6 Smart and Proven Ways to Reignite Your Fitness And Well-Being

6 Smart and Proven Ways to Reignite Your Fitness And Well-Being

Growing up playing high school basketball, there would, unfortunately, be some games where we headed into halftime down by more than twenty points.

For whatever reason, we just didn’t have it in the first half. At times, we would also go on a losing streak where nothing was going according to plan. This was a rough stretch—mentally, physically, and emotionally.

In life, no matter how prepared and motivated we are, there will be times where we find ourselves getting blown out in sports, getting beat down by the everyday events of life, or falling into a fitness rut.

These times aren’t fun. These times are often caused by being burnt out, fatigued or lack of a proper strategy.

To get back on the right side of things, you need to make a comeback, but that is easier said than done. Being down by twenty points at halftime doesn’t leave room for a lot of optimism. Falling off the wagon for the last three weeks with your health and wellness doesn’t leave you with a cup full of confidence.

When it comes to making a comeback, it starts with building positive momentum and getting small wins.

An NBA team can’t make a twenty point shot. Therefore, obsessing over being down by twenty points isn’t an effective approach. A more effective approach is to break the big goal (coming back from twenty points) into smaller goals (breaking the deficit into bite-size chunks of four points) which will psychologically build momentum quicker.

Aiming to cut the deficit by four points every few minutes is more realistic than attempting to suddenly erase twenty points.

In fitness, attempting to miraculously work out intensely six times per week in addition to being spot-on with your diet is unlikely and isn’t setting yourself up for quick wins.

To reignite your fitness and well-being doesn’t mean shooting for the stars and potentially flaming out quickly. Instead, making a health and wellness comeback is about making consistent and incremental progress.

Here are six ways to intelligently reignite your fitness and well-being without losing your mind.

1. Place your diet in timeout

Sometimes rest is just what the doctor ordered. In the NBA, this means resting your players even if that seems counterproductive to the team in the short-term.

In fitness, this means loosening the grip with your diet.

Dieting over time can be mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically exhausting especially if you’re Type A and count every single speck of food.

If everything you see triggers you into mental math and leads to you conjuring up just how many calories and grams of sugar are in each item you consume—you need a break.

Tracking is important and helpful, but over time, this can lead some people to see food only as numbers instead of the plethora of other meanings it has.

Just as you take vacations from work, your meticulous calorie counting needs a rest as well. When you’re in a funk and trying to get back into the swing of things, the last thing you need is extra tasks.

Rediscovering your fitness groove requires proper nutrition so you can think clearly and have more energy, but you can rest on the calorie counting.

Simply being mindful of your food choices is an excellent way to maintain your health without calorie-counting while simultaneously providing some much-needed mental relief.

2. Take it back to the basics

In today’s world, we’re unfortunately transitioning to a philosophy of where complexity trumps simplicity. This is backwards logic.

It’s increasingly easier to major in the minutiae when it comes to our nutrition since there are a gazillion diets in existence promising us the world and some more. There are new and fancy workouts with sexy fitness jargon, but at the end of the day—the fundamentals still reign supreme.

Before we had all these fancy names and rules for our workouts, a squat was just a squat. Before we had our laundry list of diets to choose from, eating whole foods which came from nature while avoiding processed foods was enough.

Reignite Your Fitness And Well-Being
Let your to-do list be for major tasks, not full of minutiae

 

The basics of health and nutrition will never steer you in the wrong direction. Adding more rules only adds complexity and more decision making for you on top of your already busy lifestyle.

3. Think efficiency over duration at the gym

Maybe you’re used to a typical body part workout split that has you lifting 5-6 days a week—this isn’t a good idea right now.

Why?

Your motivations aren’t likely to be sky high nor are your habits up-to-par. This type of split is going to require more of your time and if you’re not in love with fitness at the moment, the last thing you need is a requirement of five 60 minute workouts weekly.

Instead, opting for three full body weekly workouts not only allows you to hit multiple muscle groups per session, it more importantly, frees up your time for other engagements that mean something to you.

As you’re building yourself back into fitness, the main point is doing something (anything that gets you moving) and doing it efficiently and intensely.

