I was wondering if you could help me figure out a way to stop eating sugar. I work at commercial bakery on the layer cake production line! I am having a hard time with all the great smells around me all day long. I do go to the gym 5 days a week. I do an hour of cardio and I’m trying to get back into weight lifting. I also would like to know what supplements are beneficial, if any. At age 43, I am starting to feel as if I am starting to gain weight due to my age. Not to mention not being as strict as I should be on my overall diet and workout plan. What used to work for me isn’t working any longer. Do you have any helpful suggestions so I can avoid all of the tempting food at work and also get back on track with my fitness program?
Wow, you work on a layer cake production line? I’m already salivating! My sweet tooth wouldn’t be able to handle it. I think it would take me about 5 minutes before I completely broke down and jumped head first into all of those sweet goodies. The best thing I recommend is keeping a bunch of easy to access nutrient dense foods near you at work in order to avoid all of the massive temptations that surround you. If you have a community fridge, pack it full of healthy foods like cottage cheese, fresh fruit, veggies and lean meats (Boars Head turkey breast is great). An awesome tip is to put a box of protein bars in the freezer. These are great for a quick snack which will satisfy your sweet tooth and provide a high amount of protein to build muscle. Make sure to look for protein bars with less than 10 grams of sugar per bar (make sure to count the sugar alcohols also).
You can also prepare healthy meals beforehand and use Tupperware to store them in the fridge at work or put them in a cooler in your car. Take a few hours on a Sunday and bake a bunch of sweet potatoes and chicken breasts in the oven. Canned veggies like green beans and corn along with legumes like black beans and chickpeas (garbanzo beans) come in super handy when mixing together a nutrient dense ready-to-go meal. This is the easiest way to have quick and healthy foods instantly ready for you to throw into a Tupperware bowl and carry with your when you’re heading out of the house to go to work.
Precooking your food ahead of time is one of the absolute best things you can do to stick with a healthy diet. When you take all of the guesswork out of “thinking” about what to eat, it simply becomes automatic to eat healthy because you avoid any confusion about finding healthy foods to eat. Turn your mind and body on autopilot and try preparing all of your meals for a few weeks to see the changes in both your habits and your physique!
In terms of working out, focus on weight training as the core of your plan. The best way to lose fat and get fit is to increase muscle mass. Muscle is the most anabolic tissue in your body and by simply adding 1 pound of lean muscle mass to your body, you will burn an additional 50-60 calories each day. Muscle is your body’s furnace to burn fat and adding resistance exercise is the most important part of your fitness plan.
Along with weight training, you need to burn additional calories with cardiovascular exercise. By doing cardio, you provide your body with another tool to lose unwanted fat. When doing cardio, a great tip is to do it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. This will allow your body to tap right into your fat stores, since you will have limited carbs in your system after fasting (sleeping). Try to avoid eating carbs before doing cardio since you will be forced to burn up all of those carbs before your body switches to using body fat for fuel. You really don’t want to waste 20-30 minutes of gut busting cardio exercise just to burn through all those carbs before targeting your fat stores, so have a scoop of protein powder (in water) or a BCAA supplement before your morning cardio to optimize fat burning. Now, this no-carb approach should only be used if you’re only doing cardio in the morning. If you like to lift weights first and then do cardio afterwards, you will need to eat some carbs before your weight training workout in order to provide the energy needed for your body to workout at a high intensity. By eating some carbs before your weight workout, you will be able to burn through those carbs while you lift weights and then once you’re ready to hit the cardio exercises, your body will be left to target fat stores.
For supplements, stick with a quality multivitamin and mineral supplement and a quality whey protein powder. Optimum Nutrition 100% whey is a great tasting protein powder that mixes very well. Try to limit your supplements to the ones that actually work (protein, vitamins, etc). Hard workouts and proper nutrition should be your main items to focus on when improving your physique. Remember, when in doubt, always look at your diet and workout plan to make improvements before deciding to buy expensive supplements to help resolve issues. Supplements are just that, they are there to “supplement” a solid nutritional plan, so use them sparingly to help assist you in reaching your fitness goals.