[dropcap]L[/dropcap]et me guess. You don't have enough time to think about what to eat or to count calories because your time is "too" scarce? Good excuse, but not good enough for me. You can take certain steps to reduce your calorie intake by implementing a few simple strategies. These strategies are routine and will take less than 60 seconds of your time. If that sounds like a plan for a busy professional…it is. But it's just the start.
When I first started out, I would overwhelm myself with counting calories, protein, carbohydrates, fat and all the other nuances that go with "dieting".
I really dislike that word by the way.
Although this can be good, it's overwhelming and I would discourage myself if something went wrong. I had my little dieting black book that "The Modern Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding" told me I should have. I would write and count everything. I got frustrated with all the time spent writing stuff down and gave up and sank into my old habits.
As a business professional, you don't have the time to write and count everything. This isn't an excuse to unconsciously stuff your face while at the computer screen. We must first get you to be conscious of small, yet impact full habits and then you can move on to greater efforts.
A study recently came out that in order to achieve the goal to reduce childhood obesity by 2020, all children would have to cut an average of 64 excess calories a day. Thats it!!
If children only have to cut calorie intake by 64, then let's get you started with cutting 200 calories.
Implement these 5 strategies and your on your way to reducing your calorie intake in no time:
1. Eat a well balanced breakfast
This is by far the easiest, yet most under utilized tip. Most professionals such as yourself wake up, grab a cup of morning joe and head to the local McDonalds for a quick fix.
This is very BAD idea.
Morning nutrients can provide you with energy throughout the day and will help fight hunger in the hours following your first meal. Focus on a nice mixture of fats, carbohydrates, and protein.
For example, 2 eggs, half a cup of oatmeal with a cup of blueberries will do wonders for your energy levels and ward off mid-afternoon binging. If you don't have time to cook two eggs, protein powder, a half serving of whole milk (for the fat) and frozen blueberries will make a fine breakfast.
Think of this. If you don't eat, eat and if you do, replace it with a balanced, nutritious meal.
2. Avoid added sugar
I'll take a caramel macchiato with whip cream please.
This drink alone packs more than 200 calories and 32 grams of sugar. Your insulin levels will spike and then begin to fall just around the same time as your caffeine. You will become lazy and unproductive.
Why not just get a coffee with a splash of milk or better yet a tea. The added sugar in a sweetened coffee doesn't benefit you. Rely on sugar from natural sources such as fruit. It's much more beneficial and will translate into positive energy that can be used for your business endeavors.
3. Pack your own snacks
"Hey Dave! Grab me a bag of Cheetos and a Pepsi when you come back from the vending machine." Sound familiar?
Does this really sound like a snack that will help you close the million dollar deal, write a captivating article, or professionally engage a client? I didn't think so. The nutrients in most vending machines are worthless. Pre-pack yourself nuts, fruit, or yogurt. Anything besides the vending machine junk.
Okay, maybe not anything but you get my point.
4. Eliminate carbs at night
Don't do it. Eating pasta, a large bowl of rice, or a loaf of bread before bed is just going to weigh you down. Why? Well, because at night your bodies insulin sensitivity decreases…which means FAT STORAGE.
Eat a hearty meal with a fair amount of protein and veggies. Decide to give up all grains and carbohydrates before bed. This is essential to limiting your total calories for the day.
5. Stay away from artificial sweetener
What's artificial sweetener? It's exactly that…artificial. Studies have shown it can lead t hunger. A sweet taste regardless of the source can increase appetite.
An artificial sweetener doesn't trigger a food reward that normal sugar would because it lacks caloric value. The lack of caloric value then leads to an incomplete satisfaction, which can result in hunger.
You cannot reduce your calorie intake if artificial food is tricking your body and making you hungry. You try to cut calories by using it, but then you end up eating more because of it. Doesn't really make sense when you think of it that way does it?
Would you buy an artificial Mercedes, hire an artificial assistant, go on an artificial vacation. Do you see where I'm going with this?
Stay away from any artificial sweetener.
The goal here is to focus on these 5 small changes. You won't see a change in your "free time" because these are easy to implement and require no planning. Reducing your calorie intake by only 200 calories is a start to becoming a fit professional, that any competitor should be afraid of.
You'll be mobile, agile and mentally prepared for anything.
What are your biggest temptations throughout the day? Comment below.