We recently sent out a survey asking questions about members’ eating habits and nutrition goals. More than 100 people responded (thank you!) and there were a few things that stood out.
- The most important goal was losing body fat (65%)
- Consistency is the biggest impediment to achieving your goals
- The two things that work best for members are eating balanced meals and eating on a schedule
- Breakfasts are eaten on the run
- Lunches are consistently eaten out and not healthy
- People don’t do well with a lot of restrictions or a lot of restrictions can backfire causing people to not eat enough and then to make bad choices once they’re too hungry
The interesting thing about this list is that I would have answered most of these questions in the same way. We got the InBody Body Composition machine last fall and I started tracking my body fat consistently to see what worked. Since we opened 5 ½ years ago, I’ve tried the BodPod and the dunk tank several times. If I was fairly good with my eating and drinking and worked out consistently, it was always between 18-19%. If I took a month off over the summer and was indulging in skittles and too many cocktails, it would shoot up to 21%. Conversely, if I did the clean challenge it would drop into the 17% range, but it would take a pretty restrictive diet that wasn’t sustainable.
So I tried something new. I decided that I would just focus on 3 things:
- Eat balanced meals and snacks
- Eat more (I realized I wasn’t eating enough of the right stuff to support my activity level) Read more about this here.
- Eat on a schedule
Here are the results:
- Lost 4 lbs
- Lost 4.5% body fat
- Gained 1.2 lbs of muscle mass
- Had more energy, especially in the afternoon
- Felt better (my chronic stomach pain significantly declined)
You can see from the graph that it took a while to really work. I started eating better in September 2017 when I first started tracking, but it probably wasn’t until November that I had it down and found it to be easy. I think the real key for me is the following:
- Eating a big balanced breakfast: 2-3 eggs with 4 veggies + 1 starchy veggie. If I do this, it sets me up for success throughout the day. I always add potato or sweet potato because I’ve noticed that without the carbs I’m pretty hungry again in 2 hours. This might sound like a lot of work, but I’ve timed it several times and it consistently takes 8 minutes. Here’s the recipe!
- Balanced snacks readily available: I also keep a plastic bin of snacks in my car (nuts, apple sauce packets, sesame seed cookies, jerky, rx bars, etc.).
- Sticking to a schedule: If I’m hungry, I eat. If I’m not hungry and it’s time for me to eat, I still eat.
- Finding healthy lunch options: I eat out a lot for lunch and so it was important for me to find ways to eat healthy balanced meals while still eating out. My top choices are Mod Market, Motomaki, Whole Foods, Arabesque, Fresh Thymes, Chipotle, Yellow Belly and Zeal.
We’re currently working on a new Clean Challenge scheduled to begin the first week of September after Labor Day that’s based on survey feedback and my personal experience and will lead to a more sustainable and effective approach to your top goals. So stay tuned…