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20 things you can do to look and feel your best this decade.
Not only is it a new year, but its the start of a new decade. The TWENTIES are here! Now, we don’t want you looking back after them and thinking would’ve, could’ve, should’ve. Start looking and feeling your best TODAY for the twenties with these 20 tips:Start looking and feeling your best TODAY with these 20 tipsClick To Tweet
(1) EAT AT LEAST 35g FIBER PER DAY
Fiber is the secret to lasting weight management. Fiber swells in the stomach (so it fills you up!), absorbs and removes fat and calories, and boosts metabolism (meaning you burn more!). The magical nutrient can’t be digested, so it’s zero calories, and it adds bulk to food. Therefore, when you follow a diet rich in fiber you feel fuller after eating, so you’ll generally eat less throughout the day, and the foods are naturally less caloric, too. But that’s not all, fiber also promotes regularity, and following a high fiber diet can help you sleep better, have improved energy levels, and clearer skin. How ’bout them apples (which by the way, typically contain about 4g fiber).
(2) DRINK (LOTS OF) WATER
Water plays a key role in nearly every bodily function, fills you up so you tend to eat less, and helps to rid the body of toxins and chemicals that may be slowing down your metabolism. Fiber needs water to work it’s magic, and drinking more of it can also help you to banish bloat. Lastly, sometimes our hunger is actually just thirst in disguise. We didn’t drink enough water so feel symptoms similar to those of hunger like weak, cranky and tired, and thus grab whatever quick treat is around, when all we really needed was some good ol zero-calorie H2O. To reap all the amazing benefits staying properly hydrated offers, aim to drink 3 liters of water every day.
(3) PAIR FIBER WITH PROTEIN
Unsure of what to eat to look and feel good? Follow this simple pattern: fiber + protein. Every meal should be a combination of fiber and lean protein. Fiber and protein fill you up and keep you feeling full. They’re the most effective combo for weight management because they’re the two nutrients that do this for the longest period of time, and for the fewest calories. The fuller you feel, the less likely you’ll be to snack unnecessarily or overeat at meals. By focusing on fiber and protein, you’re also eating the carbs your body needs for energy.
(4) START YOUR DAY WITH BREAKFAST
Use that fiber + protein formula (described in #3) starting with your first meal of the day, breakfast. Starting your day with a fiber and protein-packed breakfast sets you up for a day of success because it jumpstarts your metabolism, fills you up, and gets you on your way to meeting your daily fiber goal. For some pretty sweet high-fiber breakfast suggestions, click here.
(5) BE MINDFUL OF FATS
You need some fat in the diet, but you want to be mindful of just how much you are consuming because they’re more calorically dense than carbohydrates or proteins. In other words, fats can add up fast. F-Factor isn’t a no-fat diet, it’s a low fat diet. Roughly 30% of your calories per day should come from healthy fats, which equates to ~33g of additional fats if you are on Step 1 of the F-Factor Diet. Additional fats means this is on top of the healthy fats in lean proteins, like grass-fed beef and low-fat yogurts and cheeses. For information on which foods are fats, see page 41 of the F-Factor Diet book, and to get the low-down where olive oil comes into play, read click here.
(6) BUILD LEAN MUSCLE
Lean muscle means increased metabolism, because muscle tissue is active, and fat is not. This means that even at rest, muscle tissue burns more calories than body fat. 10 lbs of muscle burns 50 calories per day at rest, while 10 lbs of fat would burn only 20 calories per day, that’s 2.5x more calories burned while you’re doing nothing at all! In other words, the more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism, and the more you can eat, without gaining weight.
(7) GET OFF THE TREADMIL AND LIFT SOMETHING
Get a better return on your investment working out by putting your time into strength training activities instead of cardio. In contrast to cardio, which primarily just burns calories, when you do strength training exercises, like lifting weights, using resistance bands, pilates and barre, you burn calories and build lean muscle mass, and that increases metabolism. Essentially, when you do cardio you’re only burning during activity, but when you put your precious time into strength training activities and build lean muscle mass, you continue burning even after you’ve thrown in the towel and exited the gym.
(8) EAT MORE NON-STARCHY VEGETABLES
Non-starchy vegetables are great for you, and you should be eating them. Non-startchy vegetables are relatively low in calories (just 25 calories per cup!), have a high water content, contain fiber, and are filled with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. They’re not only great for weight management but overall health and wellness. They’re also a FREE FOOD on F-Factor, so if you’re following F-Factor, and like volume, they’ll be your best friend.
(9) PRACTICE GRATITUDE
When you focus on what you’re grateful for, you naturally become a happier person. But that’s not all; it can help you lead a healthier life too. A more positive outlook can help you better manage stress, which can help decrease levels of cortisol, the stress hormone that contributes to weight gain. This is because when we’re stressed, our body produces cortisol, which encourages the body to store more fat, and thus leads to weight gain. To practice gratitude, try waking up and writing down 3 things you’re grateful for every day. This way you start your day off in a positive way and are better prepared to deal with stress that comes your way.
