When you’re killing it in the gym on the daily but not seeing the results you’re hoping for, it’s easy to get frustrated with the process. But any trainer will tell you that toned abs are made in the kitchen just as much as they’re made in the gym. Eating the right things to fuel your workouts and keeping super sugary indulgences to a minimum are a strong start. But if you’re not seeing progress, there’s some seriously simple everyday tweaks you can make to help get you where you want to go. Fitness superstar Cassey Ho, creator of YouTube’s Blogilates channel and spokesperson for Dailies Total1 contact lenses, outlines six nutritional tips that’ll complement your workouts and help you hit your fitness goals.
1. Always eat breakfast. Personally, we’re big fans of any meal with avocado toast in its starting lineup, and Ho agrees, saying, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, hands down. I’ve heard everything from ‘I don’t like breakfast food’ to ‘Coffee is all I can handle early in the morning.’ No excuses.” You’ll be meal prepping overnight oats for the week once you read why. “Skipping breakfast can sabotage your fitness routine by signaling your body to hold on to fat versus burning it off. Whether it’s a piece of toast, a hard-boiled egg, or a quick omelet, put fuel in your tank every morning,” she explains.
2. Write *everything* you eat down. Whether you’re just starting to add more veggies or cut down on carbs, keeping track of what you’re feeding your body can help you develop healthy habits. “Journaling what you eat is important. It doesn’t matter if you have the memory of an elephant or need to jot it down, keeping track of what’s going into your body can help you make changes and tweaks along the way. My food diary not only lets me see the choices I’m making throughout the day, but it gives me something to celebrate at the end of a busy day and helps me plan meals for the week,” shares Ho.
3. Spend more time in the kitchen. “With the introduction of all these cool food delivery and prep services, cooking isn’t as frightening as it once was. Make a commitment to eat-in a few nights a week. This allows you to see exactly what’s going into your meals, spend some time de-stressing, and try something new. If you work out after work and choose to pick up some takeout, consider making yourself a healthy breakfast a couple of mornings a week instead,” suggests Ho.
4. Stick to a food schedule. Having a schedule is a good idea for all aspects of life, not just working out and eating right. Ho agrees, saying, “Living a healthy lifestyle is all about timing and planning. We’re all very busy and eating healthy is just not possible in every situation. Sometimes it’s more important to worry about when you’re eating instead of what. If you’re on a schedule of ‘breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner’ like me, make sure to stick to it to keep your metabolism going.”
5. Don’t feel like your meal plan needs to be fancy. “If you’re not a foodie, don’t set yourself up for failure by adding a bunch of fancy, unpronounceable new foods into your meal plan,” says Ho. (We’re looking at you, black rice recipes.) “If you like to snack on apples, do it. If your favorite lunch is a simple chicken salad, do that. Just know that you don’t have to eat super fancy meals or snacks if that’s not your thing.”
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