October 31, 2012 10.43 am This story is over 135 months old

Lincoln fitness: 6 valuable diet habits

Top tips: Fitness instructor Ross Burns has a few key eating habits for your daily routine that can make all the difference.

While there is no magic formula that will guarantee success in achieving your fitness goals, there are certainly a few key eating habits you can incorporate into your daily routine that can make all the difference between lean flat abs or a bloated belly.

With so many diet fads and questionable diet supplements on the market, sometimes “the right thing to do” can become ambiguous and you can feel lost and alienated. I am here to share with you the top success principals that will help you create positive habits for life and put you right on track to achieving your fitness and weight loss goals.

When done habitually, passionately and with patience and dedication, your body will react and respond to your new habits.

Listen to your body

I am fascinated by the human body. I see my body as something sacred that I nurture each day, like a science experiment. It amazes me how the body responds to what you put into it. Once you listen closely to what your body is telling you, you will notice how it responds to the amount (and type) of food, exercise and rest that you give it.

Remember, it is your choice how you care for your body – nobody else’s. You can either give it the best fuel available and fine-tune it like a Ferrari or let it rot like a ‘old rusty car waiting to be made into scrap metal. Get to know your body and focus on what it feels like when you are at your very best and just aim to feel that way every day of your life.

Trust me, I know from experience how horrible my body feels after a night of drinking and bad food, but more importantly I also know how wonderful I feel when I eat right, drink plenty of water and get my rest. I opt for the latter and so should you.

Know your daily caloric intake

While you don’t need to be neurotic about every bite you take throughout the day, it’s always in your favour to have a ballpark figure of what you need to consume to maintain and/or lose weight.

Here is a simple formula courtesy of Discovery Health that can also help you figure out how to lose a few pounds. Simply take your weight and multiply it by 12 and that is the amount of calories you need to consume daily. For example if you weigh 135 pounds then you should be consuming 1,620 on a daily basis.

To produce a weight loss at the safe rate of one to two pounds per week, all you need to do is subtract calories from your daily total. If you want to lose one pound, you should shed 500 calories per week.

Eat more and more often

Don’t starve yourself. Your body will go out of whack and go into survival mode by going after your muscle tone (not the fat) and will only leave you feeling weak and “skinny fat.” Eating more often maintains a normal level of blood glucose which promotes steady energy levels throughout the day.

Steady energy comes from a steady intake of foods. By eating 3 meals and 2 snacks per day you will boost your metabolism and your body will burn stored fat (provided that you are exercising on a regular basis). Remember, when calories are consumed, there is a thermic effect that takes place, and your metabolism rises in order to process those calories.

It is simple; the more often you eat, the more ‘thermic’ effect the body is getting, thus a higher metabolism overall. When I eat this way, I can feel my metabolism responding and hear my body saying “thank you!”

Eating more often will burn more fat provided you exercise regularly.

Be on “portion patrol”

Who wants to weigh foods to practice portion control? Certainly not me.

In order to keep your “guesstimated” portions in check (I doubt there will be a food scale handy when you sit down to eat) you can use everyday household items as a mental reference guide.


Do not get extreme. Life is short – allow yourself a cheat meal or two. Let’s face it; no one can be perfect all of the time. Even bikini models like to splurge on pizza and ice cream! The key is moderation!

Plan one or two meals each week where you reward yourself by indulging in your favorite “cheat” food. Whether it’s pasta, ice cream, or margaritas that you love, if you are “good” the majority of the week you can enjoy one or two of your favorites without the guilt.

Discover discipline

Many men and women want a body that looks like it belongs on the cover of a fitness magazine but without discipline it remains a far-fetched dream. From my personal experience and weight loss, I know that anything is attainable if you can learn how to practice discipline.

Just like any success principal, you must start small to build up your tolerance levels. By making the conscious decision to become more disciplined, you are taking a huge step towards your goal by “Doing” rather than “Dreaming.”


Before you know it these habits will become second nature and you will be one step, and several inches closer to the body you are capable of achieving. Apply at least two of these to your diet (if you haven’t already). Make it another successful week!

Ross Burns is a community fitness instructor and personal trainer based in Lincoln. He also regularly blogs on his website about common fitness queries and issues, and run his own gym.