The Female Guide To Getting Healthier Results
“You do not control your future, you control your habits and your habits control your future.” - F.M. Alexander
You don’t want to be happy do you? Oh, you do? Let me guess, you also want to be healthy, too? I figured.
Well let me ask, if I saw a list of all the foods you ate over the last month, would it tell the same story? Would I be convinced that you’ve been feeding yourself to be the happy, healthy, fit woman you say you want to be?
If so, high-fives for you! If not, don’t fret, we’re gonna discuss some ways to change that. In the following article I’m going to layout three key skills relating to nutrition that if you can master them you’ll not only look the way you want to, but you’ll also have more energy, more self confidence, and the level of health you’ve been saying you want.
I’ve worked with hundreds of women in the world of exercise and nutrition, and it didn’t take long to notice some key trends of what works and what doesn’t. Below are a few of the key habits that are common among the healthiest, happiest, women in the world.
Become more aware of what you’re eating and how it makes you feel - this includes quantities, ingredients, flavors, digestion, and mental clarity. Those who have the strongest relationships with their food, are very aware of what they’re consuming and how it effects them. Here are three practices you can implement to become a more aware eater
Eat slowly - a lot of us eat so fast our hunger hormones don’t have time to tell us we’re full until it’s too late. Try putting your fork/spoon down between each bite, chew at least 30 times, or literally time how long it takes for you to eat a meal - if its less than 15-20mins, try to slow it down
Track your food - if you’ve never tracked your food consumption before, try it for two weeks - you’ll be amazed at what you find out. You can utilize an app like My Fitness Pal to make tracking simple and easy to calculate
Eat until satisfied, not stuffed - try to really focus on how satisfied you are as you eat. As soon as you feel content, stop! Don’t wait until you feel stuffed - rule of thumb is, when you get done eating you should feel like you could easily go for a walk around the block without feeling uncomfortable
Eat whole foods regularly - this includes meats, eggs, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, oils, etc. These foods will benefit you in both the short term and long term for two reasons: First, they’re nutrient dense. This means they contain a large amount of the vitamins and minerals your body requires to function at a high level. Second, they’re satiating. Because they are so nutrient dense, your body’s digestive requirements are raised resulting in a more satisfying feeling upon eating (no more craving for more right after you get done eating). Here are three practices you can try to get more whole foods in your diet:
Include a lean protein in each meal - this includes; chicken, beef, fish, eggs, turkey, etc. Protein is crucial for maintaining lean muscle, recovering from activity, and keeping you satiated.
Shoot for 6 servings of veggies each day - consider a serving the size of your closed fist. There are dozens of great veggies out there, choose the ones you enjoy the most.
Snack on nuts and fruit - most people snack on foods that are high in sugar and calories, and low in nutrients. A small handful of nuts plus a piece of fruit will satisfy your hunger while suppling you with vitamins and minerals, not just calories.
Plan and prepare your meals ahead of time - if you want to make a positive meal choice, make the choice before you’re starving and need to eat. Even the fittest, healthiest people you know will make poor food choices when they are hungry and crunched for time. Which is why the fittest, healthiest people you know plan and prepare their meals ahead of time. This is an easier task than it may sound, try these three practices in order to make better food choices:
Make larger quantities for dinner to create leftovers - this is an easy one. Simply make a few extra servings at dinner time and pack up the extra for tomorrow’s lunch.
Block out 1-2 hours per week for mass meal prepping - I hate to say it, but if you’ve got 1-2 hours per night for Netflix, you’ve easily got 1-2 hours per week for food prepping. Pick 12 meats, veggies, and fats, and make enough for 2-3 days worth of meals. Package them up in Tupperware and you’re good to go.
Create a menu / grocery list before going to the store - the biggest mistake you can make when going to the grocery store is not having a list. By making a list, you’re more likely to get what you need and less likely to impulse shop for all the things that look yummy. For bonus points, never go to the store hungry - you’ll want to buy everything in sight :)
If you’re thinking of implementing some of these practices into your daily routine, I highly recommend you pick one to start with. When your motivation is high, you may be tempted to do a complete overhaul. This seems like a good idea at the time, but when life gets demanding you’ll most likely fall off the wagon and lose all of the momentum you had. Stick with one new thing at a time - do it for two to three weeks and add in something new.
Jeremy Kochis is co-owner of CrossFit Reviver in Rochester Hills. He is a husband and father first, fitness coach second. He has a passion for helping people realize their health and fitness potential so that they can live a larger life. He believes there are way too many people settling for a low quality of life - and he’s on a mission to change that.