fixing nutrient deficiencies
This is a habit-based coaching model. Get the idea of dieting out of your head. What good would it do you to just go on a diet for twelve weeks? 95 to 97 percent of the time diets don't work. Try to forget everything you know about nutrition as you begin this program. What we want you to do is practice one thing at a time as you learn your new food and lifestyle habits each week. We don't expect perfection, and neither should you; it's not something you can sustain in the long run. If you just get one percent better each week, imagine how different your lifestyle would be at the end of this program, six months from now, or a year from now.
Our first focus this week will be fixing nutrient deficiencies. With our present culture and the food readily available to us, it's nearly impossible not to have these deficiencies, even for those who maintain a healthy lifestyle. The first step to correct this problem is taking a high quality multivitamin every day. Your Nutrition & Lifestyle Habits Guide (which we will just refer to as your manual from here on out), lists the specific brands we prefer. The second step is taking fish oil every day. We consume too many omega-6 fatty acids, which results in systemic inflammation. Fish oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, and therefore helps rebalance the fatty acids in your body. By doing this, we're telling your body to burn more fat and store less. In addition, the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil have numerous other health benefits for your heart, joint, and brain health. For the first eight weeks of the program, you will be taking a megadose for weight loss; this means you'll take a tablespoon in the morning and a tablespoon in the evening of liquid fish oil. The specific brands we recommend for fish oil are listed in your manual as well. Because the fish oil is in liquid form, it needs to be stored in your refrigerator. Several places you can buy these brands are at Amazon, Whole Foods Market/Whole Body, and Vitamin Shoppe.
This week we'd also like you to focus on drinking more water. Ideally, you should be drinking eight cups (64 ounces) of water every day. However, it's okay to gradually work up to that amount. If you currently drink about three cups a day, this week try to get four each day. The next week increase it to five, the next six, etc. until you're at eight cups a day. You may have to be creative and think of some strategies to help increase your water intake. A couple strategies that have worked for previous New Beginnings participants include drinking water on the way to and from work as well as leaving a cup on your bathroom vanity or bedside table and drinking it first thing in the morning. If you find drinking water unappealing, you can infuse it with lemon, mint, strawberries, etc. We also recommend you keep a sixteen ounce or greater water bottle with you all day to help increase your water intake.
In addition, we really want you only drinking beverages with zero calories. Drinks such as soda, juice, and sweet tea have little to no nutritional value for your body, and drinking them is a great way to pack on pounds. If you're a regular soda drinker, transitioning to a flavored sparkling water such as LaCroix can help break this habit and curb your soft drink craving. If you really like sweet tea, start sweetening it with Stevia or Truvia instead of sugar. If you find yourself already feeling resistant to what you're reading, check in with yourself. You signed up for this program for a reason, and it's going to take some effort and willingness to change on your part.
The Two big lies of healthy living
Lie #1: You have to be “inspired” to do good habits.
Lie #2: You should always be “motivated” to do them.
There is no such thing as permanent motivation. You will not always be “motivated” or “inspired.” Motivation comes and goes. Some days that motivation will be totally MIA.
But it doesn’t matter.
You don’t need motivation nor inspiration to have good habits. In fact, what differentiates an “expert” from an “amateur” is not motivation . . . but action. “Experts” hunker down and find ways to get the job done, regardless of how they feel. Action comes before motivation!
Depend on the 3 S’s:
• Have a daily or weekly routine that helps you stay organized.
• Make sure your kitchen is full of healthy food.
Ask yourself: What needs to be around me in order to help me achieve my goals? Then build those structures.
• Have an evening ritual of packing your gym clothes.
• Or have a ritual of making your food for the week every Sunday
• Start your workout with the mobility warm-up routine that prepares you to move comfortably and effectively.
Ask yourself: What needs to happen for me to be effective? What processes and practices need to be in place? Then create and do those things.
• You don’t just wait for the morning when you feel like going to the dentist. You book an appointment.
• Book your fitness and nutrition just like you book any other appointment.
A few final recommendations regarding the 3 S's:
- The whole process of this program revolves around consciously creating good habits to replace bad ones. As you begin you may need reminders to help establish these habits, such as keeping a sticky note on you coffee maker to remind yourself to take your multivitamin and first dose of fish oil every morning.
- Each week choose a day to prepare all your meals for the week. Not only will a weekly meal prep day help you eat healthier, but it'll also help you save money and time in the long run once you get your routine established. We recommend using Pyrex glass storage containers for this, as you can take off the lid and heat up your meals right in the container. Plastic tupperware containers can be used as well, just make sure you place your food onto a plate if you need to microwave it.
- Schedule your meal prep and workouts, ideally on the same day or time of day each week, so they become habits. Make a grocery list each time you go the store so you aren't tempted to wander into the inner aisles where most of the processed food is located. Once you have healthy food in your home, perform a kitchen makeover and get rid of all the unhealthy food in your refrigerator, pantry, and cabinets. The best way to avoid trigger foods is removing the temptation and getting them out of the house.
- Print out your manual and any emails you find particularly relevant and place them in a three-ring binder for easy reference.
Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.
- Football coach Vince Lombardi
Develop physical hunger and fullness cues
For this program, we want you to eat every three to four hours. Why? At this point, your blood sugar management is likely not good enough to prevent you from getting too hungry and as a result making a bad decision the next time you eat. For each meal, you should strive to eat until you are 80 percent full. What does that mean?