Americans gain an average of 1.3 pounds during the holiday season that they don’t lose. While this doesn’t seem like a big issue, it can really add up over time, equating to a gain of 26 pounds over the next 20 years! Losing weight is never easy, but these tips will help you reframe your approach to ditch the pounds for good.
Tip 1: Set short-term goals
I find that these are much easier to shoot for, and once you see the initial progress over six weeks or so, it becomes motivation to keep going. Progress begets progress. Instead of setting out to lose 20 pounds in 2017, make it a goal to lose 4 pounds by a certain date this year.
In addition, set “habit goals” so you experience success on a frequent basis. These can be goals like drinking a gallon of water a day, hitting your macros daily (discussed in tip number 2), getting 10,000 to 12,000 steps a day, practicing yoga at a set time each evening, etc. These “habits” are what will really pay off in the long term. Pick two or three habits that are personal and meaningful to you and are related to your goal.
“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” – John C. Maxwell
Tip 2: Track your food intake using a macro approach.
“Counting Macros” is not just a trend; it is a sustainable way to eat healthily and maintain your goal weight. It is similar to counting calories in that you are tracking your food in a food log or app; however, it differs from calorie counting in that you are actually tracking the grams of macronutrients that you are eating. The macronutrients are carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Once you have established the number of macros you need to reach your weight loss or maintenance goals, those become your goal to hit each day.
While this may seem like a little more work, it does pay off. According to nutrition coach and IFBB Pro Megan Rigby, “Tracking calories, alone without looking at each macro component, will not ensure your body is receiving the proper nutrition to achieve your fitness goal. When looking at only calories, a person may be eating a diet higher in fat, but lacking the appropriate amounts of carbs and protein. By creating a macro plan, we will ensure your body is getting the proper calories from all three components in order to achieve fitness success.”
The My Macros Plus App is a great tool to use to get started with establishing some baseline macro goals for yourself and/or to track your daily intake with. Hiring a nutrition coach is also a great way to get started and have guidance along the way. If that is not within your budget, Megan Rigby also has an ebook available with the basics of macro-tracking (along with some delicious recipes) to help get you started!
One of the biggest questions about tracking macros is how closely to hit the macro goals each day. It’s nearly impossible (unless you are incredibly OCD) to hit your macros exactly, so what is the ideal range to get within of the macro goal? “I always give myself a 5 gram variance… as long as I come +/- 5g, I am satisfied… this is what I tell all my clients,” said Megan.
Tracking macros will take a little bit of effort— I approximate about three to 10 minutes a day— but it is worth it to reach your goals. It will take more like 10 minutes toward the beginning of your journey, but it gets easier and easier over time. If you use the MyFitnessPal or My Marcros+ apps, the foods you use frequently are stored and made easily accessible for the next time. Additionally, you start to learn what the macros are off the top of your head for certain foods, so it becomes easier to plan out meals, etc. It’s almost like learning a new language, but not as difficult!
Tip 3: Find new recipes to prep ahead of time that will make healthy food more convenient.
This is one from the macro expert, Megan Rigby!
“With my busy work schedule I do not always have time to get up in the morning and make breakfast. I always try to keep some grab-and-go options. I am sure many of you can relate. Especially those busy moms! These are a great breakfast that can be adjusted to meet any macro lovers needs!”
Recipe Makes 18 muffins. Serving size: 3 muffins. Macros per serving: P20/C12/F9
6 whole eggs
16 oz egg white carton
200g shredded white potato (Simply Shredded)
130g Jimmy Dean Turkey Sausage Crumbles
160g chopped bell peppers
1/2 cup jalepeno cheddar cheese
Seasonings: salt, pepper and Flavor God “Spicy”
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1. Spray muffin pans with Pam and make sure they are well coated.
2. Beat whole eggs and egg whites until fluffy and well mixed.
3. Prep and measure all filling ingredients.
4. Pour 1/4 cup egg mixture into each muffin pan.
5. Evenly sprinkle in filling into each muffin pan.
6. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes or until center is firm.
7. Let cook and place in air-tight container for refrigeration or freezer
8. Before eating either thaw desired among or take straight from fridge and microwave for 45 seconds! There are great with hot sauce or ketchup. You can even chop up a muffin and place it in a tortilla for a breakfast burrito!
For more on Megan Rigby, aka Macro Mini:
Looking for more info on macro counting? Check out the How to Start Counting Macros eBook written by Megan Rigby and Whitney Jones. Email TheProsEBook@gmail.com