Let’s see if we can find a way to augment the regular workout with reasonable diet modifications that will give us major bang for our buck. These modifications will focus on the three places that most of us get our food fixes - at home, at work, and at play.
Last month, I offered a few options for getting and staying fit without committing to a gym workout routine.
Now let’s see if we can find a way to augment the regular workout with reasonable diet modifications that will give us major bang for our buck. These modifications will focus on the three places that most of us get our food fixes - at home, at work, and at play.
1. Home - As busy professionals most of our eating is done at work, at play, or as leftovers from play. However, if your home eating is a result of your shopping skills, then you should be aware that your shopping skills are like any other learned behavior and are a result of what you were taught as a child. For example, we often balance how we shop with how our parents shopped for us and what we can afford at the moment (i.e. instead of Froot Loops, we get Hoola Hoops).
Help is here. An essential book called “Eat This Not That” by David Zinczenko gives a simplistic breakdown of many of the foods we already eat and how we can make simple changes to save hundreds of calories with each meal. The skinny of losing weight and feeling good is to eat better foods one day at a time - and it all starts with how we eat at home. One study suggests that men get as much as 50 percent of their sugar in liquids from drinks at home. Let's try to make our refrigerators our friends and trainers.
2. Work - Work has different meanings for all of us. For some, it is an on-the-go, non-stop, action-packed adventure each day. For others, it can be a dead zone where lunch is the most meaningful part of the day.
No matter where you lie on the spectrum of these workplace temperatures, it is undeniable that man has to eat when he works. I am not going to attempt to change your workplace rituals all at once, but slowly. For instance, if the vending machine is any part of your day, there are healthy alternatives within most vending machines that will save hundreds of calories as outlined in Zinczenko’s book. Most healthy alternatives are more expensive than your local Taco Bell; however, bringing your own lunch tops even the Bell. Start losing the soda and try water with a meal. Small changes in your daily routine add up to large gains overall.
3. Play - Finally, when most of us play or go out to eat, we feel that it is time to "let it go." However, some of our largest blunders happen here. We often lose our diet discipline because we "deserve it" or have "earned it." I won't be the guy to steal your sense of self-appreciation, but what you really want is to appreciate yourself in the right way.
Try ordering your alcoholic beverage with a diet soda instead of the real deal. Have more water with your meals to give yourself a sensation of being full and take the other half of your meal for later (healthy work option). Incorporate one plate of vegetables with every meal and share a dessert. Not only are these little things going to get you slimmer, but they will keep your pockets fatter.
Developing cost-efficient exercise and healthy-eating habits is one of the most difficult tasks that most of us will face while in training, but it is certainly one of the most important. Taking small steps to ensure that we are moving in the right direction of physical and dietary success will ensure that we will end up with more energy and a better quality of life. Until next time, cheers to staying slim and feeling great!