I always say that about 70% of getting into good shape and being healthy is food management. You can exercise “until the cows come home”, but your efforts could be completely erased and nullified by the choices you make on meals and snacks. What I’ve learned throughout many years as a health and fitness coach is that if you think you are doing a good job on your food management, you are not. If you think you are doing a great job on your food management, you are only doing a decent job. And, if you think you are doing perfect, you are probably only doing a fairly good job. That’s how tough it is to eat properly.
So here’s what you’ve got to do. If you have any inkling of doubt about your ability to completely understand what your daily calories and portion sizes should be, I would strongly suggest that you try out a food program like Jenny Craig or Nutrisystem, or something similar in your local area. These are great programs for people who follow the rules and don’t want to spend a lot of time preparing meals and calculating all day long. Many of my most successful clients started on, or continue to be on, these types of food programs to help them. Now, food programs, like the ones I just mentioned, will help you understand exactly what your body needs, both calorie and portion wise, and what it feels like to eat according to your body structure and level of physical activity. You’ll see results much more quickly, which will in turn keep you motivated to keep reaching your fitness and health goals along the way. So if you have the budget, do yourself a favor and join one of these programs.
Another alternative is Weight Watchers. I’ve had many clients be very successful at using this type of program, which doesn’t actually provide you with meals, but gives you a very easy to understand points system to follow each day for intake of certain foods and beverages. It can actually be challenging in a fun, game type of way, choosing foods and beverages throughout the day and getting them to fall within your point allotment. They make it easy to keep tally with Apps for smart phones, too. Of course, there are in general tons of free apps and websites that you can use out there for food management and calorie tracking. Search around, and you’ll find one in an instant that you can use.
Another option you might want to consider is juicing for a short period to get you on the way to being tight, tone, and trim. After the popularity of the “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” documentary, which follows Aussie Joe Cross on his 60-day journey to weight loss through juicing, it has become a validated approach. After the initial 60 days, you can do three- to four-day rechargers of juicing periodically. I would recommend consulting with your doctor before starting a long-term juice diet. There are, of course, all kinds of other systems and strategies out there that would take an entire book to sum up. So chose one that works for you, but remember that if you don’t approach your food management with complete urgency and dedication, you absolutely will not succeed in your fitness goals.
Jack Witt, MS, CPT
Fitness and Health Coach
(The excerpt you just read is from Jack’s up-coming e-book(s) available on Amazon.com Nov.4th called “Tight, Tone, and Trim: How to get rid of Cankles, Bat Wings, Thunder Thighs, and Muffin Tops” and “Cut, Cool, and Confident: How to get rid of Beer Belly, Chicken Legs, Wimp Arms, and Man Boobs”.)