Over the past few months, I’ve been striving to live a healthier lifestyle. Trust me, it hasn’t been easy and I’ve wanted to quit a few times but I’ve stuck with it and I love it. After surviving the first few months, I’ve come up with 8 tips to help make the transition a little easier for you!
- Have a plan
No matter what your goal is, you should always have a plan. Whether your goal is to lose weight, start exercising, or just to start eating a bit healthier, you should write everything down. When I started my healthy lifestyle journey, I started by writing down my goals: lose weight, go to the gym, and eat cleaner. After my first month, I sat down again and added to my goals. Incorporating more veggies into my diet and going to bed earlier every night were a few things I’ve added over the months. Your plan might change as you go so sitting down and adding to your plan is a definite must. Just remember, failing to plan is planning to fail.
- Understand that changes doesn’t happen overnight
Gaining weight, neglecting fitness, and bad eating habits didn’t happen overnight so don’t expect overnight results! In the beginning, I would weigh myself everyday (sometimes multiple times a day). When I didn’t see the change I expected to see, I’d get discouraged and want to quit. It took a while to realize that persistence and time will yield results. If you feel amazing, you’re probably on the right track. Eventually you’ll see the numbers change on the scale but the first thing I noticed was my clothes started to fit better and I had a lot of energy!
- Small changes make a difference
If you’ve never been to the gym, don’t start your healthy lifestyle journey expecting to be able to run 3 miles on a treadmill 7 days a week. Small and manageable changes are the changes that will help you stick to your journey without becoming discouraged or burning yourself out too quickly. I started going to the gym 4 days a week and I would use the stationary bike and treadmill. I went from biking for 25 minutes and walking on the treadmill for 25 minutes to now biking 7-8 miles 5 days a week and doing strength training at home.
- Don’t starve yourself
Starving yourself will not lead to long term weight loss!!! This is something I had to learn the hard way and it’s not fun. When I originally decided to get healthy, I stopped eating breakfast; I was intermittent fasting 16-18 hours a day, and skipped dinner almost every night. I had massive migraines, I had a hard time concentrating, and any weight that I would lose would come right back (sometimes even a few extra pounds)! The biggest tool that helped me understand my body and caloric intake was My Fitness Pal. Besides tracking your calories, My Fitness Pal also breaks down how many calories you should be eating daily and also tracks your macros.
- Get moving
For a healthy body and mind, exercise is extremely important. Lots of people think eating healthy is enough, but trust me it’s not. When I started my healthy lifestyle journey, I completely dreaded working out and thought eating healthy would get me results. I was always tired and lazy but after I started going to the gym, I feel amazing and see results much quicker. I know a lot of you will say that you don’t have time to workout or the funds to pay for a monthly gym membership but there are many ways to get active! Some things I like to do is go for walks with my family, find workout videos on YouTube and try them when you have some time to spare (I like to work out after my kids go to bed or first thing in the morning) or searching on Pinterest for at home cardio workouts. Live in an apartment or somewhere you can’t jump around? Pinterest and YouTube has tons of quiet cardio options!
- Portion control VS Eliminating
When it comes to a healthier diet, should you eliminate things like sugars and carbs or should moderation and portion control be the way to go? For me personally, moderation and portion control works best for me! I’ve tried cutting out carbs and sugars but my cravings always got the best of me and I would binge. Instead of completely depriving myself, I eat my sugary and carb heavy foods before lunch. I don’t eat a bunch of candy bars for breakfast and bowls of rice for lunch but I eat greek yogurt, fruit, and granola for breakfast and I include a serving of bread or rice with my lunch. No more crazy cravings and it will make sticking with your healthy lifestyle much easier!
- Don’t obsess over the numbers
Stop freaking out over the number on the scale and start measuring your success by the way you feel. Like I said before, I used to weigh myself multiple times a day and be disappointed when I didn’t see the numbers that I wanted. That would always lead to me choosing to basically cut calories (which usually ended in disaster) or completely binging and setting myself even further back. If you feel better and have more energy, you’re doing great! Give it time, forget the numbers, and stick to your plan! If you really need to weigh yourself, try weighing yourself once every other week.
**Remember to weigh yourself at the same time of the day! I like to weigh myself first thing in the morning.
- If you cheat on your diet, accept it and move on
So you go to dinner with friends and have pizza, maybe a few drinks, and dessert of course. Should you add an extra hour at the gym or skip meals to make up for the extra calories? Definitely not! Should you feel bad because you didn’t stick to your diet? Nope. Everyone deserves to let loose and enjoy every now and then! One meal won’t destroy your progress just like one workout won’t yield instant results. If you stray from your healthy lifestyle, just accept it, and start over again!
Living a healthier life is a lot of hard work and takes a lot of dedication but its worth it and can be a lot of fun. Once you start seeing results, it can be addicting! It won’t be easy and there will be times where giving up sounds like a great idea but you’ll be happy you stuck with it. I hope my tips help you guys through the first few months of your healthy lifestyle journey! Do you have any other tips or tricks for living healthier? Leave your ideas in the comments section below! I’d love to hear from you guys! 🙂