Your 2021 Resolutions: Why This Year You Must Follow Through

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ARTICLE AT-A-GLANCE

🕑  5 min read | Jason Barbour, CEO

Failed diets and broken promises to yourself mean more this year. A lot more.

Every year, the most popular New Year’s goal reported BY FAR is weight loss. Unfortunately, the statistics show that 97% of the diets attempted will not end successfully.

The reason that I believe this year’s weight loss goals matter so much is the overwhelming evidence linking poor Metabolic Health to COVID-19 risks.

 

Americans have been hit particularly hard by COVID-19, and for those who end up hospitalized, it is very common that they have several or all of the following risk factors:

• Above average waist circumference
• High Fasting Glucose
• High Triglycerides
• High Blood Pressure
• Low HDL Cholesterol
• High Hemoglobin A1c

What is good metabolic health?

This Year, Let’s Replace “Diet” with Guidelines

 

The current use of the word diet has a negative connotation with many people. It’s looked at as painful and restrictive instead of just what someone eats on a daily basis to thrive. This is one reason why long-term compliance is so low.

Instead let’s focus on guidelines that are achievable, sustainable and effective.

The following guidelines are meant to maximize your Metabolic Health.

No tea detoxes, cleanses or crash diets allowed. Just nutritional ranges meant to help you lose weight the safe way and feel better than you have in a long time.

We’ll also talk about the mindset needed to keep going and the importance of holding yourself accountable.

Let’s get started.

 

1 Find a Good Calorie Range For YOU

I usually recommend that people start out at 350-450 calories per meal. Feel free to adjust up or down 10-20% as needed based on energy levels and weight loss progress. The fact of the matter is, our calorie expenditure changes daily and to obsess over a set number like 1200 calories is a waste of time. Overly strict calorie counting leads to burnout more times than not. I’ve found that it is much more effective to establish a personalized healthy range that prevents over and under-eating.

 

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2 Eat Protein 💪

In Greek, protein means “first importance.” You utilize protein on a daily basis to repair your immune system, produce neurotransmitters and aid in detoxification. Your muscles are also composed of protein. Consuming enough of this macronutrient is imperative if you want to maintain or build muscle mass.

Muscle tissue is extremely metabolic which means that it helps you burn more calories even at rest.

So how much protein should you be eating per day?

.65g-1g per pound of bodyweight seems to be the sweet spot in the latest nutritional research and anecdotally based on my own experience as well as peers.

Metabolic Meals’ 2-pack of Grilled Grass-Fed Top Steaks is an easy (and delicious) way to add high-quality protein to your diet.

Based on this range, a 180 lb. person with low activity might consider eating 120g per day. A person weighing the same, who exercises frequently, may consider eating 180g of protein per day.

3 Carbs (Friend or Foe?)

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, Americans on average get 50.5% of their calories from carbohydrates with a very large amount coming from processed, high sugar and low-fiber foods. These types of carbs would definitely be considered a problem for people who have poor Metabolic Health and routinely taking in half of your calories from these sources is dangerous.

Can you eat carbs and still be healthy?

You can absolutely eat carbs daily, still lose weight and achieve good Metabolic Health. You WILL need to consider the amount, type and possibly the timing of those carbohydrates.

Carbs are going to have the biggest impact on blood sugar out of the three macronutrients.

A good range to test your tolerance is 25g-35g per meal and less than 100 total grams per day.

Fiber should be around 25% of these carbohydrates which improves the glycemic load of a meal on top of other digestive benefits.

Sugar should be kept to an absolute minimum.

Do not eat your entire daily allowance of carbohydrates in one meal.

If you are someone who routinely eats 200+ grams of carbs per day (which is most people), it may take 2-3 weeks to adjust. Dealing with cravings and low energy is not uncommon at first when you drop your carb intake.

Take it one day at a time.
It will pass.
It will be worth it.

4Dietary Fat Is a Balancing Act

Americans are eating too many inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids from canola, cottonseed, and corn oils as well as commercially farmed meats raised on grain and soy. As in: 20x too much! The mixture of these forms of unhealthy fats and too many carbohydrates play a big role in poor Metabolic Health.

A low-fat diet is certainly not the answer, but a change in the TYPES of fat you consume is. Healthy fats can actually help you lose more fat by improving metabolic rate, balancing hormones and reducing cravings.

What are healthy fats and how much should you be eating?

Healthy fats are unrefined and examples come from:

• grass-fed red meat
• pasture-raised poultry
• wild-caught fatty fish
• avocados
• olives
• nuts
• seeds

Maintaining a balance of omega 3:6:9 is the goal and can be achieved by a steady rotation of the foods listed above.

60g-80g of fat per day is a good range to stay in for most people especially with a reduction of carbohydrates. Some people may go as high as 100+g per day with dietary fat which is fine, as long as energy levels are good and body composition is improving. Just remember, fat has 9 calories per gram and it can be easy to overeat it.

5How Many Times A Day Are You Eating?

Unless you are exercising frequently with a high intensity and have a lot of muscle mass, 3 meals and a snack should be enough. Another good practice is to consume those meals within an 8-10-hour window hour such as 7:30AM-5:30PM. People who practice this form of “time restricted eating” metabolize fatty acids more efficiently, improve insulin sensitivity and may also clear away damaged cells.

Translation: more efficient fat burning, better immune function and quite possibly a slowing of the aging process.

6 Developing a Winner’s Mindset

Before starting down the path of change, it’s important to understand WHY this goal matters and WHO you’re doing it for. For the greatest chance of success, the WHO needs to be YOU. Of course, other people will benefit from a healthier you, but there’s a chance you may not have their full support during the process.

This potential lack of support CANNOT be what derails you.

Excuses and lack of follow through leads to self-doubt. To avoid this, you have to clearly define your path to success and focus on the process. No more vague goals, like “I want to lose weight”. Instead, be specific about the actions that you need to take and attack them daily. Don’t think about 30 or 60 days out, instead put your energy and drive into TODAY. Put a string of winning days together and watch your confidence grow.

An old saying goes like this: “Habits are first cobwebs, then cables.” This applies to both good and bad habits.

 

Jason Barbour is the CEO of Metabolic Meals and a builder of e-business brands that help people live healthier lives. For over a decade, Jason worked closely with top athletes and executives to improve their performance through nutrition, fitness and lifestyle modifications. He now focuses on using technology to give people a more personalized path to achieving their wellness goals.

 

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