When it comes to losing weight and getting healthier we tend to know what we should be doing. We hear it all the time. Eat healthier, workout more, get to bed earlier, and the list goes on. This post is meant to outline 4 very common mistakes I see in almost every fitness program as well as provide 4 practical solutions to repair these broken habits. Let's begin.
1.You don't drink enough water
*Solution* - The average person eats 3 meals per day. Before you sit down to each of those meals find the largest cup you can (ideally somewhere between 24-36oz) and squeeze a couple wedges of lemon in the cup. Next fill the cup to the top with water (room temp is easiest to drink). Force yourself to drink the entire thing before each meal. This makes the act of drinking water more focused and purposeful. Forget trying to carry some big bottle of water around with you all day just focus on drinking a large glass of lemon water before each meal and it will become much easier to consume 80-100oz of water per day. The lemon will add calorie free flavor, offer a little blast of vitamin C, and will help improve digestion of the meal you are about to eat.
2. You Don't Do Any Cardio
*Solution* - If you are currently weight training 2-3X per week on one of the extra days go to a football field in the morning before breakfast. Spend 10-15minutes doing a thorough warm up (lunges, jumping jacks, push ups, high knees, etc..) then set 30min on the clock. Sprint down the entire length of the field and back for 1 round. Take 1-2 minutes rest between rounds and repeat as many rounds as you can in 30minutes. If you do not weight train you can do this workout 2-3X per week. Sprinting is a very effective way to improve cardio respiratory function, scorch body fat, build lean muscle, and BEST of all the workouts take half the time of "traditional" low intensity cardio workouts.
3. You Don't Eat Enough Veggies
*Solution* - Almost all grocery stores now sell pre washed, pre cut, and ready to eat mixed veggies (usually carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower). Set a goal of eating 1 bag per day as this usually contains about 5 servings of veggies. You can break it up into 2 of your meals and a quick and easy way to prepare them is to get a pan nice and hot, toss in a couple hand fulls of the mixed vegetables, pour in 1/2 cup of water and cook until the water evaporates and steams the vegetables. Add a little salt and pepper to taste and viola. This process takes about 5min and can be done before you cook the remainder of your meal as there is very little clean up required. If you end up replacing a starch with the vegetables all the better.
4. You Like to Snack
*Solution* - Unfortunately if you are currently on a fat loss program you will have to battle hunger at certain points throughout the day. It just goes with the territory. Often times the body sends a signal of thirst to the brain that ends up getting mistaken for hunger. If you find yourself hungry in between meals the 2 strategies you can use are drink a glass of water (which often times will suppress hunger pangs) or you can chew a piece of gum. When I get hungry chewing a piece of gum satisfies the act of chewing without actually eating and I get to enjoy something with some taste. This strategy can really save you if you are on a quest to cut down excess calories.
These four points are pretty basic but super effective in the pursuit to lean down. Whenever you are trying to improve your physique it will always be the compilation of the little things on a daily basis that will lead to results. Determination, consistency, and making things easy on yourself all go hand in hand in reaching your goals. Good luck!