4. Get more sleep

We know sleep is important, but yet, it seems we’re moving in the wrong direction. The average adult is getting one and a half hours less sleep per night than the average adult did 100 years ago.

Sleep helps us make better decisions in our professions, helps our relationships, helps us be better leaders, and helps with us being better lovers for our partners (this is important).

Increasing the quantity of our sleep will helps us reignite our fitness and well-being. Sleep helps in this arena by providing us with energy and preventing us from being a zombie on the Walking Dead.

5. Try a new activity

Many of us think of exercise and relegate it to only taking place at the gym.

But, who says that exercise has to be solely done at the gym? Up until recently, gyms were non-existent. There was no such thing as a YMCA or Planet Fitness. But yet, there was still plenty of lean, healthy, and vibrant-looking men and women roaming around the world.

Being in a rut and needing to reignite your fitness serves as the perfect opportunity to jolt a new surge of electricity into your exercise life by trying new activities.

As long as you’re sweating and getting your body in motion—that’s all that matters for now. More specific body composition goals and various performance goals can wait until you’re consistent with your basic health habits.

What are some things that seem fun to you or something that you could include your partner or family with (getting your environment on board is key)?

For some it could be daily walks in the park, learning how to dance, swimming, gymnastics, pole fitness, yoga, and the list could go on forever.

Reignite Your Fitness And Well-Being
Improve your fitness, relationship, and dance skills with the intimate Argentine Tango

6. Reach out to your community

It’s a lonely world out here and even lonelier when we try to go about things by ourselves. No one accomplishes anything in this world by themselves.

Olympic athletes even have coaches and corners of people for accountability and support. Having a community for accountability and support helps you stay on track because we all have off days where we need a shoulder to lean on.

Using a community to help you along your journey can help you burn more calories, especially if they’re are working out with you.

5 Steps to Better Health, More Energy, and Weight Loss Without Strict Dieting

fresh-strawberries-and-blackberries-in-little-bowl-picjumbo-com

Often times, I found myself frustrated and down about not reaching my goals. I thought I was covering everything I needed and addressing the right areas.

I wanted to develop a writing habit, a salsa dancing habit, a meditation habit but I couldn’t achieve my desired outcome (despite my effort).

But as I found out, I wasn’t focusing on the important metrics for my desired results.

I was overlooking the basics. We know the basics are a priority, but how many of us are actually following this advice?

Probably few.

Only once I started to truly focus on my fundamentals before anything else did my productivity and results follow suit.

This same philosophy is pivotal in fitness. If your results are lagging despite your perceived effort—odds are you’ve gotten ahead of yourself and didn’t master the essential behaviors for a solid and sturdy foundation.

Dieting doesn’t need to feel like a roller coaster where you’re holding on for dear life.

Weight loss without strict dieting and uncomfortable restrictions are possible and it starts by implementing these five steps.

1.Perform a dietary audit

All jobs need auditing and assessment for maximum efficiency and effectiveness.

The same task is needed with your nutritional habits. If you start a diet on Monday; then take a break the next three days; then you’re back on for a day; then off until Monday—your diet severely needs an audit.

When you’re attempting to lose weight—the initial actions for many are to start counting calories, decide on a particular diet, and maybe quit some food groups altogether.

Counting calories are useful, but it’s a useless skill if you don’t know what healthy foods are. If you aren’t making healthy food choices on a daily basis, don’t bother counting calories just yet.

These food decisions lead to getting quality nutrients to help your metabolism, help build lean muscle, and help fight off diseases.

A great way to start is by taking the healthy eating quiz (just useful as a general baseline—not the final word).

Afterward, review and begin to focus on the quality of your food choices and daily healthy habits before micro-managing tactics that aren’t in your 80/20.

Long-term changes in the quality of your diet are equated to keeping the weight off for the long-term.

2.Develop love, admiration, and respect for micronutrients

In my book, Body Architectone of my favorite chapters discusses micronutrients and how they’re often treated as the supporting cast compared to the main actors (carbs, fats, & proteins).

