Are you thinking about losing a few pounds or trying to live a healthier lifestyle but don’t know where to start? It can be pretty intimidating when there are countless articles on the internet that seem to contradict each other and you don’t know which to follow. Starting a new workout or diet plan can sometimes be the hardest part but you have to start somewhere in order to succeed. The following tips are what I’ve found work for me and what I’ve discovered through doing my own research. Hopefully, these 10 easy tips will help you on your way to a better, healthier you!
- Drink up. I know you’ve probably heard this one a million times before but make sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day. The amount of water you should be drinking depends on your activity level, diet, etc. but if you’re drinking at least 1/2 gallon a day, that’s a good start. A lot of times when we think we’re hungry, we’re actually thirsty instead. Make sure your body is sufficiently hydrated and you could be saving yourself some needless calories. Drinking water also helps increase your metabolism and burn more calories.
- Eat breakfast. This one is pretty easy for me since I LOVE breakfast (as I’m sure you can tell from all my breakfast recipes!). However, if you’re one of those people who typically skip breakfast, try waking up a few minutes early or planning your breakfast the night before. I promise this will help you start your morning off right and you’ll feel more energized throughout the day. There has also been a few research studies done that prove people who eat breakfast typically consume less calories throughout the day.
- Get moving. We all know that exercise is important but it seems almost too easy to make excuses about why we can’t work out that day. I love going to the gym on my lunch break because it gets me out of the office (where I’m sitting down all day) and puts me in a better mood. Even it’s a 10 minute walk on your break at work, that’s better than nothing. There are tons of little changes you can start incorporating into your day to burn extra calories such as parking further from the grocery store than normal, taking the stairs instead of the elevator or doing 100 jumping jacks when you wake up to get your heart pumping.
- Be realistic. You’re not going to lose 5 lbs in one week and you’re not going to get ripped AF in one week either. Changing your body takes time. Be realistic with yourself and know that even though it will take time, it will also be very worth it. Eventually the small changes will add up and you’ll see big results. This is one of the hardest things for me to remember because I want to see changes right away. I have to keep reminding myself that nothing worth having comes easy and that consistency will pay off. Make sure your goals are realistic and something you can attain without starving yourself.
- Don’t compare your chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 20. I love following fitness individuals on social media. However, when I first began my fitness journey, this used to make me feel very discouraged. I wanted to look like the pictures I saw and didn’t understand why after working out for months, I still didn’t. It wasn’t until I realized that they had been doing this for years that I finally was motivated by them. Everyone starts at a different place and everyone is at different stages of their fitness journey. People have different body shapes and different goals so don’t compare yourself to anyone else except who you were yesterday (and that goes for non-fitness related stuff too ;))
- Use the 80/20 rule. When I first decided I wanted to eat healthy, I cut out chocolate, candy, cookies, cake, donuts, muffins, pancakes, waffles, chips, fast food, ice cream, and every other junk food I could think of. As you can imagine, that didn’t last very long. A few days into my “healthy lifestyle,” I took a trip to the grocery store only to stock up on every junk food item I was craving and then proceeded to consume them for the rest of the night. Being healthy doesn’t mean you can never have junk food, it just means to use moderation. Having “bad” food in moderation, will make it less likely for you to binge later and overall keep you a lot more sane.
- Have fun. Losing weight doesn’t have to suck. Find a few classes at the gym you like, do something active and fun on the weekend and remember how great you’re going to feel after you work out. This is a journey not a destination so enjoy the ride!
- Eat more protein. It wasn’t until I started tracking my macro nutrients, that I realized how little protein I was eating and how many carbs I was eating! A bagel for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, pasta for dinner…carbs were my go-to choice by far. I’m not suggesting you count your macros but definitely be aware of how much protein you’re getting (or not getting) and make sure to incorporate it into every meal. Have some chicken with your pasta, eggs with your toast, etc. Protein helps keep you full, takes more energy to digest and helps ward off muscle loss.
- Find healthy swaps. As I’ve mentioned multiple times on my blog, I love sweets. Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to stop eating sweets or give up your favorite foods but remember that moderation thing I wrote about a few tips back? There are a ton of healthy recipes online that you can find to swap for your favorite dishes. And who knows, you may even like it more than the original!
- Don’t drink your calories. PSL’s, iced mochas, chocolate chip frappuccinos, sodas…have you ever looked to see how much sugar is in these drinks? A TON! Sure, they’re delicious but they are also filled with added calories and sugar that your body does not need. Not only will your wallet thank you but your waistline will also. If you need a caffeine fix in the morning, stick to a drink with less sugar like coffee with milk or creamer.
I hope these tips help you on your healthy lifestyle! Please add any additional tips you’ve found helpful in the comments below. 🙂