(10) GET AT LEAST 7 HOURS OF QUALITY SLEEP PER NIGHT
One of the best things you can do to look and feel your best is to get enough sleep. In terms of weight management, sleep helps you stay in control of your cravings and overeating. This is because the amount and quality of your sleep affects the hormones in the body that control feelings of hunger and fullness, and as little as one night tossing and turning is enough to throw them out of whack. Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep to wake feeling well rested and keep your hunger and satiety hormones in check.
(11) GET BUSY IN THE KITCHEN
On F-Factor you can dine out (or order in!) from Day 1, but that’s not to say there’s no benefit to putting your chef hat on. Letting your inner chef out and cooking more can have some big time benefits for your wellbeing. It’s often cost effective, and can be a soothing, creative activity, both of which can help you to better manage stress. You can also better control portion sizes and what you’re actually eating, which can help with weight management. And did you know those who frequently prepare dinner at home consume less calories overall? Read about that one here.
(12) KICK BACK & HAVE A SNACK
Including an afternoon snack in your daily routine can make weight management efforts exceedingly more effective, so long is the snack is a good snack. Among other reasons, snack is important because it offsets your hunger for dinner, which is typically people’s most caloric meal of the day. A good snack is between 150-250 calories, and has at least 5g of both fiber and protein. For more on way you should have a snack every day, read 7 reasons why snack should be part of your daily routine.
(13) FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN DO
When you focus on what you can’t have, or can’t do, you wind up feeling deprived. Continuing your healthy habits feels dreadful, and you’re disappointed and depressed about it. What’s the fun in that? However, when you focus on what you can eat, and what you can do, you set yourself up for success because it’s empowering and you’re excited about continuing. It’s the power of positivity, people!
(14) SET SMART GOALS
Whatever it is you want to accomplish, go about it the smart way by using The Smart Method to set your goal. The Smart Method is a goal setting tactic that uses SMART as an acronym for 5 characteristics a good goal incorporates: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. When a goal incorporates all 5 of these things, your chances for being successful with increased ten-fold. To learn more about SMART goals, click here, and for more tips on setting and attaining your goals, click here.
(15) KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR NET CARB INTAKE
Net carbs are the digested carbs, so the number of net carbs a food has refers to the amount of carbohydrates in that food that the body actually digests. This is what the body uses for energy, but in terms of weight management it’s important because, it’s what can end up being stored as fat and lead to weight gain when you consume too much. On Step 1 of F-Factor you want to stay below 35g net carb per day, Step 2 is below 75g net carb per day, and maintenance is less than 125g net carb per day. To keep your total net carb low, seek foods that are high in fiber relative to the total carb.
(16) SET IT AND FORGET IT
Make things easier for yourself, and automate what you can. Subscribe, enroll, whatever you’ve got to do, if there are things you know you will need, that you run out of set it up to auto-refill your orders. Often auto-refill services offer a discount for subscribing. Ours does! Details here.
Recording what you eat in a journal is one of the best ways to keep you accountable to your healthy eating plan. When you’re prepared, you’re less likely to make poor, impulsive decisions. If you have a busy week, plan out your meals for each day and journal those meals ahead of time too. This gives you a game plan to follow, and because you wrote it down, you’re locked in. We have an awesome journal that you can log your food with, or if you prefer to go digital, use the F-Factor App.
(18) DO YOU
Temporary solutions tend to equal temporary results; permanent changes can lead to permanent weight loss, and to keep changes permanent a dieter needs a plan that allows them to live their life. The most successful long term F-Factor followers are the ones who continue their lives, eating at their favorite restaurants, socializing with friends and imbibing in moderation. Don’t skip those things just because you’re trying to be healthy! It’s not the activity that’s caloric, it’s what you choose to order, and the more restricted a person is, the more likely they are to drop a lifestyle change. Positive habits come from enjoying the activities you love and a meal plan that is appropriate to them.
(19) TAKE IT SLOW
Instead of speeding through the meal, practice mindfulness: eat more slowly. Take smaller bites, and try putting your fork down between bites. If it helps, start using chopsticks more. All of these things will help you to slow down when you eat, which is good because it takes 20 minutes for our brains to even realize we are full. So when you rush through a meal, you can easily end up eating past the point of fullness literally before you even realize it. But, if you slow down, you give your body a better chance to tell you you’re full before you’ve reached that “have to unbutton my pants and take a nap” feeling, which aside from being uncomfortable, typically means you’ve overeaten.
(20) HAVE A PLAN, MAN.
Follow a program for weight management (like F-Factor!). It may seem obvious, but having a program to follow with a solid framework for eating will significantly help you bounce back after a trip with ease. Without some level of structure, it’s almost impossible for people to track progress and succeed. Structure is important for people to be able to hold themselves accountable. Research shows that following a program is key for weight management. Read more about that study here.