With so many diet fads and questionable diet supplements on the market, sometimes "the right thing to do" can become ambiguous and you can feel lost and alienated. I am here to share with you the top 10 success principals that will help you create positive habits for life and put you right on track to achieving your fitness and weight loss goals.
While there is no magic formula you can calculate that will guarantee you success in achieving your fitness goals, there are certainly a few key eating habits you can incorporate into your daily routine that can make all the difference between lean flat abs or a bloated belly.
When done habitually, passionately and with patience and dedication, your body will react and respond to your new habits faster than you can say string bikini!
Listen To Your Body
I am fascinated by the human body! I see my body as something sacred that I nurture each day, like a science experiment. It amazes me how the body responds to what you put into it. Once you listen closely to what your body is telling you, you will notice how it responds to the amount (and type) of food, exercise and rest that you give it.
Remember, it is your choice how you care for your body—nobody else's. You can either give it the best fuel available and fine-tune it like a Ferrari or let it rot like a '80s junk car waiting to be made into scrap metal. Get to know your body and focus on what it feels like when you are at your very best and just aim to feel that way every day of your life.
Trust me, I know from experience how horrible my body feels after a night of drinking and bad food, but more importantly I also know how wonderful I feel when I eat right, drink plenty of water and get my rest. I opt for the latter and so should you!
Know Your Daily Caloric Intake
While you don't need to be neurotic about every bite you take throughout the day, it's always in your favor to have a ballpark figure of what you need to consume to maintain and/or lose weight.
Average Daily Calories To Maintain Your Weight
Here is a simple formula courtesy of Discovery Health that can also help you figure out how to lose a few pounds. Simply take your weight and multiply it by 12 and that is the amount of calories you need to consume daily. For example if you weigh 135 pounds then you should be consuming 1,620 on a daily basis.
To produce a weight loss at the safe rate of one to two pounds per week, all you need to do is subtract calories from your daily total. If you want to lose one pound, you should shed 500 calories per week. For two pounds, you should ditch 1,000.
Eat More And More Often
Don't starve yourself! Your body will go out of whack and go into survival mode by going after your muscle tone (not the fat) and will only leave you feeling weak and "skinny fat." Eating more often maintains a normal level of blood glucose which promotes steady energy levels throughout the day.
Steady energy comes from a steady intake of foods. By eating 3 meals and 2 snacks per day you will boost your metabolism and your body will burn stored fat (provided that you are exercising on a regular basis). Remember, when calories are consumed, there is a thermic effect that takes place, and your metabolism rises in order to process those calories.
It is simple; the more often you eat, the more "thermic" effect the body is getting, thus a higher metabolism overall. When I eat this way, I can feel my metabolism responding and hear my body saying "thank you!"
Be On "Portion Patrol"
Who wants to weigh foods to practice portion control? Certainly not me!
In order to keep your "guestimated" portions in check (I doubt there will be a food scale handy when you sit down to eat) you can use everyday household items as a mental reference guide.
Here are some examples of standard serving sizes:
- Cereal (1 cup) = a baseball
- Salad Dressing (2 tbsp.) = a shot glass
- Nuts (1 oz.) = a cupped palm
- Cheese (1 oz.) = a ping-pong ball
- Lean Sirloin Hamburger (3 oz.) = a mayo jar lid
- Peanut Butter (1 tsp.) = one die
- Beef (3 oz.) = a bar of soap
- Rice (1/2 cup) = an ice cream scoop
- Potato/Sweet Potato = a computer mouse
- Butter (1 tsp.) = a Scrabble tile
- Fruit (1 cup) = a tennis ball
- Cooked Pasta (1/2 cup) = a golf ball
- Fish (3 oz.) = a checkbook
- Chicken (3 oz.) = a deck of playing cards
Do not get extreme! Life is short—allow yourself a cheat meal or two. Let's face it; no one can be perfect all of the time! Even bikini models like to splurge on pizza and ice cream! The key is moderation!
Plan one or two meals each week where you reward yourself by indulging in your favorite "cheat" food. Whether it's pasta, ice cream, or margaritas that you love, if you are "good" the majority of the week you can enjoy one or two of your favorites without the guilt!
When's the last time you took some time to truly examine your eating habits and nutritional knowledge? One of the most important things that any future bikini model can do for her health is take some time to understand the importance of nutrition. Sometimes people get so caught up with the exercise aspect of a bikini model regimen that they forget how to supplement properly!
Once you learn the power of protein, the best foods to eat and equally as important, what foods you must avoid you will have a much clearer picture of how you can use the power of nutrition to pave your way to flat abs, defined arms and a striking physique that you will be able to maintain for life!
For example you should know the difference between "good" carbohydrates and "bad" carbohydrates. It's actually pretty simple—stick with fruits, vegetables, sweet potatoes, brown rice, and whole grains. Another easy rule to follow: if it is white (white sugar, white bread, white rice, white potatoes)—it just ain't right!
Many women want a body that looks like it belongs on the cover of a fitness magazine but without discipline it remains a far-fetched dream. From my personal experience and weight loss, I know that anything is attainable if you can learn how to practice discipline.
Just like any success principal, you must start small to build up your tolerance levels. By making the conscious decision to become more disciplined, you are taking a huge step towards your goal by "Doing" rather than "Dreaming."
It is like a muscle that you must exercise daily and before you know it, you are doing it! Whether you have a weakness for sweets (like me) or just dread the thought of working out, the first step is discovering what is inhibiting you from your success and making daily mental notes and positive changes in your behavior.
What Not To Eat
You've heard it before but I will say it again—if want to change the way you look and feel, stay away from fatty or overly processed foods. Remember: "If it ain't on the Food Pyramid then it ain't food."
Those with a nutrient poor diet or who consume a lot of alcohol or caffeine have more toxin accumulation than those who don't thus causing their body to hoard onto fat and appear bloated. A diet rich in fresh vegetables and very little red meat could help your reduce your symptoms.
Drink Water Like It's Going Out Of Style
Lots of women have a hard time losing weight due to inadequate hydration. Doctors recommend that you take in seven to eight glasses every day, to help flush out toxins and other wastes, so if you are not a "water drinker" and have cellulite dimples you want to get rid of, buy yourself a refillable bottle of water to keep by your desk at work and drink up!
Develop a good "food strategy" and keep your cupboards full of the right stuff so you can avoid temptation! If you have struggled with your diet in the past, try Food Journaling .
This simple task can be incorporated into your daily routine and it will help you understand your relationship with food. Use this tool to help you break any bad eating habits you may have developed over the years and also equally as important, to recognize your efforts for a diet gone "right" as you progress on your journey!
Before you know it these habits will become second nature and you will be one step, and several inches closer to the body you are capable of achieving!