Over the years I have completed many fitness programs (those late-night order from the comfort of your own home kind), maintained a certain level of physical readiness (because of my military career), and after all this time, still enjoy being physically fit.
The nutrition side of my life would be okay, and especially better during the periods I was working defined programs or working on improving my prowess for the military’s semi-annual physical fitness test. Looking back, I could reasonably work a defined/outlined nutrition plan for something bordering on 90 days. I did have some success with this approach, but it was never sustainable beyond completion of any program.
I never truly focused on what good nutrition was and what it could do for me. I would inevitably cheat on the weekends. I figured, why not? It’s the reward for working hard, right? I had this mindset: I will just push harder or add more cardio during the week to make up for extra treats. That’s the fallacy of being able to outrun a crappy diet.
I knew I had to change my nutrition and make it something I could enjoy and live with beyond 90 days. Over the last year, I have adopted a new approach. I work the nutrition plan and adjust my caloric intake as necessary to keep my energy levels up and the fat off. This has allowed me to drop nearly 30 pounds over the last year and has helped me to keep it off.
Here’s what I learned:
- You must determine YOUR own caloric needs. There are many online nutrition calculators available that will help you determine that number. Use them.
- Don’t be overly restrictive. That leads to binging. Find an approach that allows you to still eat things you like in moderation. Start reading food labels. You’ll be amazed at serving sizes!!
- Know what your triggers are and work to limit them. Reduce your temptations by not having those “trigger things” in the pantry. Peanut butter with chocolate is one of mine. I can eat a whole box of peanut-butter patty Girl Scout cookies – in one sitting!!!
- Be disciplined in your approach to nutrition. Don’t think “cheat days.” Try to eat consistently every day and understand that it’s okay to have the occasional “free” meal. Enjoy living life and being out with friends and family, especially now as we are trying to reconnect after this last crazy year.
The whole point of making any meaningful change, whether its health, nutrition, fitness, or whatever gets you to your #PAARLife, is to discover and become the best version of YOU!