Ok, I felt inspired after a friend asked me for some advice on eating healthy and exercising – so here it is. A work in progress, but still some very helpful tips I’ve learned over the years.
Fit in Four
This is the healthy way to lose weight, and maintain it over a lifetime. Not a quick fix where you quickly gain back every pound and then some after those other ‘diets’ on the market today. This is a lifestyle change. And something that is manageable in your everyday life.
Four meals a day- are plant-based and super healthy, the other can be not so plant-based, but not quite a cheat meal either. For example-pad Thai, noodle soup, Indian, Mexican, Italian, etc., but still make healthy decisions.
Four cheat meals a month- (1 ea. week if 4 weeks that month)
Four main food groups-not the ones back in the day but:
- Grains – Whole, sprouted grains, breads and tortillas, gluten-free oats, etc. (choose high-fiber ones)
- Produce – Organic fruits and vegetables (any and all unless you’re allergic).
- Protein – Fish, seafood, lean chicken or turkey, occasional steak, beans, seeds, legumes, and nuts (easy on the beans if you have joint issues as some doctors think they may lead to inflammation).
- Good fats and treats – avocado, real EVOO, healthy guacamole, hummus, natural salad dressings, dark chocolate, cocoa powder, cacao nibs, red wine, plant milk, etc.
First and last four ingredients- are what you pay attention to the most-the first four are what the product is mainly made of. The last four are usually the bad ones like preservatives, parabens, and artificial flavorings/colorings. Avoid fake things by buying whole, organic foods in their natural state. Or if you want to go really crazy, remember – if man made it – don’t eat it!
Four workouts a week for 1 hour (weights and cardio) – We’re supposed to workout most days of the week, well 4 out of 7 would be more than half and would count as most days. Plus, it allows one day during the middle of your week for emergencies, late meetings, or ill planning. Let’s face it, life happens. This includes 4 strength sessions and 4 cardio sessions, and 4 ab sessions, preferably on the same day, but you can do them in whatever order you choose, or break them up (AM then PM) in one day. It also includes 4 areas of the body – arms, legs, back, abs. The arms session is the entire arm that will be worked out on different days, the back is both upper and lower, the legs includes the glutes and calves, and the abs are for all sections of abs.
Monday – Back and Bis – Full Back, Biceps, Lower Abs, Cardio Intervals
Tuesday – Full Legs, Upper/Side Abs, Cardio Intervals
Wednesday – Rest Day, or Shoulders
Thursday – Chest, Triceps, Shoulders (if didn’t do them yesterday), Lower Abs, Cardio Intervals
Friday – Full Legs, Upper/Side Abs, Cardio Intervals
Saturday – Rest – Enjoy your friends, family and get your chores done. Or just watch TV and veg out! If you’re feeling restless, go for a walk, run, hike, or bike!
Sunday – Rest – Use the weekend days for cooking, chopping and prepping your meals.
Eat things that make you full but aren’t full of calories and fat, its call volumetrics. So you could eat a salad or soup before each meal, so you’ll fill up on nutrients instead of bread, and likely get ½ your meal to go for a later meal.
Examples: cabbage soup, steamed broccoli, salad, soups that aren’t cream-based, smoothies, etc.
Box up ½ of your restaurant meal right away, in fact, ask for a to-go box when you order your meal. If they look confused explain it’s so you don’t overeat, they’ll totally get it.
Avoid places that are a huge temptation for you until your cheat meal time. This is just setting yourself up to fail.
Don’t buy and/or keep junk food and crap in the house. Period. You know you will eat it if it’s there. If you want it bad enough you’ll have to get off the couch and go buy it.
When you cheat, enjoy every single bite and do not allow yourself to feel guilty. You earned this, so enjoy every second. Guilt does nothing good but causes you to spiral out of control. Remember, one or two slip ups doesn’t mean you can stop eating healthy – it just means you need to do better at your next meal.
Allow yourself to be a beginner; no one starts off being excellent. And you can’t compare your ‘before shot’ to other people’s highlight reel or ‘after shot’. Be patient with yourself, and set realistic goals.
Do workouts you’ll actually enjoy, and notice how it feels afterwards when your endorphins are being released. I stretch so I can really feel the ‘feel good’ chemicals being released, instead of just rushing off to the locker room or my car.
Weights are your friends, you won’t look bulky, just lift already! Trust me, I used to think the same thing, but once I tried weights – I got smaller and tighter! The muscle just tightens around the bone and you burn more fat/calories at rest the more you have. You would have to eat 3,000 calories and lift super heavy all the time to look like those bodybuilding chicks. Trust me, you won’t bulk up.
Eat for energy and your health. Ask yourself – how is this going to make me feel after I eat it? If it’s a doughnut, you already know. After a while we all get sick and tired of feeling sick and tired – and it’s directly linked to what we put in our bodies.
Plan cheat meals around big events where eating healthy will be tough. Planning is key, and helps ensure your success, whether it’s gym ‘appointments’ or food prep – it’s very important.
Finally, don’t focus on how far you have to go, or on your flaws. Focus on how much better you feel, little changes here or there and your good qualities. The battle beings in your mind, so make sure you’re thinking about good, positive things!
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any diseases. As with everything, check with your doctor first. All content is provided for general information only and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. Shauna Carpenter is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based on the content of her document. Shauna Carpenter does not endorse any products or services and this information is for informational purposes only as she is not a doctor or dietician. Please do not copy, distribute, sell, or pass this information off as your own, as a book and copyright are already in the works.