Three Power Strategies for Body Reshaping

Submitted by SharpMan Editorial Team on Saturday 16th October 2010
In this article
  • Why should you keep a food journal?
  • When should you get started?
  • Reward yourself.

You diet. You exercise. You suffer. So goes the cycle of some SharpMen’s lives. Do you feel like you are trapped in a never-ending war with the battle of the bulge?

It’s time for a new strategy. Regardless of what the myriad of infomercials for that "breakthrough fat loss technology" will tell you, there is simply no magic formula. That’s the bad news. The good news is it’s entirely within your power to reshape and transform your body into the lean and mean SharpMan you’ve always wanted to be.

Break out of your fat-loss frustration with these three simple, yet powerful, strategies for body reshaping.

The Power of the Food Journal

Having been a personal trainer for over eight years, I speak from experience when I say that the critical factor in weight loss is nutrition. Even if you do marathon workouts day in and day out, but if you don’t change the way you eat, your chances of being successful in the long run are miniscule. Stack the odds in your favor and make the commitment to positively change the way you eat.

One of the most powerful things you can do to enhance your weight loss effort is to keep a daily food journal. I guarantee you that this simple and inexpensive idea will far outperform any infomercial fitness gadget (and you won’t be stuck with "easy" monthly payments).

All that’s required is a pocket sized notebook. This notebook should go everywhere you do. It’s not good enough to write everything down at the end of the day, write in your food as you eat it.

Here is what you should be looking for:

Total calories. There are many factors to take into account when trying to shed some body fat, but the most fundamental factor is simple: You have to burn more calories than you take in.

To figure out your daily caloric needs go to the Consumer Reports Web site and fill out the simple form. Voila! Now you know how many calories you need on a daily basis.

For maximum benefit try to divide those calories evenly across 5 daily meals — three "main" meals and two substantial snacks.

Some other things to keep your eyes on include:

Fiber: try to get 25-35 grams per day. Choose fiber-rich veggies rather than breads and pastas to stay light. The more processed grains you eat, the more likely you are to be famished a few hours after mealtime.

Sodium: try not to exceed 3000 milligrams per day.

Fat: fat should account for less than 30% of your daily calories, 20-25% would be better when trying to lose weight. Choose healthy fat choices like olive oil and lean meats. Having said this, realize that fat is essential to energy and mental focus, and losing weight does not require you to cut out all fat sources.

Saturated Fat: less than 10% of your daily calories should come from saturated fat, the lower the better.

Sweets: try to take the sweets you take in down a notch. Although fruits are always a better sweet tooth choice than candy or cake, recognize that even "natural" forms of sugar are sugar, so don’t overdo it on the natural stuff. Limit your fruit servings to two per day.

The Power of Now!

How many times have you said this to yourself: "I’ll start my diet (workout) on Monday." If you can’t muster the motivation to begin today, what makes you think Monday will be different? It’s time to realize the power of Now!

The critical difference between those that Do and those that Do Not is very simple. Action. The only thing that is really in your control is right now. Make the most of it.

Get in the habit of asking yourself this simple question throughout your day: "What can I do right now to help me achieve my goal of having a Sharpbody?"

Here are a few suggestions. Right now I can:

  1. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  2. Go for a walk instead of parking my butt on the couch.
  3. Have a glass of water instead of a soda.
  4. Make the choice not to eat that candy/donut/roll/pastry that was brought into the office.
  5. Fix a healthy lunch for tomorrow so I won’t be tempted buy fast food.
  6. Call up a buddy and go for a walk/jog/run/workout.
  7. Drink my coffee/tea without sugar or creamer.

The Power of Reward

To make the most of your weight loss efforts, plan small rewards when you’ve achieved certain goals. Reshaping your body is an hour-to-hour and day-to-day struggle. Being able to sustain your motivation over the coming months will help tremendously.

Here are a few tips for rewarding yourself:

  1. Do not reward yourself with food.
  2. Set both short-term and long-term goals (and rewards to go with them). A good reward for having met a short term goal might be splurging on tickets to a ballgame (easy on the beer and hotdogs) or taking a day off from work for a "mental health" day.
    A reward for reaching a long term goal might be a week-long vacation, a new mountain bike or scuba diving lessons.
  3. Rewarding yourself with something that includes physical activity is an excellent idea, since it serves two purposes. For instance: a) making time in your busy schedule to take your kids to the zoo; b) planning a day of canoeing or kayaking; c) spending an afternoon learning how to rollerblade .

It’s time to grab the bull by the horns and take charge of your situation. Armed with three new weapons you are now ready to fight and win the battle of the bulge.

This article last updated on Saturday 16th October 2010
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