5 Simple Ways To Kick Start Your Weight loss Goals- Before Even Hitting The Gym

Let me preface this post by saying sadly there is no magical quick route to fitness goals. I've had a relationship with the gym since high school and I can say with certainty that results directly correlate to the amount of effort you put in.

That being said the process isn't something to be feared, loathed or get the perception that its such a monumental task that its unattainable. You are capable. You can do it. Remember its a mental game. As soon as you're all in, ready and putting in the work the change will happen.

You'll find a lot of people that perhaps are your inspiration for your own fitness goals often use the term "its a lifestyle". This is truth. Individuals you see with that shredded physique-its a second job that consumes every single day. The workouts are a big part of this, but the nutrition component is even bigger.

There are several sayings that become relevant:

A lot of people have reached out to me that are teetering toward a lifestyle change. They just don't know where to begin and it seems really overwhelming at first. There are some simple things you can do RIGHT NOW in your life to kick start your new lifestyle and get on your desired track.

1) TRACK YOUR FOOD: There are some amazing apps that will track what you're eating. My personal favourite is My Fitness Pal. I believe in tracking your food when you want change for a couple of reasons. First of all, it makes you more aware of what you're putting in your body. Some things you regularly consume may surprise you when it comes to caloric intake. It also makes you think twice when you are tempted to haphazardly snack throughout the day. Secondly these apps allow you to see all the nutritional information of what you are eating. This can help identify some areas that you are lacking or overdoing when it comes to a balanced diet. My first venture with a food tracking app was a real eye opener when it came to the amount of sugar I was eating. Trust me...sugar is hidden in a lot of foods you wouldn't even think of.

2) WATCH YOUR LIQUIDS: We don't necessarily think about what we are drinking in terms of our nutrition and calories. Guess what- your complex coffee order, soft drinks, smoothies, ice teas, beers and wines...it all adds up. The worst part is that you may be making choices that you think are healthy as the industry has such clever ways to use buzzwords that mislead you. Many smoothies are made with sugary ingredients. Just because your fave coffee place has added coconut milk or almond milk options...these do not mean the drink is healthy. One coffee place in particular had a coconut milk coffee beverage with such a smooth name I'm sure it fooled many. Well guess what, the mid size will add 200 calories to your day and 25 grams of sugar. That's 6 and a 1/4 teaspoons of sugar. Would you order a regular coffee and ask for just over 6 sugars added. On that coffee note...a large double double...may have you believing you're consuming 2 teaspoons of sugar. SURPRISE...if that is your go to you are adding 264 calories to your day, 7.5 teaspoons of sugar and 8 grams of saturated fat.  Maybe its not Monday vibes slowing you down to start the work week...your coffee may be the culprit. 

Water is your best friend. Your body needs it. During this phase of my bikini prep I'm drinking 3 litres of water a day. I can feel when my body isn't at appropriate levels of hydration. You know that it is what your body needs...if you own a garden or plants you're already proving the experiment. Life thrives when it has water-It dies or withers when it does not. Simple.

3) READ THE LABELS: Since starting my fitness journey to competition in January I have not had one meal that emerged from a box. Everything I consume essentially are ingredients I can read and pronounce. With the exception of many of my supplements. I'm well aware my daily dose of pre workout is not exactly a healthy product. If you are grabbing that quick snack start reading the labels really closely. We may pick something up and think hey...140 calories...that isn't so bad. Then you realize that is 'per serving' and the serving size is only 12 pieces of popcorn. The frozen food aisle in general is an area to be avoided. In addition gluten free, vegan, and organic...don't think the major food suppliers aren't aware that people associate these with a healthier lifestyle. Just remember gluten free, vegan and organic on a label-doesn't necessarily equate to a healthy choice.

4) TELL YOUR FRIENDS: There is always strength in numbers. One thing I find fascinating about fitness is that it is almost as contagious as the common cold. When one person in a group starts on the path...there are almost certainly to be more in the group that want to take part. Since the start of the New Year I could not be more proud of a couple individuals in my inner circle. I have a co worker with one of the most epic displays of inspirational dedication and a wicked collection of Sweatstagrams. He is feeling good and making huge strides towards his goal. Another friend has lost 20lbs since her WeightWatchers journey began. She is just making the transition from being solely food focused to incorporating exercise into her routine. I can't wait to watch her journey. Another friend started an 8 week challenge just before I started my competition prep. Its been great to have each other as cheerleaders to get through the work. We are all at different stages and we all have different goals. We all looked great before we started as I truly believe there is no body type ideal...we are all working toward what makes us happy and what feels good. So tell your friends as you can bond together to encourage each other on the tough days. You also need to accept that not everyone is interested in your journey nor wants to take part. However, sharing your dietary restrictions or gym commitments with them generally means they will respect that. My diet has meant extreme limitations since starting this. I've been blown away by the respect of others and kindness in helping me along. Its my journey not theres--but simple support goes a long way.

5) EAT OFTEN: Just like a car your body needs fuel. This fuel is food. If you put gunky oil and sawdust in your gas tank the car wouldn't run very well would it. Think about what you are putting in your fuel gauge to help your body through the day. In general North American portion sizes are way to big. Filling an entire dinner plate is the wrong way to go. The notion of starving yourself all day so you can eat a ton before you go to your fave restaurant- its not going to make you feel good. Small balanced meals spread throughout the day are the best way to go. I literally eat every 2-3 hours. In addition contrary to what most of us do your dinner should be the lightest meal of the day. Think about it- you're generally done with your heaviest activities...why would you load up on your heaviest meal right before bed?

These are easy steps you can incorporate into your life now. Always remember that slow progress is better than no progress when achieving your personal goals. Go get it!