Over the past few years, I have worked with athletes and fitness enthusiasts of all ages, levels of fitness and with all types of personal health, fitness and diet goals. I love my job in that no two individuals are alike.
I have seen a lot of different styles of eating and training and of course, my first thought is "a lot needs to be changed". But that is not my approach to helping a person change their lifestyle. If a lot needs to be changed, I start with a few small changes that are practical, realistic and meaningful. Changes that can be felt and acknowledged. Changes that can impact how a person feels so they are more inclined to keep that change and to want to make other changes to feel just as good.
Here are a few easy, simple changes that you may want to try in your daily routine. These are changes that I have helped others with and they have noticed dramatic results in how they live, eat and train/exercise.
-Instead of pre-packaged flavored oatmeal, use 1/2 cup plain oatmeal and add your own berries, healthy fat (ex. PB, chia seeds, ground flax seeds, oil, nuts, seeds) and your choice of protein (powder, milk, yogurt).
-Add a salad to your lunch meal. If you currently eat a salad for lunch, be sure it is a satisfying "meal".
-Add intervals into your exercise/training routine.
-Ask yourself how much time you have a day to train for an athletic event after you factor in meal prep, work, sleep, commuting, family/friends time, etc. There is no "perfect" number of hours/miles you need to train per week.
-Train for time, not miles.
-Aim for 20-30g of protein per meal.
-Don't forget to include a healthy fat in your meal to help keep you satisfied.
-Honor your hunger, don't watch the clock.
-Fuel frequently during workouts and recognize when your body needs fuel (be proactive) instead of waiting until x-minutes or x-miles passing by.
-If your spouse/significant other doesn't understand your active lifestyle, keep in mind that we can have similar lifestyles but different passions. Not everyone has to be a triathlete, runner, etc.
-Don't lecture others about food. Inspire with your choices and actions.
-Set goals for yourself in the areas of life, exercise and diet.
-Add variety with your meal choices every 2-3 days.
-Add more color to your diet.
-Replace, not eliminate. Focus on more nutrient-dense, whole foods.
-Enjoy your occasional treats - make them count and feel better after you eat them than before.
-Don't be afraid to cook.
-Make time for meal-prep.
-If it isn't in the house you can't eat it (this goes for cookies and for dark leafy greens)