• Are you conscious of calorie intake?
It’s scientifically proven that the only way to gain or lose weight is calories taken in vs. calories burned. In order to lose weight you need to burn more calories thru metabolism and exercise than you consume.
• Are you reading nutrition labels?
It is important to make sure that you understand all of the ingredients that you eat. The shorter the list of ingredients and the more familiar they are to you the more nutritious the food is for you. In a perfect world you will consume foods that do not have nutrition labels such as fruit, vegetables and lean protein.
• Are you eating a balance of lean protein, fruits, veggies, whole grains, and healthy fats?
You need healthy carbohydrates for energy such as fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Protein is the building block for muscle and also helps you feel full for a longer period of time.
• Are you avoiding simple sugars and artificial sweeteners?
The American Heart Association recommends that men do not exceed 35g and women do not exceed 28g a day. If you exceed these amounts your body will realize that it is too much energy for one time and will store it as fat to use it for energy at a later time. When you take in excess sugar your body releases insulin which is your fat storage hormone, anytime you take in more excess energy (sugar, calories) you store it as fat.
• Are you avoiding processed and packaged foods?
A lot of these foods contain artificial ingredients and provide you with no nutritional benefit. Basically you are taking in calories for no other reason than taste. Eat more foods from the earth, not the science lab!
• Are you eating 4-7 small, healthy meals and snacks a day?
Spacing out small meals fires up your metabolism and keeps your body fueled throughout the day. If you wait too long to eat, until you’re starving, you are more likely to make bad choices. Being prepared with healthy meals and snacks is the way to go! Failing to prepare is preparing to fail!
• Are you drinking plenty of water (min 80oz a day) and avoiding empty calorie drinks?
Staying well hydrated keeps your body functioning at its highest level. Being slightly dehydrated causes your metabolism to slow down, drops your energy levels, and doesn’t allow your body to disperse nutrients to your body’s sore muscles after workouts.
• Are you limiting alcohol?
Obviously alcohol isn’t healthy for you. Not only are you taking in empty calories, but you are dehydrating your body and slowing down your metabolism. When you drink alcohol, your body treats it as poison. Your body then makes burning off the alcohol it’s number one priority. Your metabolism shuts off until the alcohol is burned off