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6 Tips to Get Healthy in 2018

Raise your hand if your New Year’s resolution was to eat healthier.

Raise your hand if your New Year’s resolution was to get in shape.

Raise your hand if you are still sticking to your New Year’s resolution.

Raise your hand if you have fallen off the wagon but totally want to get back on it.

Good, that’s a start. Now that we have your attention, Mike Brooks of Lead Fitness and trainer to Miss Maryland USA and Miss Maryland Teen USA has some tips for you to get back on the resolution horse and stick to it this time.

Mike Brooks with Miss Maryland USA. Photo: Mike Brooks
Mike Brooks with Miss Maryland USA. Photo: Mike Brooks

6 Tips to Eat Your Way to Health in 2018

1. Eat!

Despite the seemingly popular belief, you actually have to eat if you want to lose weight and get in shape.

“Not eating will lead to unwanted results,” Brooks said.

The first step is to know your BMR.

“That’s the amount of calories it takes for the body to function if [you] lay down all day,” Brooks said. “So [you] need more than that number.”

Yes, you are going to be working out to get into shape, so you’ll need calories, which are basically your body’s fuel to burn to be active. And, you can’t burn fat and create muscle if you aren’t active. Just like a car can’t run without gas, you can’t run/bike/walk/swim/lift weights without food to fuel you. (Read: Go Nuts for These Superfoods That Will Help You Win the Crown)

2. Eat the right foods

However, just because you are working out doesn’t mean you can eat an entire box of Girl Scout cookies in one sitting. What you eat before and after working out is just as important as your workout itself.

“Set an alarm clock to remind yourself when you should eat,” Brooks suggested. “What you eat before and after your workout is important!”

You want to make sure that you are fueling your body to perform at its best during your workout and that you are recovering your body after the workout.

“Before your workout, give yourself some energy,” Brooks said. “Post workout, protein.”

For example, eating carbs before a workout will give you the energy that you need to complete the workout. A combination of complex and simplex and simple carbs will give you a boost of energy to get started while sustaining you through your workout.

After your workout, be sure to eat a meal with some protein to aid in muscle recovery. For a complete list of what you should and shouldn’t eat, check out this article: What to Eat Before and After a Pageant Workout.

3. Match your calorie intake to your activity level

As stated above, the more you are working, the more fuel you need. So, make sure your calorie intake is enough to get you through your workout. (Read: 56 Sneaky Names for Sugar that are Ruining Your Pageant Diet)

“You can’t out train a bad diet,” Brooks said. “That goes for everyone!”

Make sure to speak with your trainer to make sure you are choosing the proper diet for your workout plan. This is very important to keep up your health while training your body. You don’t want to under eat and overtrain. You can end up doing more harm than good in the long run.

Mike Brooks with Miss Maryland Teen USA. Photo: Mike Brooks
Mike Brooks with Miss Maryland Teen USA. Photo: Mike Brooks

4. Train for your body 

This one is for teenagers. Teen diets can be weird. In middle school, I had a chocolate brownie and a red Fruit Punch Huggie juice every day for lunch. In high school, it was usually a PB&J and a soda. Somehow I made it through 3-4 hours of rehearsal after school and then came home and napped, ate dinner, and had a bowl of cereal around 10 p.m. This wasn’t the best diet for a highly active teen, and certainly not a pageant-approved diet.

“The best thing a teen can do is have their parents come with them to their first meeting [with your trainer],” Brooks advised. “Parents buy the food. They need to know what to buy.”

We always had a balanced meal at dinner, but the other two meals and snacks were rarely of the nutritional variety. But having trained for a pageant with proper diet I can tell you this, man was there a difference! (Read: How to Read a Nutrition Label to Stay on Track of Your Pageant Diet)

Because teen bodies vary by age with development and maturity, you need to work with your trainer and doctor to determine your proper caloric intake based on your needs and activity level. Cookie cutter and Pinterest plans are not your best bet as a teen. You really want to seek the advice of a professional.

5. Meal prep

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success,” Alexander Graham Bell once said.

You have to be prepared if you want to succeed so you don’t take the turn into the drive-through on the way home or fall prey to office take-out at lunch.

Pinterest has plenty of recipes to help guide you to make a whole week’s worth of meals on one pan. So don’t fret. Do your research and prepare yourself just like you do in preparation for any other part of a pageant. (Read: 3 Easy Ways to Eat Clean on a Budget-Daily Fit Tip)

For example, a pageant girl’s day starts early and goes long. Plan and have prepared breakfast, pack snacks the night before so you don’t forget them, and have a lunch prepared. Have a water bottle attached to your bag with a clip so you never forget it.

6. Don’t make any excuses

Excuses are your biggest enemy. Make fitness and health part of your routine.

Do you call out of work or off from school because you’re sore, tired, sick or too busy? No, you make the time for what those commitments require of you.

“Ask [yourselves]…are these really [your] goals?” Brooks said.

Just like any external relationship, your relationship with yourself has to be a priority if you want it to work and be successful.

If you tell your significant other that you’re too busy or too tired, how long do you think that relationship is going to last?

Now, how long do you want your relationship with your body to last? It will turn on you if you don’t take care of it. (Read: 9 Steps to Commit to Your Pageant Diet)

Mike Brooks, Lead Fitness

Working with a knowledgeable trainer is a great way to help get in shape and get healthy. Just like putting together a marketing plan to ensure the success of a product, a trainer can help you ensure your success in getting healthy and in shape.

Trainers can help you by working with your doctor’s recommendations to devise a plan best for you and your abilities so you aren’t going at this totally blind and by way of fads.

To contact Brooks for help on your way to a healthy 2018 and future. You can email him at mikeleadfitness@gmail.com.

Mike Brooks with his titleholder at the gym. Photo: Mike Brooks
Mike Brooks with his titleholder at the gym. Photo: Mike Brooks

Going forward

Fitness and health are lifestyles, so you can either be a desk jockey and couch potato or the busy office bee who doesn’t stay stationary for too long.

You can either scarf down a whole bag of potato chips and get hangry 10 minutes later or eat a few ounces of the right protein and fiber to fill you up and satisfy the hunger to get you through that 3 p.m. slump.

So, skip those happy hour margaritas a few days out of the week in favor of a date with the treadmill instead. Just imagine where you’ll be a year from now.

Good luck!

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