Jump Start Your Nutrition

Diet is paramount for losing body fat and changing your shape.  Don’t get me wrong; exercise is important for burning calories and changing metabolism, but it’s nearly impossible to out-exercise bad nutrition!  So a huge step in getting lean is to make positive, sustainable changes to your diet.  Here are some simple tips to jump start your progress:

1. Decrease calories – watch portion sizes

This one seems obvious, but it’s not always easy to do.  Be conscious of everything you eat, why you’re eating it, and when you feel satisfied.  Avoid distracted or emotional eating.  Eating slowly and recognize when you’re satisfied.  Always shoot for satisfied but not stuffed.  Re-establish your relationship with food and be in control.  Keep a food journal if it helps you stay on track.

2. Limit refined carbohydrates and eat more vegetables.

Cut back as much as you can on sugars, choose whole grain rather than white breads and pastas and bump up the amount of veggies you eat.  Cutting back on calorie dense refined foods in lieu of lower calorie, nutrient dense fruits and vegetables will help you lose fat and are a much healthier choice overall.

3. Eat some lean protein with every meal.

Protein helps you feel full and supports muscle, which will come in handy when you start exercising.

4. Include healthy Omega 3 and monounsaturated fats in your diet.

Nuts, cold water fish (wild caught salmon, arctic char, blue fin or albacore tuna), avocados  flax seeds and olive oil are all good sources of healthy fats.  These foods can support your fat loss, but they are higher in calories so don’t over indulge!

5.  Avoid bagged, canned or boxed foods.

The majority of these foods are highly refined, have added stuff you don’t want and shouldn’t be a part of your diet if you want to lose weight and improve your health.

6. Don’t drink your calories

Drinking calories is an easy way to torpedo your progress.  Juices, soda, coffee drinks, etc. all have calories that are better spent on food that gives you more nutrients and fiber.

Changing dietary habits can be an enormous challenge, which is why so many people fail.  If you feel overwhelmed and can’t take on several changes at once, don’t!  Pick one thing, focus on it for two weeks and make it stick.  Once you’ve mastered that one thing, add another.  Consistency is absolutely critical for long term success.  It’s better to do one positive thing consistently rather than sporadically doing several good things.

Learn something new!

 

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Michael Bento is an Advanced Trainer at the Clubs at Charles River Park. He holds a Masters degree in Human Movement and is certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a Corrective Exercise Specialist and Performance Enhancement Specialist.

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