Two Lethal Landmines to Avoid: Fast Food & No Food
On some level we know that fast food is bad for us; no news flash there. However, our hectic schedules and sometimes the company we keep can dictate where we wind up at a meal time. For that reason, I highly encourage you to plan ahead and take measures to ensure you don’t wind up in the fast food trap. I know they are trying to have “healthier” options and you don’t have to get the fries or triple cheeseburger, but you might be disappointed to discover the nutritional content of that “healthier” option falls far short of what you could have created for yourself at home.
Almost as bad as throwing “bad food” into our body is putting NO food into our body. While some of us may have acclimated to approaching our eating habits in this way it should be somewhat obvious that it does not promote an optimum state of health for us. We have to have balance in how we approach our daily nutrition, and making a habit of going without meals, or even going an entire day without food will not serve us well.
If you haven’t already guessed, I am suggesting that you incorporate changes to your meal plan to ensure you are able to stick to a viable nutrition regiment each day.
The first rule of your meal plan:
HAVE ONE. Many of us get so busy that we don’t give any attention to our eating and have no plan. A meal PLAN means that you have considered what options you have and what will be best for the day (and even week!) ahead.
The second rule of your meal plan:
plan for 3-6 meals in your day. Opinions vary on whether it is best for your metabolism to stick with the traditional breakfast lunch dinner format or to make a concerted effort to have 5 or 6 smaller meals throughout the course of a day. For myself, I make sure to have my standard 3, and typically incorporate an afternoon snack if needed. I have already planned what that afternoon snack can be, and have it at my disposal should the need arise. I am a teacher, and my morning goes nonstop through lunch so I don’t really have an opportunity to stop for a mid morning snack, but I also have not felt the need for one as I use Shakeology for breakfast.
The third (and final) rule of your meal plan:
Do not attempt to make up for today with tomorrow. If you blow your meal plan on Monday, do not create an extra calorie deficit on Tuesday in an effort to make up for it. Monday was blown. It happens; deal with it. Then come back stronger on Tuesday. Identify where you dropped the ball and make improvements until your daily habit match your meal plan and it will start to become automatic.
As I have had my own struggles in creating, implementing, and sticking to a meal plan I wanted to offer some recommendations to the three primary meals in the event that you can relate these experiences. I hope you find them helpful 🙂
Some of us get acclimated to having no breakfast and just go through the morning on coffee. It should come as no shock that this is really not the best idea. Your goal should be on your fitness and health, not simply losing weight or maintaining weight. You have an awesome opportunity in the morning to jump start your metabolism and give your body what it needs. Take advantage of that by PLANNING to have breakfast, however simple it may be.
When I failed to have lunch planned out, serious disaster could result. When this was coupled with failing to eat breakfast, it was even worse. Lunch time would roll around and I would be starving and have nothing in front of me. Solution? I’ll go get something real quick. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that if I need food, and I need it fast, I am probably going to wind up with something for lunch that compromises my nutritional goals. It is critical that you plan your lunch the night before. If you are consistent, it won’t take long until you are looking forward to some of the lunches that you find you enjoy the most.
For dinner, I simply had to pay attention to my portion sizes. To be honest, this is largely because I have an awesome wife who plans our family’s meals for the week. She is an amazing cook, and it is an easy thing to have too much of a great dish that is served at dinner. In fact, it took her a little by surprise when I started paying closer attention to my food quanties, and having just one burger instead of two. I would measure the portions of my dinner sides; I started using the measuring spoons to give myself an exact portion of a salad dressing. At the end of the day, I am usually pretty spent, so having the blessing of a meal already prepared tempts me to disengage my brain altogether and just eat. I came to the place where I no longer wanted to “undo” the efforts I had made throughout the day. Again, in time this became more automatic, but it did require a bit of effort at first.
You Can Do It!
Some will face more difficult obstacles than the standard ones I have presented. The bottom line is that if you PLAN, you will have a huge advantage in sticking to your nutritional objectives. For myself, I found a tremendous advantage in using the approach presented to me by a college buddy who got me plugged into a challenge group that helped to give me balance between my exercise, nutrition, and accountability. I’m down 70 lbs so far, and have now entered my best fitness level since high school football. Drop a comment below or email me if you are interested in learning more about this. If I was able to do it, I promise you can too!
For my return to the world of fitness I chose to use Les Mills Combat. I ordered the challenge pack to get my first Shakeology bag and the workout at a significant discount. First, I have to let you know that I LOVE this workout! I did TaeBo back in the day, and this so blows it out of the water. Having said that, I really want my review to be an honest reflection of what I experienced as I went through my 60 day challenge with the program.
