If you are looking to change your body, change the way you feel or give your daily nutrition an overhaul, implementing these 5 components and staying consistent over time will be the most impactful.
- Plan Ahead. Prep when Possible. If you don’t plan, you will eat what’s in front of you the moment you feel hunger. It is literally fighting the biology of your body to NOT eat when food is in front of you. Your digestive enzymes start working the moment they sense food is around. This is why it is important to know what you’ll be eating for each meal ahead of time, and when possible, have it prepped and available to you. Planning means knowing what you’ll be having for each meal in the day and having the ingredients on hand and available. Additionally, consider having a “food emergency plan”. This means a pre-mixed protein shake, apple, protein bar, nuts, etc. in places like your purse or glove compartment for those times that hunger strikes and you know you could be approaching the danger zone.
- Choose protein source first when creating a meal. Protein is a macro nutrient vital to the development, maintenance, and repair of all tissues in the body. Protein will not only satisfy your hunger most quickly, but it is also crucial for muscle growth and repair (i.e. it will help capitalize on the hard work done in the gym). The other macronutrients, carbohydrates and fat, are also crucial, but if you choose your protein first, you’re less likely to overeat.
- Automate breakfast, lunch and snacks when possible. The less guess work you can make, the better off you are. In my program I give you many options for breakfasts, lunches and snacks, but I encourage you to find one or two you like, and always have these on hand. It will help with time management, automate your day better, and it is much easier to log into MyFitnessPal if it is a constant in your day.
- Think about Volume. Volume simply means, fill your plate with the foods that are less calorie dense to create a feeling if satisfaction and fullness. Examples are salads packed with leafy greens, brothy soups, protein shakes (watch those smoothie add-ins, they can make a shake very calorie dense too!), and even carbonated water. By increasing bulky, low calorie foods, you will naturally lower the hunger hormone ghrelin, and suppress your appetite.
- Log your food until you know what you are putting in your body. MyFitnessPal is my go-to app. It has helped me understand exactly what foods are helping me achieve my goals and what gets in the way of my goals. On my program, I will have you following a specific calorie and macronutrient budget and MyFitnessPal will be instrumental in knowing if you are staying in those limits. I’ll be honest, it is tedious and a little annoying at first, and then it gets easier, and sometimes you can get away from logging your food all together after time of consistency and learning.