January 12, 2020

Solutions for sustainable change. | by Jameson Skillings

Your weekly source of actionable tips, helpful ideas, and questions to improve your deep health.
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Focus on protein, because you’re not getting enough.

This is especially true if you want to lose fat.

It helps with building muscle, burning fat, feeling satiated, and adhering to your diet plan. The general recommendations for protein intake are vastly understated for people who want to lose weight and increase muscle mass. The American Dietetic Association recommends 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight for normal body function.

You want optimization without overconsumption. This starts to happen at roughly 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight and can go as high as 2.2 g/kg body weight. Any more than that and you start to get diminishing returns on your protein intake. If you’ve been sticking to the ADA recommendations, double your protein intake.

Top three reasons why protein is helpful for weight loss
1) satiety – you feel more full for longer
2) thermic effect – it takes more energy to break down protein than any other macronutrient
3) poor energy source for fat production – you’re less likely to gain fat

Optimal protein intake for strength gain and fat loss starts at TWICE as much as ADA recommendations.

If you’re looking to either lose fat or gain muscle, start with eating more protein.


Cultivate discipline.

It’s not until you begin doing the little things you don’t want to do that you start to make progress. You hate to miss a workout, but you have never tracked your food intake. You want to lose weight but you’re scared of what you’ll find out and (incorrectly) assume your food choices and portions are “bad” and beyond fixing. But you’re finally feeling motivated enough to give it a shot for the first time ever. You and your coach come up with a plan to set some guidelines.

You want to keep things simple so you set three rules:
only track grams of protein
have veggies at every meal
limit of one glass of wine at dinner every night

What you learn about your food intake makes all the difference in the world to your food plan. You were only eating 40 grams of protein a day on a good day and need a minimum of 100 grams for your goals. In order to hit your protein goals, you decide to cut back on your portion of carbs at each meal, choose leaner protein sources, and add a protein shake before your workouts.

More discipline now means needing less willpower later

Time magnifies the distance between success and failure. Good habits make time your friend and bad habits your enemy. Discipline allows you to modify the frequency of good and bad habits.

Know what your intentions are. At times you’re going to need to use willpower to meet your goals and intentions when your plans get tough or your motivation is down. Remember, making progress isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Things will get difficult. Motivation will disappear. Do what needs to be done in order to reach your goals anyway. Motivation will return soon, I promise.

Using discipline is hard. It drains your willpower. The good news is willpower can be restored if it’s used a little bit at a time. The longer you diet, the harder it gets. This is where establishing good habits comes in. Once a good habit is in place, you’re no longer dieting. You’re just doing the thing that you do that helps you live a healthier life.


What should you say ‘yes’ to more often?

When we say ‘yes’ to one thing we are also saying ‘no’ to another. Saying ‘yes’ to yourself more often would look like choosing actions and activities that bring a net positive to your life. For me, it looks like saying ‘yes’ to things like:
lean protein

Which typically results with me saying ‘no’ to things like:
salty and crunchy foods

Do the things you say ‘yes’ to also say ‘no’ to things you want to avoid? How can you use this to your advantage?