December Challenge and Blog Post:
Whole 30 Reset Warm-Up and Proper/Attainable Goal Setting
The holidays are in full swing and January, along with our Whole 30 Reset, is just around the corner! I would like to focus this month on getting our minds and bodies ready in a sustainable way to take on the challenge of January by “easing into” what may be a drastic dietary change for some of you.
We are all familiar with the old diet adage “I will start tomorrow”. In reality, habits (whether they be exercise, diet, or related to other things), do not sustainably start and continue when there is an ultimatum placed upon it. This “I’ll just have one more bad day” mindset is especially detrimental when you look to the upcoming change as a negative or inhibitory thing. Instead, look to the upcoming change as beginning to incorporate more and more good choices into your life.
Lasting, healthy change to your body is not attained by a single day, month, or even year of strict or crash dieting or exercise. It is attained through balanced, mindful steps to change your lifestyle. Adding stairs to your commute, walking more, drinking more water, making good meal choices %50 of the time more, this will all ease the body into maintaining change. Although it might be slower (many like quick, rapid easy results, the hard truth is that it takes time and balance) to see the results you are looking for, time and maintenance are far more rewarding long term.
This upcoming challenge is not meant to be a “crash” or “inhibitory” diet. It is instead about “resetting” your body by consciously choosing to make good, whole food choices for 30 days (and also teaching you what these choices are). After that, you will have renewed power to make these good choices more often as you ease into a balanced lifestyle that will foster long term and lasting change to your health and well-being. It is not a restrictive diet. Rules of what not to eat are in place to help you understand what the good choices are. You are encouraged to eat often, and a lot, until you are full! You will find that more of these whole food options will fill you up with less empty calories than what you might have been eating before.
To warm-up for this, I ask each of you to make a few conscious changes in your daily lives this month (yes, even with the holidays!) that will help you understand this concept of gradual and sustainable life change and proper/realistic goal setting.
Change #1: Drink more water. When you are training and exercising, you should be drinking any where between .5 to 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight per day. So, if you weight 150 lbs, that would be anywhere between 75 to 150 ounces. Since there are 128 oz in one gallon, that gives you a rough idea of how much to be drinking each day. Try buying a gallon of water and carrying it with you throughout the day (but don’t refill it multiple times). If this works for you in terms of monitoring your water intake, consider buying a BPA free or glass/metal gallon sized water jug that you can refill each day.
Change #2: Start replacing refined carbohydrates and grains with vegetables. Start being conscious of the amounts of each you presently have in your diet. Make a checklist and try to make a deliberate choice to eat vegetables in place of grains in at least 3 different meals each week this month.
Change #3: Eat when you are hungry. Stop eating when you are full. Get friendly with leftovers. Nutrient timing is responsible for a very small percentage of body composition changes. The largest percentage of what is responsible for body composition change is consistency and long term good choices, the majority of the time, even if not always. If you were told as a child to always clean your plate, go against the grain! Eat with intention, appreciation, and slowly, until you become full. Do not try to eat less, eat more of good foods, but do not overeat!
Change #4: Get at least 7 hours of sleep. This one is self-explanatory. Set yourself a “bedtime” alarm along with your “wakeup” alarm. At this time, start unwinding and dim down the lights in your home, put away your phones and computers, and prepare for bed. If you have work to do, put it away and leave it for tomorrow. With proper rest, you will be much more productive in a shorter amount of time.
And that’s it! These simple steps are all that I ask each of you to be mindful of this month to gear up for the challenge. Having these habits already in place when we start the reset will be an extremely beneficial foundation that will make your January and life changing reset much more enjoyable!
On Goal Setting:
December is often the month that people start to think about their New Years Resolutions. How often does this arbitrary goal tend to be the same each year? Eat better, lose weight, get in shape… these are very common, broad goals that people make each year. The reason why these goals are not attained because there is rarely a plan put in place to reach them.
Many people also have the wrong idea about weight loss goals. It is extremely important for your progress to understand that the weight that you see on the scale, or your BMI, is not an accurate representation of your body composition or health. “Losing 10 lbs “ is really a very unrealistic and immeasurable goal. “Weight loss” is actually a misnomer, and weight is only a measure of gravity acting on the mass of your body. What you are actually aiming for is fat loss. Also, added muscle mass and strength contribute to increased basal caloric expenditure to support these tissues. It is pretty commonly known that “muscle weighs more than fat”. As you work out and adjust your diet, it is common to see the scale say one thing but measurements and body fat to tell a very drastically different story. If you are so focused on the scale that you do not see the positive changes in your measurements or body fat analysis, please see me!
Take this month to sincerely think about what goals are important to you. What goals are worth your time, effort, and dedication to reach? Which of these are you willing to put forth your energy to gain? Make a list, and pick one or two of these goals that will placed on our goals wall for 2016.
For the goals that you pick, start thinking about short term (1 month) and long term (6 months) ways to measure your progress on these goals. As we draw closer, do not hesitate to ask me for help with creating measurable goals.
As far as our reset challenge for January, the goal is the same and simple for everyone: Make only good food choices for 30 days. 30 days of your life, and 1 month of your year to see what a lifetime of good this can do for you, your body, attitude, and relationship with food. Please refrain from making goals for this challenge that have to do with body composition. Start your goals from within, with energy, vibrancy, and health. Your physical body will eventually be a representation of the positive changes within, focus on that!
Be on the lookout for the announcement of our Whole 30 information session, where we will be collecting $10 entry fees for the pot (optional) and giving additional specific information about our challenge as well as assigning buddies and answering any questions. We will also be planning a potluck for the end of the challenge!
To Health and Fitness this Holiday and in the New Year,