I remember pushing play for the first time and wondering how this was going to go. At first I felt like this wasn’t so bad. I really felt like I could adapt to what they were doing. I quickly learned that having not done any exercise for a decade has a negative impact on one’s endurance. After 20 minutes I about collapsed and was more watching the workout than doing it. I’ve always liked a good challenge, though, so I looked at it as having a new goal in front of me.
For the second workout, I was introduced to Dan and Rach’s version of a High Intensity Interval Workout, or HIIT for short. This one was called HIIT Power. I haven’t been worked like that since high school football. I did not keep up for even 10 minutes of this workout before I had to resort to the modifications, and even then I was done after 15 minutes. I was exhausted, but still wanting to respond. Enter Day three.
Something interesting happened on day three: SORENESS. Pure, unadulterated soreness. It hurt to walk. To make things even better I have a 2 year old and a 4 year old who love to climb into daddy’s lap. This was not a good day. Still I had made the commitment to do this, and I wasn’t going to throw in the towel at my first real test. As it turned out, I felt better after having done the workout, much as it hurt when I started it. I was still sore, but the workout actually subsided the pain a little.
Before moving on, I have to let you know that Dan and Rach bring an AMAZING level of energy and enthusiasm to the workouts, and even though I was sore, I in part looked forward to the next workout because I got to be infused and motivated through the support of their encouragement. Short version: It was FUN!!!
My program track allowed me a break for day 4, and I was most thankful. I was still sore, it still hurt to walk, and yes, my children were relentless. My day 5 workout was another HIIT workout: Shock Plyo. I was at least mentally prepared for what to expect, but my body was not able to keep up with much of the workout. Back to modifications I went for as long as I could go. Crushing soreness? Yup. Still there.
Day 6: back to my original workout, and after fighting through the soreness I actually sensed I was doing slightly better. Still, the soreness lingered, and I was once again thankful for an end of the week break. When day 7 came, I was finally feeling my legs getting back to normal. It didn’t hurt to walk, though my kids were still able to cause some twinges of pain (totally worth it!).
During week 2 of the program I was making incremental progress and the soreness was MUCH lighter. Not gone altogther, but nothing like week 1. In week 3, I was able to keep up with a workout here and there, and the soreness was entirely manageable.
As the time went on, I saw more and more gains and was suddenly keeping up with the 60 minute workouts and loved the feeling of accomplishment that came when I was done. The HIIT workouts continue to be challenging, but I appreciated that even more as I knew I still had at least another level to aspire to.
I know that my week 1 account might seem daunting to some, but I give you the most honest perspective I can so that you can know what you might be in for if you have not been working out for a few years as was the case for me. I encourage you to be ready to commit, and to know what that will entail. You can do it! I loved this quote and posted it on my facebook page when I saw it:
Currently I am trying T25 and getting great results with it as well, but I can’t wait to go back and do the advanced version of Combat. If you are looking for a great way to start getting back into shape, Les Mills Combat will get you there 🙂
Simply put, a challenge group is a support group that helps participants not only achieve fitness goals, but increase knowledge and awareness of exactly what is involved in being truly fit. It is designed to expose you to a lifestyle that enables you to maintain the results you get. It is run by a lead coach or a group of coaches who are looking to invest in you to help you get the results you want.
Check out this video
Participants in challenge groups have purchased challenge packs or have in their possession a TBB workout system and Shakeology. The concept is simple; you give your body the nutrients it needs through Shakeology which helps you stay true to an eating plan that gives you the results you are looking for. Combine that with one of the powerful workouts from Team Beach Body, and you have a trifecta of resources at your disposal for fitness success.
So where does the group come in? The support of the group truly galvanizes individuals together to give accountability, encouragement, and tips to one another for the purpose of strengthening resolve and commitment levels when the going gets tough. You will make friends and come to appreciate that there are others who have struggled with weight loss and fitness just like you.
While there is plenty of serious time in the group, there is also a lot of fun! Wacky Wednesdays, Flex Fridays, and random challenges within the group help remind you that you are doing this challenge to enhance your physical well-being, and possibly to even take your life back.
Interested in joining a challenge group? Shoot me a message or an email and we can talk through your motivations for wanting to be part of the group. We are looking for people who have a strong commitment level to the success they seek. If we are in agreement that you are ready for a challenge group, we can discuss what options would best serve you reaching your goals.
I welcome your comments below, or you can shoot me an