Ok, I've got some bad news. If your goal is to lose fat, exercising alone is just not going to get you there. Now don't get me wrong...that's not an excuse to not workout! Exercise will absolutely get you in good cardiovascular shape, make you stronger, and burn calories. But to see dramatic change in your body composition, you have got to fix your diet! If you don't change your food habits, you will see minimal results and WON'T see the weight loss that you're looking for. It is absolutely essential that you focus on your diet before anything else.
Now this strikes a chord of doom in people who have tried the diet thing before and have failed. It is HARD to make major changes in your diet because it almost always entails a change in your lifestyle as well. However, don't despair! There are some very basic and simple things that you can do to make a HUGE difference in your nutrition.
So without further ado, here are 5 nutrition rules that you can start incorporating today that will have a hugely positive impact on your overall nutrition.
1) Gradually decrease your calories.
Notice the word "gradually". One of the sure ways to sabotage our efforts to effect change in our lifestyles is to try and do too much all at once. What almost always happens is that the change is not sustainable and as soon as we realize that we bit off more than we could chew, we get discouraged and give up altogether. So it's important to decrease your calories gradually. Make a change once every 3 weeks after you've proven that the previous change you've made sticks.
2) Increase protein intake
Protein is an important aspect of great nutrition. And the fact is that most of us don't get as much protein as we should on a daily basis. Our bodies need protein to keep our muscle mass intact and growing. Protein also keeps your blood sugar levels stable and make you feel full for longer periods of time. Try for lean sources such as chicken and fish.
3) Decrease simple carbs
The focus here is to eat less sugar and starches or processed grains. These cause spikes in your blood sugar levels which will cause you to be hungry more often and also cause wide swings in your energy level throughout the day.
4) Replace grains with greens (increase veggies)
Adding in vegetables as a replacement for grains will not only help you to reduce your dependency on processed grains, but it will add important fiber, vitamins, and minerals into your diet that you might not otherwise be getting.
5) Replace bad fats with good fats.
This means eat less food that contains animal fat and add in foods such as olive oil, avocados, fish oils, etc. that have healthy fats.
Alright...now that you know what to do, I have some homework for you. I want you to take ONE, and only ONE, of these nutrition rules and make a change in your diet that takes it into account. That's right....only ONE! Most people fail at lifestyle changes because they try and do too much all at once. It becomes overwhelming and when they fall off of the wagon because it's just too hard to maintain all of the changes, everything ends up going out the door and they feel like a failure. The key to consistent change is taking it piece by piece. So take ONE of these and incorporate it into your current diet. Make the small changes that it requires and then KEEP DOING IT!
Keep doing it until you don't even notice it any more. Until it becomes a habit. Once you have that down solid and don't even have to think about it any more, then take ONE more rule and go through the same process with it.
If you are able to do this, you will see a marked difference in your fat-loss results and, coupled with a sound fitness routine, a noticeable change in how you look and how you feel. So give it a try and let me know how it goes!