Here we go again! A new year, which means a healthier you! Right? The most popular resolutions are to lose weight, get healthy, and to get into shape. It seems like a challenge, but it really isn’t. I’ll explain why it’s not hard and how to approach these resolutions. It’s guaranteed and fool proof. Promise.
You cannot possibly expect to be overall healthier or lose weight if you’re going to eat poorly/too much.
The first step is portion control. I know it’s hard and you will many times be left hungry, but the less you eat, the more your stomach will shrink. If your stomach is smaller, the less you will eat, which means less weight gain, of course. It’s hard at first, but even after a week or two of less eating and smaller portions, it will lead to big results.
Next, eat healthier. It’s as simple as that. Okay maybe not, but I’ll explain how it can be. I’ll say it now and probably many more times, this will take a lot of time! If you force yourself to go from scarfing down McyDs three times a day to just fruit and salad, you’re setting yourself up for immediate failure.
I am, and forever will be a believer that the body craves what it needs. I listen to my body and eat what it wants. These days, if you put carrots and a candy bar side-by-side, I will most likely choose the carrots. You have to sort of train your body, though. It took me two years to get where I am at now.
How: The first few months I stopped buying fast food. It was ridiculously hard because it is cheap, convenient, fast, and available late. While cutting out fast food, I still allowed myself to eat everything else. I started to feel incredible after a couple months without fast food. My mind was functioning better, I had more sustaining energy, and was overall in a better mood daily. Check here for a little more: Ditchin’ The Fast Food
Once I started to feel disgusted just looking at fast food on television, I knew it was time for the next step, to start replacing the candy and chocolate with fruits and vegetables. I gradually started to incorporate them in my diet, not making my diet all about them. This process took me two years to finally stop craving candies and chocolate. Now, it’s like fast food almost; I feel gross just looking at some snacks. I once in a while I have a snack, but only when my body craves it, telling me I need more sugar. (Yes, there’s sugar in fruits and such, but refined sugars are different and with how active I am, my body needs extra sugar and tells me when I do)
Balancing Act: It’s been a way of life growing up having balanced meals and not being allowed to leave the table or have dessert until we ate all of our veggies. Our school lunch boxes were always representing each food group, too. As adults, we grow up and hold the power to eat whatever we want. That’s bad. Learn to turn off your self-dominance and treat yourself like a child. Live off the food pyramid and eat what your body needs and wants! I laugh at myself all while being proud when I take a brown paper bag lunch to work with a PBJ sandwich, milk, applesauce, raisins, and carrots because I feel like I’m in the first grade, but that’s just fine by me! (Once in a while I toss in a little snack and get giddy like a school child)
Finally, remember little tips like never eating past two-three hours before bed. Not only is laying flat bad for the digestive system after just eating something, you must remember that food is energy, and if you’re sleeping, it’s lost energy not being used, but instead stored! Also, it’s okay to snack once or twice in the day between meals. If you are going to, definitely grab a super fruit like a banana or a handful of nuts. It’ll keep your stomach quiet AND give you the energy your body needs to get through the day all while being super healthy.
Part of your progress will rely heavily on fluid intake. Believe me when I say that stopping the guzzling of soda is the way to great success! You can lose massive pounds by doing nothing but cutting out soda! It was probably the hardest step for me, but man is it worth it! Like everything else, the addiction to it is very real and very hard to break. I finally did, and not only do I feel better, I look better! I can see the results on my face even! I treat myself to a pop once a month, if that.
Also, this might be overly obvious, but alcohol intake needs to dwindle down to nearly nothing as well. Both soda and alcohol dehydrates the body and kills the organs! Take it easy, but always allow yourself a cold one from time to time.
Alternatives: Train yourself to crave water like a fish. At first, it’s super tough, especially during the winter months. I started by only allowing myself to order water when going out for meals. Not only does water before eating fill the stomach and trick you into being full, it also helps keep the wallet full, too because its free! I shouldn’t have to preach all of the benefits to water, but I will tell you to do your best to have about 50oz of it daily. Work up to it, though, start with a glass a day. This is all about going slow and being successful. (If you absolutely have to, then start out using those water additive flavor packet things.)
