Updated: Aug 13
If you made it this far into my series of "How to Lose Weight and Keep it Off" I want to thank you for staying with me on this journey. It can be a daunting task to find information out there that is truly beneficial to you. You probably noticed by now that the title of this series is actually a marketing technique to get people to read my blog. There's a point to this and I'll get to it in a bit. Take a moment and think back to why you clicked on my blog post. Did you click on it to find answers to your questions or were you interested to read what I am writing? It is important to be truthful to yourself because this is part of your journey. There is no easy way to decrease body fat naturally. With so much external [noise] from expert marketing to fast food restaurants, peer-pressure from friends, and the need to eat or drink something to socialize because you don't want to be the odd one out, fitness is seemingly so difficult...but it doesn't have to be. Let's explore more.
Decreasing body fat and keeping it off comes down to life-style and choices. Everything is impacted by the choices we make, which is a direct response from the emotions we feel. Emotions are what drive us to our choices and decisions. Like when you clicked on this series "Part 1" blog post there was an emotion behind your decision. Emotions are what makes us human. What if we can learn to channel that and block out the noise? Remember in part 2, I stated "To change something you have to...change something." All I want you to do is to try something different. Instead of purchasing a fat loss program or the latest and greatest weight loss pill I want you to get a piece of paper or open up a notes tab on your phone, computer, or the device you are using, and write down 3 changes you can easily make in your life to help you reach your goal of decreasing body fat. Go ahead and do that now.
Once you have done that I want you to write it on a piece of paper (if you haven't done so already) and put it somewhere you will always look, like on the bathroom mirror, or on the refrigerator. Why do I want you to write it down? It's because it is something tangible. It is something you can feel, see, and connect to right away. If you keep it on your phone in the notes, you would have to navigate your way there to read it. It could be easily forgotten. Go ahead and take a moment and find a place for your piece of paper. Make sure to have it at eye-level. Thank you for doing that. That was the first actionable step of your journey and you should be absolutely proud of yourself. I am proud of you.
I realize that this seems silly, but it's simple and actionable. It's the little wins that keep us there. It's the foot in front of the other, it's what turns the steps into meters, and meters into miles. Keep moving forward and keep getting those wins. If you can change your thought process and work on the important things, such as happiness and acceptance of yourself entirely, then you can make those changes. We often look for answers in the wrong places when the answers we are looking for are easily available to you, locked away in your mind. I know this content is kind of seemingly off track, but it isn't. Think about it. We are a species that acts on emotions. We allow people and companies to dictate our emotions and we don't even know it. When I was in college I learned about business marketing and how it is to use words, colors, and other details to connect with people emotionally through the psyche so they want my product. Even in the fitness business world we are taught to sell ourselves and connect with people on an emotional level because people purchase with emotion. This is how powerful emotion is!
So let's put our emotions to good use for our own benefit and invest in ourselves. Let's learn more ways to accomplish our goals of decreasing body fat and keeping it off. That piece of paper you just put up on a place that you will constantly see at eye-level, I want you to pick just one...pick the very first change that you wrote and I want you to work on it. Don't give yourself a time frame to accomplish that goal. Turn it into a habit. How do you make an action into a habit? You do so by keep doing it and keep practicing. Come up and write down ways that you can integrate that [change] into your life. Keep it simple and make sure your goal is obtainable. If you attempted it and failed at it...good! Failure is how we learn! Just try it again and keep on going. You continually moving forward even after you failed is a WIN! That should be celebrated. Celebrate the small things. This is how you change your mindset. It's the little things that are overlooked.
In most instances, if not all, we do things out of habit. If you ever worked with me in the gym or in nutrition, then you know I am big on habit and how we develop it. The journey to decreasing body fat is not started at the gym or in the kitchen, as we all have heard before. The journey starts with your decision to change and to take action by addressing what causes you to make the decisions that may hinder you from your goal. You may not know what you need to do and that is okay. You will...just trust yourself and trust your instinct. Trust that you will find a way to learn. As long as you are willing to learn...you will. If you still don't know and find it difficult to do it on your own, reach out to an expert. Invest in yourself.
Now that you have a starting point in your journey to decreasing body fat and keeping it off, you can now continue taking those steps. I want you to accept that you WILL fail. You will fail often. I want you to accept it, because it's part of the journey and it's part of the growth. You cannot know success without knowing failure. In the previous sentence let's change the words "success" and "failure". You cannot know balance without knowing unbalance. Interesting, isn't it? Think about those words and what it means to you. How does it make you feel?
