Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Dynamic Lifestyle: Creating a Healthy Diet Plan

Published:Monday | September 26, 2016 | 9:00 AM
Fruits, vegetables and nuts

The food that you eat will be the number one obstacle when trying to achieve your fitness goals. Whether you're a vegan, slim fast, low carb, high protein, low fat diet fan, consistency is the hardest thing and will be your biggest challenge.

Diets are often overly complicated and make it unrealistic for most people to follow them. Seeing results from a diet is extremely easy, but sticking with one and keeping all the results is a different story. Stick with these realistic basics and you can expect: a healthy metabolism, more energy, more muscle, less fat, increased testosterone and, more important, a different mentality when it comes to eating.

Before you read any further ask yourself: what are the last three bad things that you ate, and the last time you tried a diet, why did it fall apart? These problems will come up again if you do not fix them; most hurdles in fitness are behavioural problems that need to be altered. Most likely, your last diet fell apart at one of these three stages of eating: buying the

groceries, preparing your meals, and eating your meals.

1. HOW TO BUY GROCERIES

This is where it all starts. If you're the person buying the food for your kitchen then try these strategies.

a. Go to the supermarket after the gym.

You'll feel motivated to keep up with all the hard work you just put in by buying the best options for your body.

b. Don't shop on an empty stomach.

This will shut up that voice inside your head that tells you to buy those amazing-looking Oreos.

c. Make a list.

Stick to basics and add or rotate one new snack/meal a week to switch things up.

d. Use a basket.

It should be all you need. If you buy in bulk you'll be more likely to overeat.

e. Make it fast.

Avoid aimless wondering; it will make you susceptible to temptations. You're on a mission every time you go in and out.

f. Shop the perimeter.

Most of the food you'll need is on the outside border of the supermarket. Avoid the snack and processed food that poison the middle of the store.

g. Don't be fooled.

If it says diet, organic, or whole-wheat do not assume it's healthy. Focus more on good foods you can eat rather than ones that you can't. Combine that with a great exercise programme and you got yourself a more improved body.

2. HOW TO COOK HEALTHIER

You've just had a long and stressful day at work and the thought of cooking seems horrible. Follow these strategies to avoid the path of fast food.

a. Plan.

Prepare your meals for the week ahead. Eventually, you'll accept this as a part of the routine and dieting will be significantly easier.

b. Individual plates.

When you're in food prep-mode, make sure you have protein, vegetables and grains.

c. Measure.

Calories can sneak up on you with portions that are larger than you think. Use the nutrition facts to your advantage and know how much of what is going into your body (calories, carbs, fats and protein).

d. Smart flavours.

Some of the healthiest meals can be ruined by things you put on to make it taste better, i.e., butter, salad dressing. Find healthy alternatives like spices and herbs. As for salad dressings, simple is better, stick with items like red wine, vinegar and olive oil.

e. No leftovers.

Unless you are preparing meals for the week, learn to cook and eat just enough to keep portions small.

3. HOW TO EAT HEALTHIER

You've bought and prepared your healthy meals, now it's time to enjoy!

a. Take your time.

Enjoy your food to avoid eating faster then your mind can register it being full. It takes the body and mind about 20-30 minutes to acknowledge you're satisfied.

b. Non-dominant hand.

Use your other hand to slow you down.

c. Build your support group.

Focus on the relationships with the people you're eating with by enjoying good conversation. Talk about your struggles and triumphs with trying to reach your goals. This will slow down your eating and get your mind right to stay focused.

d. Drink.

Not the hard stuff, the clear stuff. Your beverages should have zero calories. Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily.

e. 80% rule.

Eat until you're 80% full, whether you leave a couple of bites on your plate or do so by lowering the portion size during meal prep time.

f. Small meals.

You should be eating small meals throughout the day to avoid overeating binges.

Keep checking my social media handles for my October 3 cycle the #MyDynamicLifestyle 21-Day Challenge and the Dynamic Lifestyle Bridal Boot Camps. Make sure you are subscribed to my Youtube channel www.youtube.com/patricejwhite.

• Patrice J. White is a certified fitness, lifestyle, and transformation coach, founder and president of the Sonic Steppers Running Club. Email: info@patricejwhite.com; Instagram/Twitter @patricejwhite; Facebook @whitejpatrice; Give her a call at 876-GETTFIT (876-438-8348).