Achieving Your Goals and Dream Life – Step Three
Achieving Your Goals and Dream Life – Step Three
So far we’ve discussed the importance of 1st step, writing down your goals for all areas of your life and taking action and 2nd step, getting physical so you feel great and have the energy to achieve great things.
Today, we discuss the 3rd Step to achieving your Dream Life – Eating like a Champion. To reiterate, it’s difficult to live your dream life, if you don’t feel good. Think of your body like a high performance race car. You’ve got to fuel it correctly if you want it to perform and function optimally.
There really is no trick to eating well. It’s stuff we have all heard before. Drink lots of water. Consume a high level of fruits and vegetables. Eat a balanced diet. Minimize alcohol and sugar intake. Control your portion sizes. But there seems to be a gap between knowing what to do and actually adhering to these simple guidelines. There is no special grapefruit, cabbage, Low-protein or High-protein diet or pill that will get you the results you want quickly. And knowledge alone is not power! We all know what we have to do! It is finding the motivation and inspiration to make and adhere to very small changes in our nutrition plan that will facilitate success. Finding the motivation to stick to a healthy nutrition plan day-in-day-out is all it takes. Here’s the good news – you don’t have to starve yourself and you don’t have to limit your diet to bean sprouts and broccoli.
With nutrition, the very small changes to your eating habits will often bring about big differences. The new habits just need to be consistent and ongoing on a long-term basis. Perhaps start with one area at a time. Once you have that habit mastered, tackle the next nutrition goal. One step at a time and soon your diet will provide you with all the nutrients necessary to reaching your personal best.
The bad news is that it’s a lot easier to put the calories in than it is to take the calories out. Think of it this way. How long does it take to burn 1000 calories? About 90 minutes of exercise or 10 miles of running! How long does it take to consume 1000 calories? In about 5-10 minutes! So nutrition is at least half the battle!
Whether you commit to a plant based, raw food, Paleo, modified vegetarian or any other type of dietary approach, we can all agree that we need to eat foods that are nutrient-dense, calorically inexpensive and that suppress our appetite. Foods that you give you the best bang for your buck, so to speak! To summarize, these critical foods are:
- Fruits & Vegetables
- Beans & Legumes
- Lean Meats/Poultry/Fish or other non-meat, high protein choices (Tofu, quinoa)
- Whole grains or non-grainy, high carbohydrate options (ie sweet potatoes, quinoa)
In contrast, you will need to avoid foods that are nutrient-poor, calorically expensive and stimulate your appetite. These include processed foods such as candy, chocolate, fast food, muffins, chips, cookies, pastries, soda….foods packed with salt and sugar and preservatives!
So here is a summary of the key nutrition components:
- Consume a balanced diet that is rich in Fiber – all macronutrients are important and include protein, carbohydrates and fat. You can not live a healthy life if you are deficient in any of these. Diets that are no-fat, high protein or low Carbohyrates tend to be missing something and are often not sustainable so balance is the key here! If you are choosing to eat animal products, just go with options that are naturally raised, farm fed, and no hormones and antibodies.
- You cannot eat too many vegetables and fruits. Get as much color as you can in your diet…green, oranges, yellows, reds…Go organic and local as often as you can. The rule I try to teach my kids is that if it’s something you eat a lot and/or you are going to eat the skin (ie apples, strawberries, peppers, tomatoes) go organic and skip the pesticides.
- Drink More Water – Commit to drinking at least 10-8 ounce glasses of pure water per day to hydrate your cells and tissues. The body does not operate well in a dehydrated state.
- Control your Portion Sizes – Sometimes it’s not that we’re are eating the wrong things but that we are just eating too much! We have become a super-sized society so slowly reducing the amount of food that you consume but still allowing you to feel satiated and get the nutrients you need is very helpful to maintaining your weight and achieving optimal health.
- Try to not to go too long in between meals. If you find yourself really hungry, you’ll always make poorer choices. So plan your meals out. Plan your meals so that you consume 5 small meals and snacks throughout the day
- Reduce Sugar, Caffeine, Alcohol, Cigarettes and any other Drug
- Shop and Stock the right things – Commit to Shopping at least once per week and stocking up on healthy choices and eliminate any unhealthy temptations from your environment (work, home, car). If you’re like most people, if it’s there staring you in the face, you’ll eat it. Make it more difficult to access the foods that stumble you and sabotage your efforts and always have healthy options readily available.
- Practice the 80/20 rule – Healthy and sustaining nutrition is not perfect. It’s okay to indulge every once in a while and will often prevent binging and feelings of deprivation. But if you’re eating healthy 80-90% of the time, indulging a little bit here and there will not be a big deal.
You know what they say – you are what you eat and what you put into your body. If you are serious about achieving your dream life, think about what you put in your mouth. Looking good, feeling great and living life to the fullest is definitely within your reach.
Sherri McMillan, M.Sc. has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for over 20 years and has received numerous industry awards including International Personal Trainer and Fitness Presenter of the Year. She is the author of five books including “Go For Fit – the Winning Way to Fat Loss” and “Fit over Forty” and is the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver and can be seen running, hiking or cycling with her two children, Brianna and Jackson. She can be reached at www.nwPersonalTraining.com or www.ShapeupwithSherri.com Note: As an avid Columbian reader, you can redeem a 2 week pass at her world-class training studio to help get you started. Contact 360.574.7292 for more details.