you’re an ass to your body, it will pay you back in kind. If you starve it, next time you eat, your body will hoard those calories and store them as fat (to protect itself from starvation again) and use lean tissue or muscle to provide it with the calories it needs to function. In other words, your body is a lot smarter than you! Eat often and keep it clean.
9. Find like-minded people. If it were easy, everyone would be in great shape and obesity wouldn’t be an epidemic…tough luck, it isn’t. You’re going to need someone to help you through that 11pm chips craving or the I-broke-up-with-my-boyfriend-six-months-ago-brownie. Text them. Call Them. Meet them. Distract yourself, and soon enough, it will pass.
10. And MOVE! Get your bum off that couch and clean your apartment, go for a walk, a jog, or a run. Join a gym, try a new class, and if it’s intimidating, hire a personal trainer to orient you. Even better, bring that friend (whom you called) with you. It’s always better in pairs.
My suggestion would be to pick two or three things from this list and focus diligently on these for the next month. After you rocked those goals, add a couple others and then rock those (because I know you will). Before you know it, your crappy habits will be replaced with healthy ones and you'll be feeling your best.