So you're new to the "clean eating" lifestyle? So you have no idea where to start? So you're feeling overwhelmed and think clean eating just means boring salads and vegetables? It's not just about eating like a rabbit. In fact, its far from it! Here are my tips of mental steps you need to understand to be able to move to a more fat-loss friendly lifestyle! In part 2 I will discuss these in a more practical approach.
- Diet Dictates The Majority Of Your Progress. Your diet is going to dictate the majority of your success at body change. You could do very little to no exercise and still lose weight and improve your body shape and release toxins that are stuck in your fat cells (aka cellulite!). At the same time, you could workout like a champ and not lose any weight because of a dirty diet. This trap sound familiar? I know I'm guilty as charged.
- Don't Change Everything At Once! Its overwhelming enough to wrap your mind around changing just a few things in your life, don't make it any harder by trying to be perfect. Start by implementing positive behaviors to increase the likelihood of them developing into habit. For example, if you always stop at Coffee Bean in the morning before work (like this Fit Girl right here hah!) instead of getting a blended mocha, get a cup of coffee with half-n-half and no-cal sweetener! Or if you always have a late night snack, change it to something fat-loss friendly like some cinnamon cottage cheese or protein pudding instead of those darn girl scout cookies. Don't take away all of the habits you've already established in one fell swoop. Make sense?
- Start To Understand Fat Loss vs Weight Loss. They are NOT the same. It is SO MUCH MORE than counting calories. You need to understand what are fat-loss friendly foods are and what are not. "Low-cal" does not equal fat loss. If you're getting smaller but you're body shape is not changing you're probably not losing fat, just weight. I love Metabolic Effect's saying "a healthy diet is not always a fat loss diet, but a fat loss diet is always a healthy diet." They also continually talks about avoiding the weight loss game. You know exactly what I'm talking about: the yo-yo weight gain/loss!
- Its Mostly Mental. Do not let food control you. Do not let that piece of chocolate cake sitting on the table defeat you. Realize that it is a piece of food, it can't talk, and its feelings will not get hurt if you decide to pass on it. At the same time, do not drive yourself nuts obsessing over food. You need food to live. It's about developing a healthy relationship with food and treats. It may start out with you having to take more 'extreme measures' like throwing away your bun right away, but over time it WILL get easier. You WILL gain the mental strength to have bread on the table without even touching it.
- You Don't Need To Justify Anything I think we fall into the trap of justifying our eating habits. "I deserve that cheesecake after my long day at work." "I'll start eating better tomorrow" " How much longer are you going to justify these things to yourself on a daily basis? You have to mentally take control. Nobody said this part was easy, but it does get easier over time which is why I stress point number 2: don't change everything at all once!
- Come Up With Go-To Tactics. Through some trial and error you will begin to find fat-loss friendly and clean foods you like and those that you don't. Don't force some kale down your throat just because its good for you. Start with veggies you know you like. Play with spices. Drink more water. Plan ahead healthier snacks. You'll also begin to learn ways to incorporate more fat-loss friendly foods to your growing list of clean foods you like. For example, you could start adding frozen spinach to a protein shake. It's a great way to add some greens without the "green" taste! Here are some of my go to tactics: click here!
- Understand How to Eat Fat-Loss Friendly Anywhere Life happens. You can't ALWAYS prepare your own food but you can learn the 'survival tactics' to keep the damage to a minimum. You have to learn to navigate a menu. Don't be afraid to customize an order. "Hold the croutons" "Sauce on the side" etc.
- Take heed, it gets easier. You may not believe me now, but its true. You will start to figure out fat-loss foods you like. Your taste buds will adapt and you will begin to like maybe even crave those healthier foods! Once you see results, you will be even more mentally prepared and motivated to clean up your diet even more! It's a learning process and you can do it.
One you get your mental game face on its so much easier to understand what practical steps you can take. In part 2 I will discuss some specific examples and lots more ideas of how to incorporate better habits day to day.
Do you have any ideas for those new to the clean eating/fat loss lifestyle? What has worked for you? What hasn't?