But just as in any quality movie, without a solid supporting cast, the movie isn’t going to be good.

The same holds true with your nutrition.

Focusing only on the big three macros may grant you an aesthetic masterpiece, but without proper micronutrient intake—your internal health and daily energy levels are going to be less than optimal.

The majority of your micronutrients are from your fruit and vegetable intake.

study with more than 130,000 adults discovered that those who increased their intake of fruit and vegetables over four years lost weight.

Your micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) help with supporting a healthy functioning metabolism (thyroid hormones), and prevention and treatment of diseases just to name a few of their many roles.

3.Don’t drink your calories

I’m a fan of making the easiest changes to your diets before anything else. One of the first rules I have my clients and workshop groups I speak with is to eliminate or at least minimize drinking calories.

Sugar-sweetened beverages don’t have their calories hidden, but many people often disregard or forget to count their drinks into their caloric intake.

Drinking your calories is a deceptive way to rack up your calorie count and other associated issues. It’s not just 1 soda a day that can increase your risk for diabetes— it’s sweet tea (my weakness), energy drinks, and other sugary drinks.

The next concern may be how to get your vitamins if you skip out on the multiple glasses of orange juice or milk and that’s where your fruits and vegetables come into play. Increase your fruit and vegetable intake to get these nutrients along with a decrease in calories and sugars.

weight loss without strict dieting
If you’re going to drink your calories, make sure to load them up with quality nutrients.

4.Focus on your portion sizes

Michael Pollan sums it up perfectly in seven words: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly Plants.”

If you head to restaurants that offer larger portions, you’re going to consume more food and calories (no shock value here). There’s more research which states that offering larger portions to adults and children leads to extra calories and inevitable weight gain down the road.

An easy way to practice healthier eating is to make half your plate vegetables, then one-quarter of the plate for protein, while the rest is for carbohydrates or healthy fats depending on your specific dietary plan.

5.Be wary of food triggers and environments

Everywhere we turn, it seems we’re seduced into eating and drinking. Food billboards, signs on buses, signs at the subway, tv ads, and vending machines.

These triggers and discreet psychological cues lead us to have cravings and mindlessly eat. Eating even when you’re not hungry is a common symptom of these cues and a big reason for obesity.

When you’re in these types of environments and feel food urges, stop and ask yourself “why do I want this food” three times before indulging. Also, don’t head to the grocery store empty handed—always have a list. Eat a filling meal before heading out to sporting events or movie theaters where less-than-ideal food is being served.

How to Simplify Your Diet And Have More Energy With These 9 Proven Nutritional Laws

How to Simplify Your Diet And Have More Energy With These 9 Proven Nutritional Laws

In the world of health and fitness, nutrition is notorious for being unnecessarily complex. Instead of determining how to simplify your diet, the current theme seems to be how to make your diet more complex than is necessary.

The basics don’t sell (they’re far from sexy).

However,  add some fancy jargon and rules—now you have a money maker.

Losing weight doesn’t need to be a roller coaster. Unfortunately, many people will diet and abandoned their plans within a couple of weeks due to the intense and regimented approach they forced upon themselves.

Instead of adopting habits that are truly beneficial to their particular lifestyle, many people find themselves adopting habits and strategies that perfectly suit someone else—not themselves.

Nutrition doesn’t have to feel like a game of tug-of-war. Food doesn’t have to be viewed in a negative light. Eating doesn’t have to feel like a chore.

Instead of dreading and resenting your diet, implement these 9 core nutritional laws that I use to simplify my diet.

1.Live by the 80/20 rule

The first objective on how to simplify your diet is to simply let go of the trivial nutritional tactics. Unless you’re a competitive athlete, prepping for a photo shoot, or a bodybuilding show—obsessing over minute nutritional tactics is counterproductive.

Before macro counting, measuring food, comparing whey protein powders—ask yourself “am I making good food choices on a daily basis?”

If you’re not making good food choices, don’t even look into advanced strategies. You can’t count, weigh, nor debate nutritional tactics if you don’t even understand how to properly make good food decisions.

Master your basics before anything else.