Tea, especially green tea, teas that are all or mostly natural, are a healthier and cheap alternative as well. It’s great in the summer months, and is easy to grab in a convenient store while being tempted by all the sugary sodas.
Juice! Juice, if its not fake with a bunch of additives and junk, it’s great! Remember that juices contain sugar and shouldn’t be consumed like water, but it’s something grand to start your day with and carries good nutrients!
Lastly, sport drinks. If it wasn’t for those, I’m not sure if I’d be where I’m at right now. Having them on hand allowed me to have a sugar fix from a drink without grabbing a pop in the fridge, instead when I first started to eliminate soda from my life. They are also amazing for post-workouts. Warning though, you most definitely should not over consume them, so don’t get addicted, use them as a nice adjustment from soda to water like I did!
AGAIN! Take it slow and allow your body to adjust to a life without soda. It took me a very, very long time as with everything else, but I have never relapsed back to it. Slowly limit yourself without quitting, while introducing water , instead, then still allow yourself, if you choose to, and are confident you can contain yourself, to having a pop or alcoholic beverage once in a while.
If you can control your consumption habits, you are on a miraculous path to good health! Now, to get your body in good shape inside and out! This is easily the hardest part, in my opinion for most people, so never get discouraged, keep positive, and believe in yourself, knowing this will take a whole lot of time!
Get moving! Get active! Take steps instead of the elevator, take a parking spot in the back! Just move more! If your body is used to being a lump all day, then start extra slowly. Not only will it ease you into a new lifestyle, it will also help test your body’s tolerance and not break you inside or out.
Start Simple: Do things like calf raises while in the shower or putting on makeup or cooking. Skip steps and push off of them hard. Dance to your favorite music. Sit and do simple weights while watching tv. These are all little things that can be done without taking time out of your day. Get creative.
Gym or no Gym: Never use not having a gym or membership as an excuse. I do most of my exercises right in my neighborhood and bedroom. You really do not need weights or machines at all, they’re just nice to have. I use my town streets to run. My backyard is great for suicides, jumping jacks, up downs, & jump rope. The local park is wonderful with monkey bars and such. I use my bedroom for push-ups, sit-ups, planks, dips, etc. There are many online and tv programs that can be bought for assistance and if you want to use some equipment, then u can easily use and store stuff at home like a couple hand weights. NO EXCUSES! A lack of a gym is NOT one to ever be used!
Swimming: If you have access to a pool, personal, park, or gym, then use it! Swimming is an all-body workout, while building cardio at the same time. In my opinion, there is absolutely nothing better than swimming. Changing strokes and speeds allows the build of endurance and increase in muscle gain by muscle confusion. Plus, it’s incredibly easy on the joints!
The biggest factor in all of this is your motivation and time factor. I am to the point where I have absolutely no time for the gym, when I used to go to it once or twice a day every day. It’s awful, but I at least force myself sometimes before or after work, even working two jobs. It’s exhausting, but in the long run, will give you more energy in the day and make you feel better. Do your best to find time. If you do just fifteen minutes of something before work, another fifteen in the middle of the day if you can, and a final fifteen at night, you’ll be set! Don’t stress over forcing yourself to do 30-60 minutes straight. In today’s busy world, that’s hard for everyone, not just you.
Some days you’ll not want to even think about moving extra. It’s mind over matter. Get over it. Be mean and force yourself. Once you make it a habit, it’ll become easier. Again, NO EXCUSES! Just do it!!!
I believe I covered the basics of everything. More can be found HERE
Remember, take this slow and steady. If you do, you’ll be successful and never go backwards. Make no excuses, find time, and maintain a positive, hopeful attitude. Once you accept that it will take a lot of time for a healthy and promising mental and physical body change, you’ll be golden. I did it. You can. People say, it’s easy for you, you’re skinny! Well, let me tell you all, I personally think it makes it harder! I don’t have motivation for a beach body, because I already have one. I also don’t get to experience seeing physical changes, but that doesn’t matter because the mental and inner changes are the biggest and most important. Plus, temptations are harder to conquer. I can eat whatever I want and not gain an ounce. Despite that, I fight the urge and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Just because I don’t physically need a diet or gym, doesn’t mean my insides don’t. Remember, it truly is the inside that counts. Don’t over focus on the outside. This is the REAL way to become healthy and in shape permanently. Good luck!