You’ve set your New Year’s resolutions, they may or may not contain weight, fitness, and health related goals but there’s a good chance they do.
So now we have an end goal – but how will we make sure you get there? That’s why I’m writing this article, to give you actionable tips and help to maintain a healthy lifestyle and your fitness/health goals in 2017.
Because no matter what you do in the gym if you’re not in a caloric surplus to gain weight or a deficit to lose weight, nothing will change – however you might get a tad stronger! You should always be eating with specific purpose whether it’s gaining, losing, or maintaining.
Meal prep helps you do exactly that and has a few extra benefits as well. Prepping bulk meals lets you plan how many calories you’ll eat in a day without having to enter a zillion things into MyFitnessPal. You can also make sure you’re eating high-quality food that you’ve hand selected and prepared yourself.
One thing I find makes meal prep easy is having a set of containers that make organizing and storing all your prepped food simple – here’s a guide to meal prep containers. All your containers will be the same size so portioning is simple, and you’ll recognize them in the refrigerator right away.
Be mindful of the food you’re eating, and how much you’re eating
If you’re not mindful of how much you’re eating – here comes the pitfall of either under or overeating. I’m talking about being mindful of how much you’re eating throughout the day, and also specifically mindful when you’re eating so you can listen to your body, appreciate your food, and recognize when you’re full to avoid overeating.
For the individual looking to gain weight, you’ll want to be more mindful of your body when you’re NOT eating, so you realize when you’re hungry and should be eating, for the gains!
Back in the day, say many thousands of years ago, we might go a day or two without eating until we A) killed a large animal to feast on B) found some berries or nuts to forage or C) got back to a camp/home to eat some of our stored food. Now, food is readily available in our pantries, at the store, UberEats (soon to be commonplace in Australia no doubt) and the like.
Am I saying to go out and hunt a deer or else you can’t eat today? No of course not but there’s certainly some merit and benefits to creating eating windows, let’s explore them.
- Fasting is a simple method to control calories – if you’re only eating in a 6 or 8 hour window it’s a lot harder to overeat than if you split your meals throughout the day. You only have so much room in your stomach.
- I’m not a scientist, but there’s something to be said about constantly feeding your cells, not allowing them to die off as frequently and regenerate. Fasting breaks down your body and requires uses its own natural sources to fuel it (I.E. your FAT stores)
- Simplify meal prep – when fasting I might eat 2 big meals a day and 2-3 snacks. This is way easier than breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two snacks!
- I find I’m more productive in a fasted state, and you might too. I drink bulletproof coffee (which is basically butter and coffee – here’s the recipe) from about 7am until lunch and it keeps me going and extremely focused. Consuming a bit of fat in the coffee doesn’t break my fast as only consuming carbs would interrupt the body from using its own fat stores as energy – plus it’s only a few calories.
To give a quick primer on fasting, you create a window in which you eat for example I fast until 12:00pm every day and eat until 6pm. That’s a 6 hour eating window and I’m fasted for 18hrs a day. Here’s some more in depth reading on the intermittent fasting model by someone much more knowledgable than me!
Food for thought! Speak to your EFM coach about the best eating plan for you as they know you personally and can give you information that is best suited to you.
I feel a bit silly putting this in here – BUT – you gotta exercise! It doesn’t always have to be boring dumbbells and barbells and treadmills and of course, the variety of training each day is what makes EFM Health Clubs so great!.
It’s tough to get started but gets easier to maintain as you get more into it. Exercise is great for the brain, your mood, physical health, and so so many things. Moving regularly is essential for living a long and healthy life so hop to it – with variety!
Make a plan and stick to it
With so much information out there (sorry if I’ve piled on more) it’s easy to get confused, sidetracked, and start a million different plans. My advice is to start basic and branch out if necessary. Pick a few forms of enjoyable exercise, eat high quality foods – eat a bit more if you need to gain and a bit less if you need to lose, try counting calories to get an idea of how much you eat each day and use that information to portion manage in the future, and enjoy life!
It’s not a race, make living a happy and healthy life a long term choice and keep working at it every day. Best of luck in 2017 :)!
This article was written by Ryan Gains from GainsBible.com – He’s a fitness enthusiast, helping spread decent information that he hopes can help other enthusiasts reach their fitness goals faster.