My Tips for Living Lean and Healthy…
- Cardio in your THR is still important!! Monitor it closely. No slacking. And change it up once in a while!! I do biking and power walking.
[It is good to change up the routine - I am now alternating my bike cardio sessions with powerwalking]
- Toning is still important, too! No slacking here either!! The more you do, the better you look!!
[Rest and recovery periods are important. I now do my upper body toning every third day and have moved to a reverse pyramid plan. I will alternate this with a regular pryamid plan a few times a week.]
- Weigh yourself EVERY DAY to look for trends and red flags. Just don’t panic when the scale jumps around even if you are POP. Analyze your food and exercise program and see where the problem is.
[Since writing this, I have learned a LOT more about my body and it's needs and also what I want it to look like. SCALE WEIGHT IS JUST A TOOL. NOT THE BE ALL END ALL!!! I have decided that being fit and having a healthy body fat percentage is more important to me than a number on the scale. Hence, I only weigh occassionally and go more by my body fat calipers and how my clothes fit. Both are better indicators than the scale number!!]
- Limit off plan meals/foods as much as possible. I know I feel better when I eat clean. Too much, too soon can cause problems. Crazy days aren’t an option. Maybe a crazy meal, once a month – OR LESS!!!
[Another recent revelation was that once I fired up that old metabolism, I NEEDED TO EAT EVEN MORE!! Staying POP, I was not consuming enough calories and I got myself back into starvation mode!! And considering how much I ate already, this was a real shock!!! But, since adding the required calories (thru healthy nutrient dense foods - NOT ICK) and also some healthy fats and EFA supplements, I feel a LOT better and am working on reducing my BF% to 18-20%. I am currently at 23.5%. You really do need to eat to lose!!]
- Add things back in SLOWLY. Again, too much, too soon causes problems.
[Monitor but be brave - More is better (see comment above)]
- Try new healthy foods. Search out new flavors now that your taste buds are finely tuned!! You will be surprised at what appeals and doesn’t appeal to you anymore. (Pizza – YUCK; Cauliflower – YUMMMMM)
[Still applies....latest addition to my favorites is rhubarb!!]
- Keep drinking plain water, 100+ ounces per day!!!
[Never goes out of favor!!!]
- Always be prepared!! Keep plenty of healthy on plan foods on hand and take your cooler and water jug with you!! No reason to stop now!!
[Again, definately a must!!!]
- Keep eating 5-6 meals per day and journaling your food and exercise. Helps you see trends and head off problems before they get out of hand. Also keep track of other things in your life. TOM, stress issues, physical ailments, lack of sleep, cardio, and toning can all impact your weight almost overnight!
[Sounds like a lot of work, but by doing this, I figured out my recent problems with staying POP and gaining!!!]
- Recheck your bodytype once in a while. If you start gaining while remaining POP (including cardio and toning), maybe you are not eating what your body needs [probably NOT ENOUGH!!!!!]. Snacks are the key. Too many carbs, even healthy ones, can cause problems.
[But the addition of some healthy fats and nutrient dense food is definately a necessity in a healthier lifestyle!! Nuts are not the enemy!!!]
All you learned while reducing should help you live lean for the rest of your life! Don’t let life get in the way. YOU are important FIRST – then everything else. Be selfish. Keep healthy food and exercise as priorities! Their importance has not changed just because you lost all the weight. Habits – both good and bad - can be hard to break and/or relearn. Why go back? Don’t let Easy Street tempt you!! The longer you stay in a healthy mindset, the easier it ALL gets. It does become your lifestyle – make it work for you!! Finding the balance is the key. And this doesn’t happen overnight. Just because you are Living Lean doesn’t mean you can eat/do anything you want. If you do, you will be right back where you started and that should NOT be an option. It’s NOT FOR ME!!
[And also rethink your goals once you have been Living Lean for a while...your body and you are worth it!!]