Strategies to Win #LevelUp45: Nutrition
By: Sam Russo (Prototype Nutrition Registered Dietician)
As we approach the start of the #LevelUp45 challenge (which starts Monday, October 5th), the team and coaches at Prototype Training Systems want to help you as much as possible in your journey. The #LevelUp45 challenge was created as an opportunity for you and the community to come together to build better habits. And better habits lead to a higher probability of you being successful in whatever your health and fitness goals are.
As you may be aware, there are 5 categories that make up the #LevelUp45 challenge. Those categories are:
- Personal Growth
Today, we are going to be discussing the proven strategies that will help you CRUSH the Nutrition category in the #LevelUp45 challenge.
Building good nutrition habits is primarily done for weight loss. However, that’s not the only reason why a focus on diet is a good idea. It has many benefits beyond changing the scale. Research shows that making changes in your diet can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other manageable diseases, even if weight loss doesn’t happen. Additionally, eating well makes you feel good, and that is one of the most important things for a good quality of life. Who doesn’t want to wake up with more energy, the ability to keep building muscle, and the excitement of trying a new recipe or two?
Here are some ways to be successful with the five nutrition tasks for the #LevelUp45 challenge!
1A: 800 grams of fruits and vegetables
- Sneak them in everywhere – oatmeal, pre- and post-workout drinks, and more.
- Add a side salad or side of veggies to a meal every day
- Snack on fruits and veggies, and pair with hummus or nut butter if you’d like.
- Wash and cut produce as soon as you get home from grocery shopping so you can just grab and go.
1B: Drink 75% of your bodyweight (in pounds) in water (in ounces).
- Get a reusable bottle with numbers on the side to keep you on track. The numbers can be ounces or times to drink by.
- Play the water game – drink every time you are in the car or in a meeting.
- Drink through reusable straws – you’ll end up drinking more.
1C: Track every meal in Myfitnesspal
- Track at a time that works best for you – right after eating, at the end of the day, or a combination.
- Tracking the night before can help you plan for the day ahead and stick to your goals.
- Set your meals a day in advance is a HUGE strategy if you’re the type of person that needs to stick to a plan!
1D: Get 0.8-1.0 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight
- Add protein powder to oatmeal or smoothies.
- Vary sources of protein – poultry, meat, fish, milk and yogurt, legumes, etc.
- Turn snacks into high protein opportunities. Greek yogurt, veggies with hummus, protein bars, and deli turkey make great snacks.
- Start the day with a high protein meal (30-40% of your daily intake) to make it easier the rest of the day.
1E: No alcohol and/or caffeine
- Find a buddy to stick to this with you.
- Plan activities that don’t involve drinking – game nights, walking dates, etc.
- Experiment with drink recipes that don’t include alcohol. This could include seltzers, flavored water, juices, and more.
Whatever your choice is, make sure it is sustainable! Nutrition isn’t an all or nothing thing. It is an important aspect of life that ebbs and flows with the day-to-day wildness. So if you know it’s impossible for you to drink 75% of your body weight in ounces of water – that’s ok! Start with 60% and go from there. Worried about meeting the vegetable or protein goal? Snacking on veggies with hummus helps you kill two birds with one stone! And if one-day things don’t go as planned, the best thing you can do is accept it and try again the next day. The point is, choose a goal that works for you. Any step, no matter how small, leads you towards building better habits – and that’s exactly what the Level Up 45 Challenge is encouraging you to do!