In our latest appearance on The List, we share the “Foundation Five”— five easy tips to supercharge your fitness goals.
Transformation is all about preparing and setting yourself up for success, and the best way is to start with small, actionable goals that you can build up over time. This is what I call the Foundation Five— five small tweaks you can make to your life RIGHT NOW as you ease into larger-scale lifestyle and fitness habits.
A study by the Natural Hydration Council found that one in 10 consultations for fatigue and tiredness is caused by dehydration. On top of that, the mechanism in our brain that signals thirst is often mistaken for hunger, so being better hydrated can cut down on overeating.
Your goal should be half of your body weight in ounces to start. Make it easier by keeping a reusable water bottle at home, at work, and in the car so you’re never left without an opportunity to hydrate.
I recommend eating breakfast to give your metabolism a jumpstart and help you burn more calories throughout the day. This is a great place to get carbs in too; they’ll keep you full for longer and help you stay in control of snacking later on. Try to eat breakfast as soon as you can in the morning, or right when your feeding window opens (if you like to use intermittent fasting).
Lean protein (paired with fibrous veggies on the side) is perfect for its low-calorie count and high nutrition content. And while protein should be a regular in all of your meals, if you must eat starchy or sugary carbs, do it earlier in the day. That way your body isn’t stuck burning those carbs overnight, so you can burn fat while you sleep instead.
The average American consumes more than 350 calories a day from added sugars, according to a Harvard Health study. These are often found in packaged and processed foods, and doesn’t even include natural sugars found in fruit and dairy!
You might think these sugars are only added to syrups and frosting, but it’s added to so much more: condiments, sauces, salad dressing, even cereal and crackers. Be wary of this when you’re grocery shopping because those sugars can really add up.
High sodium intake, on the other hand, affects heart health and blood pressure, not to mention your body’s water retention. Staying well-hydrated can help here, but the real key is in reducing salt where you can.
Cut out processed foods, be careful with condiments often packed with sodium, and try using spices and herbs to flavor your meals instead of salt when possible.
Start with five minutes of deliberate movement each day. This isn’t about going all out and trying to burn 100 calories during those five minutes. It’s really about MINDSET— establishing a daily practice of prioritizing your body’s movement and health creates a foundation to build upon so you’re ready to hit the ground running. Believe me, this makes regular exercise SO much easier.
To watch our The List TV video and learn more, click here.