Now that you have the tools to practice developing habits, let's go a little bit deeper into what we learned in part 1 and part 2 (exercise and nutrition). Let's begin with exercise. Exercise is an important aspect of our lives to maintain health. Moving gets the blood going through out our body and blood is also a healing agent. It transports nutrients, oxygen, and gets rid of the body's waste. So moving is a good thing. In order for our bodies to move optimally we have to teach it to activate the correct muscles (prime movers, synergists, and stabilizers). The more optimal our muscles are in movement, the more calories we can efficiently burn and stay functional. Simple enough right? Don't over complicate exercise. Remember, we only move in three planes of motion (sagittal, frontal, and transverse) and in those planes of motion we have 7-common movement patterns (squat, lunge, hinge, push, pull, rotate, and plank). Keep it simple, don't over complicate all of this. If you're not hiring a certified fitness professional then you're going to have to create an exercise program for yourself. To get you started try this:
Note: A certified trainer can teach you how to safely activate the correct muscles by applying practical exercise methods. He or she will develop a fitness plan to ensure you have a well-balanced exercise program.
To learn more about me, my services, and how we can serve you email, call or text me at:
Visit us at https://www.rootedkingdom.com
When choosing exercises, be sure to choose each movement that serves the purpose of satisfying the prescribed plane of motion and 3 of the 7-common movements. Be sure to warm-up for at least 5 minutes and cool down afterwards for at least 5 minutes.
Important: Please discuss any workout with your doctor prior to attempting any physical activity. If you are on beta blockers please do not attempt any supine (facing upward) or prone (facing downward) exercise(s) without your doctor's approval and a fitness professional observing you. Perform each exercise in a controlled and safe manner.
Planes of Motion: Sagittal and Transverse
7-movements: Squat, Plank, Rotate
Go for a walk (walk 12 minutes)
Planes of Motion: Frontal, Sagittal
7-Movements: Lunge, Hinge, Plank
Go a little bit further on your walk (walk for 15 minutes)
Planes of Motion: Frontal and Transverse
Squat, Rotate, Plank
Walk for 15 minutes but try to walk a little faster so you can go a little further than Thursday
Did you try the above program? Were you able to come up with exercises on your own? Let me know how it went. Write down how you are feeling and what changes you would want to make to your program. Like, choosing a different exercise in place of another to help dial-in a well-balanced program. Don't be afraid to explore your movement patterns and what feels good. Follow your instincts.
Okay, now let's talk about nutrition and how to build healthy habits. To keep it simple we need to eat wholesome nutritious foods in order to deliver nutrients to our body. Just to be crystal clear, cheese burgers, candy, some cheeses (cream cheese, American cheese, etc), are foods, but it's more of a like-food item. Like-foods are filled with chemicals and fillers, with little to no nutritional value, in it and leaving our bodies still hungry for nourishment. So pick healthier options like fruits and veggies. I am not referring to veggies smothered in gravy or oil. I am talking about fruits and vegetables untouched and raw.
I'm sure some readers reading this are like "Herman, I know what healthy foods are but I can't just eat like a rabbit". I know this. So let's explore ways we can incorporate healthier food options. Start off with choosing one or two food items to replace. It reads easy but we know that simply replacing food options isn't as easy as it seems. Away to achieve this is to remove some excess calories from your typical choice. Most process foods have more calories than wholesome foods. So to get to the goal of choosing healthier options, try this. If you enjoy eating pancakes, hash browns, and scrambled eggs in the morning, try only eating half of one item you would normally finish.
Once you do that you have just made your caloric intake lower. The next step would be to remove that choice item completely and replace it with a healthy option like a banana. As time goes and you feel ready, keep removing items off of your plate. Soon enough your breakfast will be something simple such as a banana and oatmeal. A medium sized banana and 1/2 a cup of oatmeal is about 250 calories. That's enough to keep you fueled in the morning. One thing that most of us do is we don't check how much calories we are consuming. Most packaged food items aren't portion controlled for us so we tend to over eat. A good example of this are "snack foods."
A common 10-cookie package of cookies are deceiving. Why? If you haven't read the nutrition facts of one I want you to start doing so. First look at the calories and then look at the servings size. For 3 cookies it's 160 calories. 3 cookies isn't a lot. Those little cookies with cream in the middle have approximately 53 calories per cookie. Most people, out of habit, consume the entire package because it isn't in a larger cookie-count tray package. The idea that it's in a smaller package sends a message that one could eat the whole thing. So if there are 10 cookies and a serving size is three, the math doesn't add up. Basically you can have three servings and have one cookie left. That doesn't make sense. Why do this? Why give this extra left-over cookie?
Common sense says in a package of 10 cookies and if three cookies is one servings, then there should be 9 cookies in the package instead of 10. Doesn't make sense, right? The cookie count is strategically out of a numbered pattern so we do not recognize it. My question becomes, was this done on purpose? Companies spend money on advertising and those who learn advertising understand the human psyche and how we make decisions and interpret information. So we end up eating the entire 10-cookie package because it's a "smaller" package and the thought process is I made a healthier choice because I didn't purchase the tray of cookies. But we still decided to eat the entire 10-cookie package. We ended up consuming approximately 533 calories. The recommened calorie intake a day is 2000 so a person just went over 1/4 of his or her total calorie intake in one sitting. This is where it gets interesting.
