Mastering the Basics of Health + Fitness

Written with love, by Jaime Innis

5 Day Shred // The Overwhelmed Bride Wedding Blog + Southern California Wedding Planner

To be successful with health and fitness, we must first master the basics. I want you to have the most success with your health so I'm going to share some secrets with you. Start small and add one thing from my list each day, or each week. Take the list in strides and know you will not be an expert on day one. This is a lifestyle, not a quick fix. 


Drink least two 8 oz. glasses with each meal or between meals for a total of at least 8 glasses per day. This is very important. Water keeps you satiated, removes toxins and keeps you hydrated. You may add natural lemon juice or drink green tea (preferably decaffeinated and sweetened only with natural Stevia or raw Agave Nectar… NO sugar).

Weight loss cannot occur without water! Your metabolic rate increases by as much as 30% when you drink cold water because your body must work harder to bring the temperature of the water up to that of your body. Get used to reaching for water as your beverage of choice!

We recommend you drink your body weight, divided by two, in ounces. So if you weigh 162 pounds – that would be 162 divided by 2 = 81. That’s 81 ounces of water, every day.

Eat Smaller and More Frequently

Eat two more meals and up to three snacks during the course of the day, spaced at 2 1/2 to 3 hour intervals. This keeps your blood sugar levels stable, which in turn regulates your metabolism and also helps keep binging and cravings at bay. This will be outlined in the meal plan I provide on Friday!

Dinner Time

Have dinner 2 1/2 to 3 hours before bedtime. 

As the day unwinds, your body's metabolism begins to slow down in preparation for bedtime. As metabolism drops, so does body temperature. Columbia University explains that the drop in body temperature is necessary for sleep states. The digestion process raises body heat, interfering with your body's ability to get some shut-eye. Poor sleep rhythms brought on by improper eating habits can lead to health conditions such as acid reflux, which occurs when there is a hormonal balance caused by excessive sugar or salt in the body.  

Because your body is at rest and no exercise is happening when you sleep, some researchers believe going to bed with a full stomach causes the food to turn to fat. Others believe a small snack has no bearing on weight gain.

Regardless of which theory is correct, the bottom line is that eating before bed interferes with getting a good night's sleep. Eat a combination of lean protein and complex carbohydrates at each meal. This helps slow down the carb-to-fat conversion in your body, which keeps the feeling of fullness lasting longer.


Absolutely NO sugar, alcohol or artificial sweeteners! This includes fruit juices, wine, beer, sodas, etc.

Use all natural Stevia or Agave Nectar in moderation if you must sweeten. After you lose the weight and inches, then you can have these things in moderation. However, for weight loss purposes, we must cut them out for optimal success.

Packaged vs. Natural

Eat whole natural foods instead of packaged and processed foods. Your diet will consist of lots of veggies, lean protein and fruit - nothing processed, chemically charged, or high in saturated/trans fat. Use olive oil for cooking, limited salt, and small amounts of spices, pepper and low-salt seasonings for flavor. Easy on the salt, it makes you retain water.

Meal Portions

Adhere to proper portion sizes:

Protein (meat, nuts, legumes, tofu, etc.) = what can fit into the palm of your hand, or about the size of a deck of cards

Starchy Complex Carbohydrates (brown rice, quinoa, potatoes) = what can fit into one cupped hand.

Carbohydrates from fruits + veggies = what can fit in 2 cupped hands.

Healthy Fats (avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil) = 1 scant handful or 1 -2 tbsp of olive oil.

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

If you’re out of the house for most of the day, make your meals the night before so you aren’t running around like a crazy person in the morning. I prepare everything for the week on Sunday evening so it’s all there in my office fridge and ready for me. No excuses! Carry a cooler each and every day to work that is packed with healthy food!

You may attract some attention, but it’s positive attention! Your discipline and awareness of your own health is going to positively influence the people around you.

Check back to the blog on Friday for my Five Day Meal Plan to help get your healthy lifestyle started!

5 Day Shred // The Overwhelmed Bride Wedding Blog + Southern California Wedding Planner