1. Pay attention to your nutrition. Proper nutrition and fueling of the body is essential to energy levels, mental clarity, decreased stress and anxiety, and physical health, just to name a few. In times of stress and obligations, proper nutrition appears to be more of a hassle and more time that has to be spent on planning, but, in the long run and with consistency, you will benefit greatly from proper nutritional planning.
2. Cut down on junk food, alcohol, and eating out. Even if the training advice above is followed with maximum effort and focus, there will be no substantial gains if fatty food and alcohol are consumed in excess. The first and easiest way to modify body composition and increase mental and emotional health is to eliminate soft drinks, high fructose juice drinks, increased amounts of alcohol, and processed “junk foods” from the diet.
3. Avoid late night binges. Eating late at night increases weight gain and interrupts sleep cycles. When you eat during the day, you are active and the metabolism is high. At night, the metabolism decreases and the food will not be digested as quickly. Not only is digestion slowed but it also interferes with the sleep cycles. Digestion will frequently wake you up and decrease the amount of REM sleep you are obtaining. The less quality sleep, the more likely you are to be unrested and stressed. Increased stress in the body increases cortisol levels which, in return, increases body fat and weight gain. If you must eat before bed, make it light. Eat a piece of fruit or some protein sources to sustain you.
4. Eat small, frequent meals. By turning those 3-4 hefty meals into 6-8 smaller meals consumed every 2-4 waking hours, the risk of overeating is decreased and the metabolism is drastically increased. More frequent fueling means more fire to burn those calories. Eating smaller meals often will also decrease the amount of energy required to digest the food.
5. Eat protein and fiber-rich foods to decrease your hunger. Protein and fiber are
extremely important for maintaining a healthy weight because they help to keep you fuller longer. Carbohydrates are broken down by the body faster than protein and fiber. Here are some healthy examples to add to your diet. Try to add at least one into most meals: Flax seeds, chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, bran cereal, oats, avocado, carrots.
6. Focus on unprocessed, whole natural foods (and make them raw when you can!).
Love your fruits and veggies!!! Try to eat fresh, unprocessed fruits and veggies as much as possible. Raw foods creates raw, bountiful energy. Anytime you can eat raw (except for meat, of course) is a bonus! Also try to limit processed grains/white flour/sugar. Stick to whole grains, oatmeal, and low sugar foods (not including fruits).