In keeping with my theme of REALIZING THE POWER OF ONE, I’m all about balance in life! … Especially if it means less to stress about and expectations being lowered just a smidge. I know a lot of us talk about having a “Weight Loss Experience” but I truly believe that experience never actually stops. Since we have to maintain what we’ve learned over the course of our journey, it’s important to keep little notes in the back of your head of how you made positive progress so we don’t lose focus!
One of the biggest ways I’ve focused on making healthier decisions in my life and diet, was to make SUBSTITUTIONS. When you TAKE OUT items from your life, you can seem to be left with a void that causes stress instead of happy vibes. Negativity can also be a cause for relapse of sorts back to bad habits – especially eating habits.
* Many of these substitutions aren’t ideal, per say, when you’ve been on the journey for a longer period of time – but we all have to start somewhere right?
Here are some substitutions I started with when I first began my journey … many that I still keep in mind to this day – Small Substitutions Lead to BIG Changes!
1) Water instead of Soda and Juice – juices and sodas are a huge source of ’empty’ calories that can take up our ‘meal allowance’ for the day. After you’ve mastered that, switch to water only with green tea 2.2L or more a day.
2) Trade a sweet treat like pastries for fruits, then trade those fruits for vegetables.
3) Brown rice versus White Rice, Sweet Potato versus White Potatoes, and Whole Wheat versus White bread. Gradually bread came out of my diet all together, but little by little taste buds change and adjust. The value of Brown rice, Sweet potatoes, and whole wheat are that they are all lower GI foods than their bleached or starchier counterparts – but that’s another post 😉
4) Coconut Water instead of Gatorade or Powerade for post-workout electrolytes and replenishment.
5) Greek Yogurt instead of sugary yogurts – even those with added sugars in them are better than those that have added sugar and barely any fruit. Plain Greek Yogurt also makes a great substitution for Sour Cream.
6) Romaine lettuce or baby greens instead of Iceberg Lettuce. The Greener the vegetable, the more nutritional value it brings. Then, kale greens or swiss chard instead of lettuce (go greener!)
7) White meat chicken instead of dark meat as well as chicken or turkey burgers instead of hamburger. Lean buffalo or bison is also a good substitute for fattier blends of ground beef.
8) Frozen yogurt instead of Ice cream, just saying. Sorbets as also a better option than Ice Cream.
Other daily habits that can me adjusted:
1) Food Prep time instead of watching 30-60 minutes of TV. Eventually, you can master the skill of doing them simultaneously.
2) Taking the Stairs instead of the Elevator – why not get in some calorie burn?
3) Taking a 30 minute walk during a lunch break rather than going to grab a bite of fast food.
4) Core work and pushups or other excesses during commercial breaks – we don’t need to watch those anyways right?
5) Intervals while on cardio equipment instead of steady-state exercise – increase your caloric burn and maximize your time!