“Tips For A Successful Lifestyle Challenge”

By Coach Deb

October 1 is the beginning of our NECF Fall Lifestyle Challenge.  We already have quite a few participants and I am looking forward to helping you guys learn more about this topic.  Nutrition is such an important aspect of our lives.  Our nutrition can potentially negate the need for certain medications while reducing the risks of many diseases.  Jump into the challenge and make better changes for yourself AND help to inspire others around you.

With the challenge being seven weeks total AND potentially life long, I wanted to share a few tips with you to help set yourself up for success.  Old habits will be broken and new ones will be made.  Little changes and adjustments will have a positive effect long term.  Let’s get to some tips:

1.  Invest in a big water bottle

Staying properly hydrated is crucial.  It helps to ‘”keep things moving” in more ways than one!  So important for the digestive system and helps  stimulate fat loss.  YES, be that person in your office with a huge bottle of water at your desk.  If it is around you, you are more likely to get through it during the day.

2.  Buy some fancy new TUPPERWARE.

With purchasing new tupperware comes the motivation to pack food with you to work or wherever you are going throughout the day.  Buy different shapes and sizes to pack some easy snacks and meals.  When you pack, you are less likely to go off track on your plan.

3.  Meal Prep

We labeled this as a challenge for a reason.   If you are someone who goes about their day without any preparation of what you are going to eat, you are less likely to stick to your plan.  This is going to be difficult for some of you.  Set aside a block of time (2-3x per week or more) to prepare some foods that you will be having throughout the week.  If you are someone tight on time, we do offer Kettlebell Kitchen at the gym.  They are an excellent food delivery company and they label all of the nutritional information on their meals.  Coach Manny always posts the link in our weekly email, so check them out!

4.  Use the “KISS” method

“Keep.It.Simple.Stupid.”  When you are completing meal prep or looking for a new approach to tackling this nutrition challenge, keep your meals and foods simple.  You do not want to overcomplicate things causing stress to your prep.  Find foods that you enjoy eating and make them!  This does NOT have to be a challenge where you are forced to eat the foods you can’t stomach.  With that being said, living on only fast food and sugary sweets are not going to help you to successfully reach your goals.  Do some experimenting and play around with different seasonings.

5.  Plan Ahead of time

With this challenge, you will be asked to follow a specific guideline to macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fat) with an overall daily calorie consumption to help you to reach your specific goal.  You will have to weigh and measure your food to help us better understand portions.  Have you ever actually measured out one serving of peanut butter?  Trust me, it is depressing!  Our portions throughout the years have gotten worse and worse.  It is not only the quality of the foods you are consuming, but the quantity.  This can become frustrating for some especially if you do not go into the day ahead with a game plan.  Download “myfitnesspal” or another food tracker and spend some time inputting different foods that you will have throughout the day.  If you know you are having a “treat” after dinner or going out with friends, put that into you tracker FIRST, so that way you can work around it and won’t derail you from hitting your macronutrient goals.

6.  Be patient

We are looking for a change in body composition.  Whether we are looking to build muscle, lose fat, or both, it takes TIME.  You are not going to have a “perfect” 7 weeks and if you are thinking that, you are already setting yourself up for failure.  We want you to create a plan that you know you can stick to.  If you can’t eat 6x per day and you read somewhere that eating this way is the only way to be successful, they got you good!  There are multiple routes we can take to reach our goals.  Be patient and trust the process.

These are only a few tips to help on your journey with the nutrition challenge.  I hope that for most of you, it will become long term and will help to change perspective on nutritional awareness.

See you at the gym!