I DONT LIVE ON CHICKEN. The truth about how to stay lean.

I cleaned up my diet starting one week ago today in order to tighten up for the Arnold Classic where I am honored to be representing my amazing sponsor, Allmax Nutrition. Now, I do not need to be in stage shape for this event however I want to be lean, tight and toned. After 7 days, I am happy with my look (of course I will continue to make progress because I am a perfectionist and because I have the time). Yes, after 7 days I am ready to go to the Arnolds.

I know many of you think that I live on chicken breasts and live an unrealistic lifestyle but I am here today to tell you the truth. I DONT. I live a balanced and active lifestyle that you can too. I wont say its easy but with a lifestyle change and breaking some poor habits, it becomes thoughtless.

I have not competed in 2 years yet I keep myself within at least 10lbs of my last competition weight without even thinking about it because I have developed a lifestyle that works, and that is balanced. When I train, I train HARD, when I eat regularly I eat CLEAN and when I want to eat something “bad” for me, I eat it with pride.

Lets take a look at the components of my lifestyle;

Each week, I train 3-5times but I ensure that each workout counts. That means working as hard as I can each time I hit the gym. I typically do circuit training to hit full body while incorporating HIIT at the same time. I find this style of training to be the most efficient for maintaining my physique (if you are looking to put on muscle, add some plyos into your rest times, keep that heart rate up). Create a no-fail schedule for yourself. If you have kids, find a way to train while they are asleep or at an activity. It IS possible, you just have to make it work. Schedule your workouts INTO your day, not after your day.

I have created a habit of packing my food and eating regularly. Each time I leave the house I know part of my getting-ready routine is to pack food, and throughout the day I have trained myself to eat small meals every couple of hours without thought. (you can start by setting an alarm or reminder on your phone every 2-3 hours, it will soon become habit).

Cook in bulk. If you make one healthy meal (or moms who make meals for your kids), why not make it in a mass amount for the next few days? You are making it anyways, be efficient. Right now in my fridge; a tub of cooked chicken, a tub of clean meatballs, small tub of cooked sweet potato, small tub of roasted broccoli & broiled asparagus, small tub of salmon, natural almond butter, apples. In my pantry; multiple flavors of Isoflex protein, Cytogreens supplement (Im not a veggie person), oats, almonds, prunes (to keep the track moving). This way I can grab and go. Easy.

Water intake. Get used to carrying around a water bottle (preferably 1L or larger). Keep it full and close by such as on your desk, in your purse, beside you in the car. In no time you will create the habit of continually drinking water.

Make yourself accountable to someone. Each day I feel accountable to my clients. I am their trainer and I need to be setting a good example for them. For the rest of you, tell a few people what your plan is. Who likes to be the person who couldnt follow through? Not me, no way. You can even go as far as hiring a trainer who offers an accountability package (ie myself or anyone else at Revive Fitness). We schedule bi-weekly times where you come in for an assessment, give you a meal plan and can add a workout program…how much more accountability do you need than that?

You dont have to be perfect. On average I would say that I eat out at a restaurant 2x/week and I order whatever the heck I want, and enjoy it too. BUT I can do that because of all of the things listed above. It doesnt work quite the same if you arent eating clean or training regularly. If you slip up and have something you arent “supposed to” so what, get back on track and carry on. The worst thing you can do is to let it continue on, then you will be completely off track. Get back to clean eats with your next meal and go about your day.

Keep an eye on your LOOK, not your WEIGHT. Find a pair of pants that fit tightly or just right and use that as a gauge. Weight varies up and down, and your body composition can change without your weight changing drastically (or it may even go up). No one cares about a number on the scale, what matters is how you feel inside and about the way your body looks…lets be honest. Personally I have one spot on my body I use as my gauge, if it changes, well I will tighten up my diet for the week, get back on track and carry on.

You’re tired? Well guess what, almost everyone else around you is too. Big whoop. Deep down you know you will feel better after training and eating clean. Dont succumb to cravings or little excuses like this, power through it. You are strong arent you?

There are a million excuses in the book but at the end of the day, it comes down to how strong you can be. Pushing through the adjustment period will be the hardest part, know that, expect it, embrace it and get through it. Unfortunately it is a myth that a habit is formed after 21 days, researchers now say it takes 66 days but that doesnt mean it wont become routine before then.

Sit back and mentally take a look at your week…do you have a lunch meeting, a party or some other social function that week? Well save your ‘cheats’ for then. Dont waste your ‘cheats’ or extra calories on nonsense (ie when you are alone, on the run, glass of wine each night…those are habits, not necessity), use them when you can really enjoy them…with friends and family.

Im not trying to say this is the easiest thing in the world. It has taken me some time to learn this too. But trust me, once its learned, its easy and it feels good!




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