2.Have a bias for longevity

Looking fantastic at the beach, the pool, or on the boat is wonderful, but what good is it if the trade off is poor overall health.

A plan that focuses on longevity views internal health over external health while recognizing that each macronutrient plays a pivotal role in supporting an optimal and high performing physique.

As you’re designing your nutrition plan, make it a goal to eat a well-balanced diet and have all macronutrients represented appropriately as well as an ample amount of vegetables with each meal.

how to simplify your diet
Balance and diversity are keys to your nutrition.

3.Intelligently eat with purpose

You are what you eat. Eating just to eat is mindlessly eating and is the reason why so many people secretly put weight on over the years without recognizing what they’re doing to their body.

Intelligently eating is eating with an objective and purpose in mind.

It’s eating foods that you understand will not only help your internal health but also support your external (aesthetic) goals. Everything you eat should be able to help repair and build lean muscle while providing you with the energy needed to show up as the best version of yourself.

4.Have a green drink every day

I will gladly admit, I’m not the biggest fan of vegetables.

However, one the best decisions I’ve made in the last few months is to have one green drink each and every day. Our greens are so important because they contain a plethora of micronutrients which are the forgotten members of a healthy overall body. Many of our daily functions couldn’t be carried out without a plethora of micronutrients.

5.Have protein with every single meal

Protein gets a lot of the spotlight, but rightfully so. It plays a role in keeping our metabolism operating  smoothly, maintaining our energy levels, stabilizing our blood sugar levels, and is used in every single cell within our body.

Building lean muscle, maintaining proper neurological functioning, aiding in digestion, balancing hormones, helping maintain proper moods, and helping satiety levels—protein is a nutritional superhero.

Each woman should aim for at least one portion of protein (palm size serving) and males should be two portions (2 palm size servings). These aren’t set in stone but are a good place to start.

6.Have a few default meal options

Decision fatigue is a real thing. Information overload will make you less likely to take action or make smart decisions.

There’s a reason the president, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, and many other high achievers wear the same outfits predominately throughout the week—it frees up space to make decisions and have energy for the important matters of the day.

The same applies to your nutrition. Eating a handful of the same meals throughout the week is the best thing you can do to turn your nutrition on autopilot. You know exactly what you’re putting in your body without wasting too much mental bandwidth thinking.

An example of a template I use is the rice bowl strategy:

  • Your meat of choice
  • Your preferred style of rice
  • Vegetables (at least 3 different types)
  • Coconut oil (used to prepare my chicken)
  • The serving size is entirely up to you and your desired goals.

7.If you’re having the urge to binge—ask why 3 times

Whether it’s a tough day at work, relationship stresses, discomfort from traffic or anything else—emotional eating is powerful enough to halt your fitness goals.

Before I make an impulse food decision, I ask myself why I want this item three times. If it’s three sound and logical reasons, then I buy the item with no guilt. Often times, by the second and definitely the third reason, you’ll realize this impulse food decision was only a distraction to something else going on within your life that you’re avoiding.

8.When you do indulge, indulge guilt-free

Guilt is a terrible and unnecessary thing.

I love tacos, tamales, arepas, empanadas, ice cream, and wine. I resist from binge eating by having control of my emotions and indulge by selectively planning for moments of indulgence.

Diets are important, but they don’t equate to deprivement of the foods you enjoy.

chocolate cake
There’s always a time and place for some chocolate cake

9. Eat foods that you (actually) enjoy

If you’re on a nutrition plan that includes foods you don’t enjoy, how realistic is it to expect that you’ll stick to it?

Willpower is finite and motivation is fleeting.

I don’t like brown rice so I’m not going to eat it (there are many types of rice & other available starches).

Don’t like broccoli? No biggie, there’s a plethora of other green veggies.

According to a study published in “Eating Behaviors” in  2005, individuals who took a strict, rigid, all-or-nothing approach to dieting were more likely to have a higher BMI (Body Mass Index) and compulsive eating behaviors compared to those who were a little more flexible with their dieting approach.

When you give yourself options and feel in control of what you’re eating, you’re going to create a better attitude toward nutrition and yourself.