It’s nearly the start of another year and it’s the perfect time to set some fitness goals. But before you start aiming to achieve a certain weight or a certain “fitness level” why not try something different? Why not focus on some good habits that you can implement that will make major transformations to your health for years. We asked Tyson Brown, an online personal trainer and nutritionist coach, who also works at Fitness First in Newtown, for his top tips!
“Sure, these nutrition habits aren’t super sexy and they’re not as exciting as the Keto diet or a kale smoothie,” says Tyson, “but they will change the way you look, feel and most important your relationship with food.”
1. Eat protein with every meal
“Protein should always be a focus in your diet. It’s great for muscle recovery, building new muscle, toning, keeping you full, growing your hairs and nails and a whole bunch of other great stuff. So, your goal should be to have protein with every meal to get the full benefits. Apart from the stock-standard beef, chicken, pork and tuna, here are the best sources of protein: low-fat Greek yoghurt, eggs, kangaroo, tempeh, tofu, shellfish and, of course, quality protein powder.
2. Follow the 90%/10% rule
“Your goal shouldn’t be to eat healthy every single day for every single meal. You’re a human, not a robot and you will be faced with temptations! You’ll have social events on and sometimes you’ll just want to have a few pieces of chocolate. So instead of focusing on perfection, focus on the 90%/10% rule. If you eat four times a day, seven days a week, that’s means you eat 28 meals. If you follow the 90/10 rule that means three of your meals can be ‘treats’ and you allow yourself to have something you want. It’s much better to allow for a bit of fun in your diet and be forgiving instead of striving for perfection, feeling bad then you ‘fail’ and then letting all of your good habits slip away.
3. Meal prep on a Sunday night
“Let’s be real, most of your weekend you want to spend having fun and not slaving away in the kitchen. So, in order to set yourself up with healthy meals for the week and actually succeed at meal prep, do it on a Sunday night. The reason Sunday nights work is because everyone else is at home, there’s nothing exciting on and you are usually just hanging around dreading work! Use the time from 6pm until 8pm to put on some bangers and jam to music while you’re in the kitchen and prepare your meals for the week.”
4. Keep ‘Emergency’ naughty foods
“We’ve talked about the 90/10 rule but sometimes it’s going to be hard to stay away from cravings and you just want something sweet. For this reason, I suggest you keep ’emergency’ foods that will cure your sweet tooth. Some ideas for ‘naughty’ foods you can keep in your house are: sugar-free jelly, instant hot chocolate (low-calorie satchels), low-fat Greek yoghurt and strawberries, Halo top ice cream, 95% dark chocolate, diet soda, sugar-free gum. These low-calorie options can help you avoid going overboard and eating a whole pizza or a pint of ice cream.
5. Have an eating schedule
Having a schedule for when you eat will make sticking to good eating habits easier. If your body knows that you eat at 9 am, 1 pm, 4 pm and 8 pm the body will send hunger signals at those times to eat. This will help you because you won’t be feeling hungry at other times of the day because you know when your next meal will be and you won’t be tempted to overeat.Eating roughly the same types of meals at the same time will also put you into a good rhythm and will even help with sleep because your body will know once you have your last meal it’s time to wind down before bed. Find regular times that you can space throughout the day and suit you for when you can have your meals. The more structure you have with the times you eat and the meals you eat, the easier you make it for yourself to stay on track.
6. It’s all about habits
When you can focus on trying to create better habits in 2020 you’re setting yourself not only for this year but for many years to come and that’s the most important thing about nutrition. It’s not just for the short term, it’s something you use your entire life.
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