Healthy Habit Tips From A Client
By Timothy J Murphy, CAE
By now you have learned about The Simple 9, the collection of healthy habits that is the cornerstone of a diet that fuels your body while reducing your waistline. All of those habits are vital to your success in maintaining proper weight and keeping your energy at peak performance throughout the day.
My coach, Kyle Truitt, started me out 5 years ago with these healthy habits, and it helped me achieve (and maintain) my goals. And over these past few years, I’ve developed my own set of “rules” and habits for ensuring success, supplementing the healthy habits I learned from Exercise Inc. Of course, I approach this with a bit of a fun, tongue-in-cheek attitude, but this “Lucky 13” list is nonetheless valid, and can be a good addition to your healthy habits. These 13 ideas have helped me stay on track, and I hope you can benefit from them as much as I have.
1. If it’s advertised on TV, don’t eat it. Check out every food commercial you see (or hear). The ads are all for stuff you shouldn’t eat—fast-food burgers, sugary snacks, deep-fried, fatty, and everything else that is good at keeping America overweight.
2. Spice it up. People who like spicy foods tend to eat less of it, and the “heat” (capsaicin) can slightly reduce your appetite. I guess that’s why I put hot sauce on everything.
3. One ingredient only. If the ingredients list is extensive, stay away from it. Your fit body wants lean protein like chicken, turkey, pork, salmon, etc, along with green vegetables and certain fruits. Overly-processed prepared food has too much salt, as well as other ingredients your body wasn’t meant to deal with.
4. Start the party early. Your breakfast should be heavy on protein, like eggs and lean meats. Dump the cereals, sweets, and other carbs and grains that are keeping the weight on. The protein boost in the morning will stave off hunger for long periods. My breakfast is always bigger than my dinner.
5. Drink like a pro. No, I am not talking about your prowess at a pub crawl; rather, what you drink throughout the day. Water should be your number one “go to”, and don’t skimp. Water actually helps you lose more weight. I always drink a large glass of cold water a half-hour before eating because it makes me eat less. Other great options are black coffee and tea. Avoid “sports” drinks; they’re loaded with sugars you don’t need. Think of soda pop as liquid candy and avoid it completely. (Diet sodas aren’t really good for you either, for lots of reasons.)
6. Stay focused on your food. Don’t go through emails on your smartphone during breakfast, or eat lunch at your desk while working. The distraction can lead you to eat more than you need, or eat the wrong things. Meal time is for eating, and nothing else.
7. “Buffet”? Stay away! Possibly the worst food service invention ever has to be the buffet; a long line of fat- and calorie-laden fare that is not only unhealthy from a nutritional standpoint, but is routinely handled by hundreds of people without food safety training. Dine out all you want, but order from the menu; it’s less tempting than seeing the carb-based, saucy food before you, and it is handled only by professionals.
8. Downsize your plate to downsize your waist. If you use big dinner plates, you’ll have a tendency to fill them. Use smaller hors d’oeuvres plates instead. You will likely eat less, as the portion will look bigger. It’s a mind trick for sure, but it works.
9. Brush your teeth after dinner. I guess mom was right on this one. I tend to not snack after brushing my teeth; the mint flavor acts like a bit of sweetness. Plus, I don’t want to have to brush again before going to bed.
10. Wear slimmer-fit pants with a belt. This is the opposite of sweats or yoga pants; they “give” too easily. You want the pants to feel tighter the more you eat; it’s a reminder to stop and a good motivator for avoiding temptations. This trick will make “comfort food” pretty uncomfortable.
11. Seize everyday exercise opportunities. As a frequent business traveler, I spend a lot of time in airports. However, I don’t sit at the gate waiting for boarding. Instead, I like to constantly walk the terminal (and not on the moving walkways), which can lead my tracker to reveal 10,000 or more steps before flight time. When shopping at the mall, walk the entire length of the property 2 or 3 times at a good pace; you’ll burn some calories and spend less money. Park in the back of the parking lot. Take the stairs whenever possible; the leg workout is stimulating. Learn to identify the exercise opportunities all around you; it’s actually fun.
12. Nothing good comes from a drive-through. What can you get at a drive-through? Nothing worth eating. You know the perils of “fast food”; the drive-through lane makes it even worse because you’re sitting and not moving. Don’t drive through, drive by.
13. If it’s in the house, you’ll eat it. Your grocery shopping habits must change if you are serious about healthy eating and goal achievement. Lean meats, vegetables, and fruits are great; avoid the pasta and snack food aisles. Rid your refrigerator and pantry of all unhealthy temptations.
Getting fit and a healthy nutrition regimen go hand-in-hand; and if weight loss or weight maintenance is your goal, it’s important to tweak your meals. Think in terms of “fueling the machine” rather than using food as a source of comfort or satisfaction. Take in the fuel you’ll burn, and not a whole lot extra. With this mindset, you can’t help but succeed.
The preceding was a guest post from one of our clients, Tim Murphy. Since he began training with Kyle at our Zionsville location in 2014, Tim has lost over 70 pounds, reduced his waist size from 40 to 28 and reduced his suit size from 48 portly to 38 slim, among improvements to other key health metrics. To hear more about how 20 Minutes A Week has benefited Tim, check out his Client Spotlight.