Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Eat, yes, eat!

I have been writing about transformation...

If you want to lose weight and get in shape, not only do you have to change the way you live, but you also have to change the way you think about food and exercise.  Transformation and change do not happen naturally.  It is our inclination to always go back to what is most comfortable.  Change must be deliberate.  You have to be willing to get out of your comfort zone and fight the urge to give up.

One of the key factors in transformation is finding your why.  Why do you want to transform?  Why do you want to achieve your goals?  Once you find your why, make it your driving force.  Repeat it to yourself so its strength carries you. When your "why" is strong enough, you can overcome life's setbacks.

Finally, transformation requires practice.  Every day is your rehearsal.  Learn all you can about nutrition, exercise and endurance.  Visualize your goals.  Rehearse your mantra (your why) over and over.

A physical transformation requires a transformation of the mind.  But you also have to change your eating and exercise habits.  I have written a lot about nutrition.  A list of my posts on nutrition is at the bottom of this post.

The best way to lose weight and keep it off is to improve your metabolism.  In very simple terms, the word "metabolism" describes how your body converts the food you eat (fuel) into the energy needed for everything the body does.  For weight loss, the general rule is:

calories in <  calories out = weight loss

You burn calories every day just by being alive.  The average person burns anywhere from 500 - 1,000 calories while sleeping.  Yes, sleeping burns calories.  To lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you consume.  Your goal should also be to improve your metabolism, meaning you burn more calories when resting.

How do you do that?  It's a little bit trickier than you think.  You can't just cut back drastically on your calories and expect a sudden, rapid weight loss.  While many people tend to lose 5-10 lbs. at the beginning of a diet plan, sudden weight loss does not necessarily mean you are losing fat.  Severely restricting your calories will send your body into starvation mode and slow your metabolism.  You will have a difficult time losing weight, even with the reduced caloric intake.

Essentially, you have to EAT to burn calories.  The key is, eating enough protein and nutrient foods.  An occasional "cheat" here and there won't derail you.  But you have to eat.  When I first started to lose weight, I "cut back".  I ate plenty of fruits and vegetables.  I often skipped meals or would eat canned soup to get me through lunch.  When I met Dmitriy and he insisted that I track my calories and macros, the weight started to peel off me.
I use MyFitnessPal to track my calories, but the default settings are very low.  If I eat what they recommend, I get very tired and feel ill.  I learned how to adjust my settings, allowing myself more calories.  I adjust my macros (protein, carbohydrates and fat) depending on how much cycling I do.  My message to you is, "Eat, yes, eat!"
Photo Credit
I warn you about any diet plan that guarantees immediate weight loss.  If you are neglecting entire food groups or drinking your way through your calories, it's probably not a good nutritional plan for the long haul.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
I love this picture.  So happy!
This is 1 1/2 years into my journey.  It takes time and perseverance to accomplish your goals.
Other Posts on Nutrition:

Carbs:  Carbohydrates:  The Myth Debunked

Carbs 2:  Part two about carbs...  Make sure you read both.

Nutrition Hot Topic:  Is it bad?:  Thinking about food choices.  What's good?  What's not?

Fabulous Fiber:  A brief discussion about the benefits of a high fiber diet.

Successful Secrets:  Two simple strategies I practice every day which helped me to lose weight and to now keep it off.

Successful Secrets: Part Two:  How planning my week's meals helps me to stay on track.  Menu and recipe ideas.

Nutrition 101, I talk about meal prep and provided you with several recipes and meal suggestions to get you started.  Check it out!

Flexible Dieting Basics:  A basic explanation of flexible dieting...how tracking calories and macronutrients has been the most successful way for me to lose weight and keep it off.

Tracking Calories with MFP:  Some features of MyFitnessPal (MFP) explained.  This post has some tricks of the trade.

Foods to Try:  These are foods I try to always keep on hand and a couple recipes too.

Cravings:  Some tips on how to stave off and handle cravings when they hit.  

Wonder Woman:  I explain how I got the nickname "Wonder Woman" by tracking all my calories and macronutrients.  I give a brief explanation of macros here.

A Calorie is Not a Calorie:  This post talks about the different effect foods have on you.


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