So, anyways, I did this for my health and because I seriously needed to lose weight. The confidence, physical changes and optimistic attitude that comes with
Disclaimer: I am NOT an R.D or nutritionist. What I’m noting below is based on my personal experience and what worked for me. Please consult a doctor before taking on any changes in your eating or exercise habits.
So now, without further ado…here is my “Healthy Living Plan” (as I called it when I started and continue to call it):
1. Keep a food diary. Some people have it electronic and some people have a little notepad that they carry around everywhere. I carry a notepad but either way works. Writing what you eat keeps you accountable and somehow makes you choose healthier options because you don’t want to write junk food items on your journal.
2. Drink a lot of water. I started with about ¾ of a liter a day and moved my way up to 1 liter and then 2 liters. If you’re not used to drinking water (that’s how I was at first) it might be a little “boring” to have to do it. However, eventually you get used to it. The increase in water intake also does wonders for your complexion and flushes out toxins so, that’s also motivation to keep drinking.
3. Try drinking a cup of green tea at least 2 times per day. I have a cup every morning on my way to work. Add lemon to your tea --lemon allows you to absorb the antioxidants in the green tea more effectively (according to my research). So, you can have a cup in the morning and then at night after dinner. I know for me after dinner I usually want to eat something sweet. So, knowing that I can have a cup of green tea keeps my anxiety down and helps me “kill” any cravings or at least helps me approach them ‘in moderation’. Is my secret weapon.
4. Make sure you always eat breakfast! That’s non-negotiable. And make it healthy! In my experience---Starting my day with a healthy breakfast always puts me in the right mentality to keep eating right for the rest of the day and prevents binges or cravings for stuff that are not necessarily healthy.
5. Eat 3 times per day and also have 2 snacks in between if you’re hungry. Ignoring hunger does nothing for you and it can slow down your metabolism. If you’re hungry-eat! Just make sure you keep it healthy and in moderation/small portion (if it’s a snack). That would actually help you lose weight contrary to popular believe.
6. Great snack when hungry: Yogurt!!—Studies show that yogurt is proven to help you lose weight in comparison to not eating it—so buy yogurt but make sure you read the labels and rule out those that are high calorie or have high fructose corn syrup. The light and fit brand is one of my favorites—it has about 80 calories per cup which is great and no corn syrup stuff. The non-fat Brayers’ brand is also good but a little pricey sometimes.
7. Other amazing/great snacks that are also good for you: Almonds! (I buy the 100 calorie packs), dark chocolate (make sure is 72% dark cocoa or higher, anything less would be like eating regular chocolate), fruit.
8. Exercise!—I personally don’t go to the gym every day because it can get really boring and in the past I would eventually give up on it. Now I go about 3-4 times per week and do about 45-50 mins of cardio. It is something I've been able to stick to so far. The adrenaline and positive high that working out gives you will make you keep going back for more once you’re consistent with it. It’s great. If you can find a physical activity that you love (besides the gym) it’ll be even better as you can stick to it long term and won’t necessarily feel like exercise. Dancing perhaps?
9. Incorporate weight training in to your workout schedule—My approach is to weight train about 2 times per week for 30 mins I also do some abs exercises. Having more muscle helps burn more calories throughout the day even if you’re just sitting down. I usually follow a weight training DVD and I play music in the background to make it more entertaining.
10. Do not weight yourself! Or at least wait about a month after you start this program to weight yourself. I think waiting 2-3 months is even better. Weight yourself at the very beginning and then forget about the scale! You’ll stay much more motivated and focused and it will prevent you from getting discouraged by the numbers that fluctuate for no reason. I waited 3 months before stepping on the scale and haven’t looked back since. The way my clothes fit (or fall of me) is my guide that what Im doing is working.
11. Find or invest time in a hobby that you’re passionate about and that excites you. Whenever you feel like giving up try to get involved in that activity for at least 15 minutes and you’ll see that the anxiety will pass and you’ll be back to your focused state in no time. For me is healthy living blogs or looking thru magazines (I love magazines!).
12. Remember we’re not perfect—there might be a day when something happens and you eat more than you’re supposed to and might not feel too great about yourself. I’ve been there before and Im living evidence that you can succeed despite those moments. Remember this: no matter what you ate or how much of it you ate just write it on your food journal. Seeing it written down somehow makes it seem less worse than what it was and it actually helps you get back on track by the next meal. This is something that’s helped me tremendously!! The point is to get up, dust yourself off and keep moving forward towards your objective.
I hope I can inspire at least one person out there to make a decision for healthy living :D
What is the best healthy living advise you’ve ever heard/read about/gotten from someone?