Tricia Jones - Beachbody Coach and NASM CPT

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Repeat after me - Abs Are Made In The Kitchen

My Abs were made in the kitchen....

When I was younger I did countless crunches with Tamilee Webb of Abs of Steel. Never did I have the definition I desired. Today, while my stomach is not perfect- (I have my post c-section/pregnancy battle wounds) I am proud of the tone and definition I do have.  I attribute 80% of my success to cleaning up my diet. . . . thus why I firmly believe Abs ARE made in the kitchen.

In the past, I always thought that my idea of a perfect body would come from doing more cardio and exercising harder and stronger. I ran numerous 10 mile races, 2 marathons (trained for 3) and worked out consistently for years. I was fit but not as fit as I am now. My problem was that I thought if I worked out I could eat/drink whatever I wanted. I was 100% exercise 0% nutrition and as a result -I would only ever progress so far.  Fluctuating in weight was evident of how hard I was working out. The changes I made were never lifestyle changes and only ones I could maintain for a period of time.  

A flip was switched for me regarding the foods I was eating when my doctor told me I was gaining too much weight - you can read that story here.  That all started in April of 2012 and here I am in December of 2013 and still going strong. This is a lifestyle change and one that I know has benefited not only me, my family and extended family members and friends.

So what do you do? what do you eat? I was there. I knew I had to do something but I was overwhelmed with what and where and how to start. It took a lot of google searches and this is what ended up working for me:  

1. START SMALL. - I started to clean up what I drank. I use to have a really large glass of orange juice every day, I would drink diet soda most days at lunch and/or at dinner. I drank water but nearly enough. I started with weeding out sugar drinks and replacing all liquids with water. You can flavor water with lemon, cucumbers, fruit - it is not as boring as I once thought.

2. I weeded everything out but: LEAN Proteins. COMPLEX Carbs. HEALTHLY Fats. VEGGIES. FRUITS. I currently like to use this A-mazing site:  The Gracious Pantry. She has shopping lists from popular markets on here of clean foods! Shopping made easy! :) 

3. Portion Sizes: There are so many cute little ways to figure out portion sizes:  Measure the size of a deck of cards or ball or whatever! When I am hungry I can't remember what should be the size of what... SO, I look at my own palm (something I can easily remember) to eye up the right portion size when I am unsure. 1 serving = the size of my palm. 1 cupped hand for fruits & grains. 1 palm flat for meats.  Two cupped hands for veggies.  (a trick learned from Gracious Pantry)

4. I started to eat every 2.5-3.5 hours from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed. Now, I am trained to eat - I can almost tell the time of day based on my hunger level. :)

5. I started to track my foods in Fitness Pal iphone App - I was amazed at how mindless snacking adds up. We have 2 little ones and while feeding them lunches - a slice of cheese here, a few teddy grahams there - ADDed UP to unnecessary calories I did not need.

6. I committed to only eating for planned meals. Sorta linked with #5 - I stopped/"worked on" not spontaneously/mindlessly snacking. Anytime I would just snack I would choose foods that weren't the best. If I planned my foods they tend to be more healthly. I found when I ate lean proteins and complex carbs I was more fullfilled.

7. Slim down on Sugar Intake. I am a former sugar candyholic. I can't think about Twizzlers without my mouth watering. This was really hard for me but I started to watch my sugar intake! I aim to have no more than 25g of sugar a day. Sugar is in everything and so this requires learning to read food labels.

8. I follow people who inspire me. I read up on fitness news and nutrition (when I have time.)

9. I found what worked for me. I love Kale & Egg Whites. I would try foods that those who I followed loved and some of their suggestions I loved but some I didn't. By being true to what I liked (healthy options) -  I was able to be consistent. 

10. Find a great support system. Hint: I can be it. Have questions - ask away! or email:


Someone once told me this and I have found it to be SO very true:

You Crave What You Eat. 
Eat Junk, CRAVE Junk
Eat Healthy - CRAVE Healthy

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Would love to hear how you eat clean and any information you'd like to share or questions you may have.