Step two: Take out the Trash
Your ‘before’ and ‘after’ doesn’t just include how much fat you lost or gained muscle. It also includes your healthy eating and all the good and bad habits that are a part of your lifestyle. If you like cookies, cakes, donuts, chips, soda or other obviously unhealthy foods, get rid of them. Throw them out. The food you eat will make a big difference on the level of success that you have and on your mental stamina. Don’t just fall for it because it claims to be “healthy” or “sugar-free.” Artificial sweeteners tend to be much worse for you than natural sugars and often food labels are set by specific definitions. If you want an easy rule of thumb, try this. Look for products that contain ingredients that you can pronounce and recognize. Look for simple ingredients and try to get them as close to original form as possible. A fresh, sweet apple is much healthier for you than a processed “health food” cookie.
Once you have rid yourself of all the really bad stuff, you can transition to healthier food choices, dinners and other menu options.
Next take mental stock of your “self talk.” Studies have found that the mental conversations you have with yourself are one of the greatest determiners on your success. If you shorten a workout or mess up with your lunch choice, then look for the successes of the day. Every time that you mentally barrage yourself, reinforce at least two positive thoughts like; “I drank over 16 glasses of water today.” or “I got up 10 minutes early and started my workout on time!” Don’t focus solely on on the larger successes like fat loss or muscle gain, but recognize and notice the small things. It is by small things that great things are accomplished. The win is in the details!
Lastly, take a look at those around you. Take assessment of the people that are more likely to help you and motivate you. Friends play a huge roll in long term success. Although we don’t want you to dump any friends, we do want you to notice the friends that will encourage you to be more active, eat healthier, and be your best. If your best friend doesn’t want to go hiking, bicycling or workout with you, then find a buddy who does. It will make your activities more fun to have others along on the adventure and you are more likely to stick with it on your bad days.
Step 3: Get the Food Fundamentals.
Unfortunately, there are far more unhealthy options vying for your money than healthy options. It will be an uphill battle to rely on others to keep you healthy. You’ll want to stock up on some basic foods that make it easier to create healthy meals and have some fitness supplies on hand. Here is our recommended list:
Stock up on the Pantry basics: Brown rice, Quinoa, Oats, Sweet Potatoes, and Whole Grain Cereal. These base foods will make creating fast and delicious meal plans easy. Do you have only 15 minutes? Cook rice and a quick stir fry. Stock up on Nuts, Natural Nut Butter, Sesame Seed, Olive Oil, Whey Protein Powder. Nuts are a powerful protein that works great as a snack and adds great texture to your meals. Sesame seeds are a super seed crammed with nutrients and vitamins. Olive Oil is one fat that is good for you and great for cooking. Don’t forget Canned Tuna, Salmon, Herbs, and Spices. These items will add great flavor to your foods.
Fridge basics include: Fresh Fruits are ideal for satisfying your sweet cravings. Natural sugars found in foods don’t cause the same damage and sugar additions as refined sugars. Greek Yogurt, Egg Whites, and Low-Fat Milk, Turkey, Low-Sodium Soy Sauce, Salsa (Check out our Salsa Recipes) Mustard, Chicken or Beef Broth, and Filtered or bottled water.
Freezer basics: Keep these main supplies in your freezer and have the ability to throw together a fast meal in minutes. Frozen Chicken Breasts, Frozen Lean Beef, Frozen Turkey, Frozen Fish, Frozen Vegetables, Frozen Berries.
Fitness supplies: First you’ll want to make sure that you have the essential basics for fitness supplies, especially if you are just getting started. Essential supplies include: Properly fit running shoes, comfortable workout wear, Ipod or Mp3 player, water bottle, Heart Rate monitor, Jump Rope, Resistance Band, Dumbbells or Kettlebells. If you already stay fit and are looking to ramp up a bodybuilding regimen, then you’ll want a weightlifting gym so that you can really ramp up your workouts. A good weightlifting gym should provide heavy lifting, continual wear without bending the bars with time, and should be nearly as wide as they are tall. This ensures that they are stable with a wide base, keeping them safer.