I always have people ask me, “Jill, what is THE most important thing for me to do to lose weight?” They ask if they should cut out carbs completely or not eat out at restaurants or be sure to jog everyday, etc. Though these steps may have an impact, the most important steps for sustainable fat loss are those that you can do easily forever, and are behaviors that over time are sustainable. Going carb-free forever is not a long-term solution, nor is never eating a restaurant ever again.
So here are 5 things that people who LIVE the fat loss lifestyle do every day to maintain their results in the long run. They don’t compromise when it comes to these actions. They know that if they do nothing else, these behaviors done daily will help they stay healthy, fit & lean. Don’t over think this stuff. This is basic. If you want to take it to the next level, you can begin to think about the nuances, but for those who want to live a fit, healthy life, these are the non-negotiables.
1) Protein protein protein. This is always the first macronutrient to come to mind :) Each meal revolves around what the protein will be. Choose from fish, chicken, turkey, eggs/whites, whey powder, pea/rice powder or grass-fed beef. Lean people know that starch alone will not serve them. Even an apple will be accompanied by a handful of almonds to slow absorption.
2) Eat mostly real food, and plenty of fruits and veggies. Don’t stress about which veggies are starchy and which fruits are higher GI. These are nuances that can be worked out later. The bottom line is that if you are eating fruits and veggies, you are most-likely not eating crap, which is a successful substitute. Forgo the “protein shake and protein bar diet” and incorporate more real food. You will feel better, more energized and get more vitamins and minerals.
3) Prioritize water. Lean people drink water more than they drink any other beverage. I know some people who hydrate with Diet Coke. <—This is the way of the dieter. Don’t be a dieter; be a forever-fat-loss-lifestyler. 3-4 liter of plain water a day is the goal, with other beverages like coffee, tea or even zero-cal flavored waters sprinkled in, but those always take a backseat to H2O. I recommend getting a 1L Sigg bottle and filling it up 3x per day. Don’t go to bed until it’s all gone.
4) Move. For those who want to live the fat loss lifestyle, you need to prioritize movement, even if it’s just walking everyday or a standing desk. The more active you become, the more you will want to lift heavy weights and crush some interval training workouts. Those who are fit & lean do that too, but they don’t sweat about taking a few days off from the gym because they stay active no matter what. Walking, taking stairs, touch football, playing outside with the kids, etc. Just do something everyday.
5) Sleep. You’d think enough studies have come out now showing the strong correlation between less sleep and obesity, that we’d all just jump in bed as early as possible :) Still, we continue to stay up with our faces plastered to electronic screens. Lean, fit people know that they cannot skimp on sleep. Sleep is the metabolic reset button that readies us for the next day, so that we have the physical capacity to workout hard and the mental capacity to make the right food choices and control stress. 8 hours is non-negotiable. The old days of pinning your self-worth and bragging about how little sleep you need are over. Get with the new, fit crew: sleep or suffer the metabolic consequences.
Related: The Happiness Mindset: 6 Truths