(Click the links above if you missed either of those articles…)
Today, I’m going to share my 5 favorite ways to go beyond the basics, for when you want to do everything you can to feel your best.
Drink ½ your bodyweight in ounces of water per day. Listen to your body and do what feels right to you. But most of us are walking around with some level of dehydration, which is like putting the brakes on both your metabolism and your ability to do a hard workout.
Try upping your water intake and see how you feel. If you don’t like plain water, add lemon, lime, orange or cucumber slices or even add some berries to an infuser bottle.
Two: Don’t drink your calories!
Soda, alcohol and juice are the major culprits here.
I’m not saying that you can never have a glass of wine again, but be aware that your body treats soda, alcohol and juice as straight sugar. Not only will they add excess calories with zero nutrition, but they cause inflammation in your body. Go for moderation here as much as you can.
Three: Don’t eat after 7 PM.
That simple guideline will work for most people, but what I’m really saying is to treat food as fuel and time your meals for when your body needs fuel!
For most of us, this means not eating late at night, when we’re about to go to bed. Simply shifting your dinnertime earlier, to 6 or 6:30, and perhaps eating a lighter meal at dinner can make a HUGE difference!
You don’t need a ton of calories overnight, unless you are a shift worker and on your feet all night. You also don’t need a lot of carbs.
Most of my clients find that they feel best with an early dinner of protein and veggies, then nothing more until the next morning.
Perhaps try front-loading your calories and carbs earlier in the day–in breakfast and lunch–so that you have enough energy for your day, your workouts, etc!
Four: Try a sugar detox
This is a big one for most people, myself included. I have a huge sweet tooth. Just ask my wife, Tessa. If there’s a bag of M&Ms around, it will be gone by the end of the day. 😉
So I know what I’m asking can be hard.
But every time I or any of my clients have done this, we’ve felt AMAZING after just a couple of weeks.
Plus, there is more and more research suggesting that sugar is a major culprit in increased inflammation in our bodies, and is behind our high rates of heart disease, along with high blood pressure and diabetes.
This link is the last in a 7-part series, and it provides links to the previous 6 parts. The video provides scientific evidence presented by experts describing how damaging sugar is:
Given the evidence, try a 7 or 14 day sugar detox. See how you feel. Then think of what you could do to more permanently reduce your sugar intake. It can make a major difference in your health.
Five: Plan/prep your meals
This sounds simple, but it’s probably the thing that is most challenging for many people to do regularly, given the pace of life these days.
However, if you can manage to carve out some time on a weekend to cut up veggies, prep your lunches for the week, make a healthy casserole or soup that will give you leftovers, etc, you will be WAY ahead of the game.
Planned and prepped meals make it so much easier to avoid going out at the last minute or eating quick and convenient but often unhealthy packaged foods.
That’s it–my top 5 tips for leveling up your nutrition even more, and going beyond the basics.
I know that none of this is rocket science, but the truth is that being consistent with these simple strategies will do more for your health over time than will any crazy-restrictive 30-day diet.
I aim for 80% compliance all of the time, rather than 100% perfection for a few weeks. 😉
Next week, we tackle mindset, which is arguably the most influential of our four pillars of health and fitness. Click here for the first article in our mindset series.