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Managing your food intake and meaningful progress

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My son was born a few weeks ago, and I’m just now beginning to realize how sleep deprivation can impact your day to day. I’ve harped on the importance of rest and recovery, but it dawned on me that the level of empathy I have for my clients who have kids and a full-time job could’ve been better.

Interestingly, despite being a walking zombie, I have a newfound level of energy. Okay—perhaps the ungodly amount of coffee I’ve been guzzling has something to do with that.

Q: Do I have to count calories?

A: It goes without saying that in your pursuit to becoming healthier and in better shape, there has to be a degree of restraint. In other words, getting your diet on point is a major tenet you can’t sweep under the rug.

Counting calories is one way that can be carried out. It’s very helpful in auditing your food intake. Now, does this mean you absolutely have to do that? No. For some it can be a huge pain in the butt, and in some cases could potentially create an unhealthy relationship with food.

Another option would be to simply engage in making small changes such as eliminating daily snacking, and mitigating alcohol. I’d even argue being diligent with that coupled with daily walking can do wonders. Preparing your meals, and minding your portions instead of always getting takeout can make a big difference as well.

What I’m trying to convey here is: what you choose to adopt is entirely up to you. Perhaps, a blend that makes practical sense for you. You don’t have to subject yourself to just one method.

There are a variety of ways to do this dance. Just know what works for you may not necessarily jive well with others.

Q: I’ve been working out for a few weeks now, but I’m just not seeing results. In fact, I think I’ve gained some weight. This is why I think going on some sort of cleanse or restart can help move things along.

A: A diet is arguably a means to an end. Still, it does behoove you to adopt useful habits along the way—because after all, as cringe as it may sound, it is a lifestyle. It’s one thing to hop on a rigid approach for 30 days and see modest improvements in your body composition. Sticking to a program and establishing sound dietary habits is a different story.

That’s the hard truth. Meaningful, visible progress is going to take a lot longer than you want.

Don’t take this lightly. If you want to build something that’ll last, it’s not going to be attained with crash diets and bogus juice cleanses. Understand that creating good habits and establishing behaviors are arguably more critical than the outcome.

Dre De Los Santos | Author

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