Did you know that you can boost your metabolism and burn fat just by eating food? Research shows that 75-80% of what we eat determines how we look. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t work out, but it proves we simply cannot out train a poor diet.

If you were to eat a donut and then run five miles, that donut is still going to affect the way your body looks. We can’t simply trade food with exercise; our bodies are far too complex for that.

I don’t believe in extreme diets with quick fixes and empty promises.

I believe in eating God-made foods (whole and unrefined foods) and in using strategies to get the body to respond when progress stops.

We’ve all been stuck (or will get stuck) at some point with our weight loss journey, so if you’ve encountered a plateau or you’re feeling like you need a jump-start, try the following tips:

10 Tips That Will Change Your Body

  1. Eat Whole Foods. I refer to this in my book, F.I.T., as God-made foods. These foods are natural and unprocessed – the fewer ingredients the better. For example, consider broccoli versus a Pop Tart. Certain items can be tricky, so if you can’t pronounce it – don’t eat it.
  2. Eat smaller meals more often. We’ve heard this before, but have you tried eating 3 smaller meals and 2-3 snacks? This is my secret to maintaining a lean body.
  3. Avoid food boredom and make over your condiments*List below.
  4. Meal timing, which simply means you eat an hour or two before exercise (for optimal performance and to avoid light-headedness) and within an hour of exercise to replenish glycogen and protein stores. Employ it if you want to gain/maintain lean muscle. A clean whey protein shake can do the trick.
  5. Carb cycling is a great way to trick your body into giving up those last few pounds. It can be as easy as limiting starchy carbs to breakfast and then every three days adding in another starchy carb at dinner – while keeping your other carbs fibrous.
  6. Intermittent fasting may sound drastic, but intermittent fasting is not a diet, it’s a pattern of eating. It’s a way of scheduling your meals so you get the most out of them. Intermittent fasting doesn’t change what you eat, it changes when you eat.
  7. Drink water. Before you stop reading this, consider the amount of caffeine you consumed today. Most people are walking around dehydrated, and therefore exhausted. And exhaustion leads to carb cravings! Drink two glasses of water for every 8 oz. caffeinated beverage.
  8. Sleep. When you’re not getting enough sleep your body will try to balance serotonin, and this is why you crave carbs. Establish a consistent sleep schedule. Turn the TV off and go to bed.
  9. Know your triggers and have a go-to replacement for the foods you crave when those times strike. If you want a candy bar every day at 4 p.m., don’t try to starve yourself. Come prepared with a healthy snack and see how much better you feel. For snack ideas go here.
  10. Invest in yourself and learn your way around the kitchen, find healthy recipes for your favorite foods (including hamburgers and pizza), choose farm to table and organic restaurants, and keep healthy snacks with you at all times.

Foods that Naturally Boost Your Metabolism:

Lean meat, eggs, chili peppers, coffee, green tea, water and peppers, cinnamon, ginger, garlic, cloves, mustard, and vinegar.

Condiments That Combat Food Boredom:

Amy’s Organic Salsa, whole-grain mustard, tahini, Wok Mei Hoisin (all natural), Annie’s Organic BBQ Sauce, hot sauce, sriracha, black pepper, lemon pepper, and garlic pepper.

3 Keys to Eating

  1. Eat. The most important tip you can learn about losing weight is that you have to eat. Chronic dieting lowers our metabolic rate, decreases muscle mass, which in turn makes us burn fewer calories. If you’re a dieter, stop dieting and commit to getting healthy for good by fueling your body with consistent nutritious food choices. Remember, there is no permanent answer in a temporary fix.
  1. Avoid food boredom. Food boredom can ruin your desire to eat healthfully, but it doesn’t have to be that way. New recipes and restaurants are a great way to relieve food monotony. God-made eating isn’t dieting, and it isn’t boring; it’s our habits that lead us to the same boring food choices.
  1. Food is fuel, not comfort or reward. We need to retrain our brains and see that food is supposed to nourish our body not help us get over a break-up or bad day. Honestly, have you ever felt better about yourself after eating a pint of ice cream or a bag of chips?

If you’re gaining and losing the same three pounds, the weekends may be to blame.

Weekends give us the, “I deserve to eat mentality,” but don’t we deserve to feel great?

Here’s my bottom line with food. While what you eat is important, the most essential component to your success is why you’re eating it.

Don’t play food games. Are you eating to nourish your body or are you bored, stressed, depressed or angry? If it’s the latter, food isn’t the answer. The emotional component to food is what derails us over and over. I have caught myself eating chips and salsa (my kryptonite) thinking I was getting away with something.

And while there’s nothing wrong with eating chips and salsa occasionally, it’s making the call to eat with balance and know when it’s enough. We should enjoy everything in balance, so be honest with yourself. As an advocate for faith and fitness, if your emotions are continually sabotaging your best efforts, check out what God says about your health here.

I’ve been where you are. If you’re just beginning, getting ready to compete, or just want to feel better about yourself, I know how you feel. I’m never going to tell you to take a pill and the weight will magically fall of you, but I am here to be a resource with trusted information that will get you to your personal best.

Here to help you get healthy, happy & fit God’s way,