Staying on the example of the 10-cookie package in relations to calories, even though those cookies we consumed in the entire packet have approximately 533 calories we still did not nourish our body and our bodies will still let us know it is hungry. So now we will eat some more and consume more calories. If a person doesn't understand basic nutrition and caloric intake, weight gain is inevitable. Most meals in common chain restaurants (sit down or drive-thru) contain 900 to 1200 calories or more. This is in one meal! That's outrageous. The popular Mexican-American fast food chain that claims their food is healthy because it's serves fresh ingredient burritos [that are well over 900 calories]. Those meals are extremely high on the calorie count for one meal. Some meals have over 1200 calories. Okay fine, let's make it "healthier" and remove the tortilla and make it a burrito bowl. That's still about 600 calories, which is way too much for one meal. This is assuming a person doesn't put sour cream, cheese, and meat cooked in oil in it. This is just the veggie burrito worth 900 to 1200 calories. A regular sized bag of chips contains 540 calories. As you can see one person can easily plow their way through the recommened 2000 calorie daily intake in one visit at a restaurant.
As I mentioned before, processed foods contain much more calories than wholesome real-foods like fruits and vegetables. I'm not telling you to just eat legumes, fruits, and vegetables but I am encouraging you to incorporate it into your diet. Most legumes and vegetables are fibrous and will leave you feeling full and satisfied and it's also much lower in calories. One thing that I see often is when people make food choices they make nutritionally redundant decisions in one meal. Such as, if they choose beans, which is a protein, they still tend to choose another choice of protein such as chicken. Their common idea is I don't want to eat carbs because carbs will make me fat. Carbs don't make us fat, it's the choice of carbs that does. Our bodies are designed to use carbs as a source of energy. Our body's converts carbs to glucose and glucose to energy. Meaning we need more carbs than protein. That sounds crazy right? It's not. It's how we are designed. What makes people gain unwanted fat is choice in foods.
Remember we explored the ideas of emotions having a major role in our decision-making? It's the emotional habit that leads us to making nutritional habits that are hindering us from our goals. The root of the problem is not you eating unhealthy foods, it's stems from your choices which are driven by emotions. We have to understand what makes us tick. Take time to yourself and try to understand why you are choosing the banana bread instead of a whole banana. Really take time and get to know who you are. Remove the external distractions (social media, toxic people, etc.) from your life and see if you change your thinking a bit. You should put you first. You should be your number one fan. You should be the most important person in your life. Why? Because without you, you wouldn't exist.
This is what I eat in a typical day. I'm not sharing it so you can try it, but I am sharing it so you can see how much I eat, what I eat, and how much calories I intake. I'm a muscular man and I am pretty active. I am 5'11 and 193 pounds. In a given week I workout 11 to 13 times, not including the calories I expend working with my clients. This is for informational purpose only and not intended to replace your nutritional choices. Remember, we all have different nutritional needs. As always, check with your family doctor and/or registered dietician before making dietary changes. Again, what I am sharing with you is not an example meal plan. It is simply to share what I eat in a given day.
1 medium banana (100 calories)
Total calories = 100
1/2 cup of oatmeal cooked with water (150 calories)
1 tbsp of peanut butter (95 calories)
Total calories = 245
1 slice of bread (110 calories)
Wholly Guacamole (120 calories)
Total calories = 230
1/2 cup of white jasmine rice (approx 120 calories)
1 serving (3 oz) of tofu (70 calories)
Leafy greens (25 calories)
Vinaigrette dressing (25 calories)
Total calories = 240
1 serving Skinny Pop Popcorn (163 calories)
Total calories = 163
Orgain protein shake (150 calories)
1/2 medium banana (approx. 50 calories)
1 tbsp peanut butter (95 calories)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk (30 calories)
Total calories = 325
Total calories = 1303
Crazy right? This is what works for me and my lifestyle and I am active. It doesn't seem like a lot of calories, but these foods are nutritious. I typically eat like this everyday with a few changes in proteins and carbohydrates. Some days I'll consume snacks in between, and eat outside of my normal food choices. Sometimes I'll have a cookie or a serving of potato chips, but its balance. 1 servings of potato chips is approximately 160 calories. If you actually see how much a serving is you will be astonished by the amount. It's not a lot at all. It's literally like 11 whole regular-sized chips. I have conditioned my way of thinking to use foods as a source of nutrition and not for the purpose of gratification. Of course, I love to watch my favorite sports team and crush an entire bag of popcorn and I do! I don't beat myself up over it. I don't define my boundaries and say mean things to myself. Its as simple as just I ate that and I don't regret it. Life is about balance and one cannot know balance without knowing unbalance. Remember?
I truly hope I was able to guide you a little bit more in your journey. Don't be so hard on yourself and don't try to change over night. It's the little things that matter. It's the little things that keep us there. If you still need help in your exercise program and nutrition habits invest in yourself and hire a trainer/coach. Learn from them and be sure to use your instincts to figure out if the trainer you will be choosing is a good fit for you. Learn as much as you can. Always remain a student of life and live your life free from self judgment of your biggest fan...you. Take care. Big love from my household to yours.
Check out my fitness services here; www.rootedkingdom.com
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