RULE#8… Eat Like a Diabetic!
Imagine for a moment. You go to your doctor and find out that you have diabetes. If you have any regard for your life then you’d have no choice but to change your eating habits. The good news is that’s it’s not as hard as many believe. I have several clients with diabetes and all of them get to eat a lot of food without necessarily feeling deprived. Twenty years ago, I entered nine all-natural bodybuilding shows over a three year period. In order to lean up and achieve a very low body fat required to compete on stage, I ate exactly as if I were a diabetic. That meant consuming high-quality lean protein including eggs, fish, white chicken and turkey beast along with lots of “fibrous carbs”( vegetables such as string beans, kale, spinach, squash, zucchini, broccoli, asparagus) while cutting out high-starchy carbs such as pasta, bagels, potatoes, white rice. I was allowed to consume good complex carbs such as quinoa, brown rice and small sweet potatoes for my post-workout meals. I also enjoyed real oatmeal in the morning with my egg whites. I’m not going to lie. Giving up sweets wasn’t easy. That took some real disciple and I had a few setbacks when first getting started. However, to help curb my sweet tooth I relied upon sugar-free jello and frozen whey protein pops. Instead of drinking my chocolate protein, I froze it into popsicles. No doubt I lost a lot of the nutritional value by freezing my protein but it enabled me to stay the course during those evening hours when your body screams for sugar. Those frozen pops helped me get rid of my sweet tooth and achieve the low body fat necessary to compete in bodybuilding. To this day, twenty years later, I still utilize those bodybuilding nutritional habits as do all of my diabetic clients. Each of those individuals will tell you that eating healthy in order to stabilize blood sugar levels to help control their diabetes isn’t that difficult.
RULE #7…The Best Workout in the World will Never Trump Poor Nutrition.
Your eating habits will ultimately reflect 80% of your results! Unless you make changes with your dietary habits then you’ll probably be disappointed in your results. You can achieve better fitness but you’ll still have those unwanted pounds. I know tons of men and women who are very fit but because of their eating habits haven’t achieved the level of lean body mass they should possess based upon how hard they exercise! You have to regard your nutrition this year as being MORE important that your exercise! It amazes me every year when I see so many people working their butts off with incredible intensity yet achieving less than optimal results because they haven’t put the proper nutrition principles into their overall fitness plan.
RULE#6…Realistic Expectations on Changing your Physique
Six-pack abs as displayed by the magazine male and female fitness models take a LONG time to achieve. All of those models, bodybuilders and fitness pageant women have devoted a lot of time and dedication in order to achieve that body. That’s not to say you can’t strive to look like they do but begin with more realistic goals in mind. Perhaps it’s to drop one dress or pant size. Circumference measurements are a much better reflection of how your fitness goals are progressing versus the scale.
RULE #5… Avoid those popular infomercials
If you read the fine print on those DVD’s you will realize that most of them inform you that the exercise program is intense and may not be suitable for beginners. I’ve had so many orthopedists tell me that those exercise programs involving ballistic type movements such as stationary running, jumping, high-impact calisthenic movements and lunging are keeping them in business. If you insist on trying one of those programs then I’d recommend you consult with a certified personal trainer who can help identify movements that may not be conducive for your current fitness level or physical limitations.
RULE #4…Find a Reliable Exercise Partner
Studies have found that you are much more likely to stick with your exercise when you schedule it with another person(s). Sport Psychologists term this the “social facilitation effect”, whereby people tend to do activities with greater focus and intensity when doing the activity with one or more persons. It’s much easier getting out of bed on those cold and gloomy days when you know you have exercise partners. You don’t want to be the person letting your partners down by ‘no-showing”! Your partner(s) serves as a support system. I’ve always said that’s why Weight Watchers has been successful. The people within the group help encourage and motivate others who may be having a difficult time staying on-track.