“I promise I will eat healthier tomorrow… I will work out twice as hard tomorrow. ” We have at some point heard this voice in our pretty little head. No judgment there! I myself have found it hard and challenging to stay consistent with my healthy routine. But since I followed these 5 tips, I have fallen off the cracks a little less than I used to. And even if you are not able to do all 5 at once, what is important is you are taking some steps towards a healthier YOU. Give yourself a pat on the back, and just keep going.
1. Have an END goal in mind.
Before even thinking about how to shed that last 10 pounds, ask yourself WHY do you want that in the first place? What does good health mean to you? And what outcome are you aiming for? Be specific. Is it to simply fit into that old pair of jeans or is it to have more energy to be able to play with your kids more and be around them longer? If you are clear with your primary goal for getting on the healthier track, then it lets you see the transition as more long-term instead of just being a flavor-of-the-month activity or a trendy fad which most people fall into.
And when you do start to see the outcome or feel the results, remember the feeling that it evokes in your mind and body. Did you feel more energized? Did you feel happier? Were you more productive? Tune in to those emotions so that the next time you feel like you want to binge-eat or skip a workout, you can kind of picture how you would otherwise feel.
2. Think PROGRESS over perfection.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Same goes for a healthy body. Don’t beat yourself up if you missed to exercise today or ate a cookie. It won’t harm you, I promise. But if you do that everyday then that’s when it can have a snowball effect.
When starting to eat healthy, do what’s simple and easy for you. Take inspiration from Instagram but don’t be too wrapped up in having instagram-worthy plates when prepping a healthy meal. If you are new to meal-prepping, you can check out some of my MEAL PREP TIPS FOR BEGINNERS in this blog post.
In terms of working out, just do what you can with what you have. You don’t need a fancy gym membership or costly personal training classes to get started. Start small and simple. What matters is you START. Find a spot in your home, get some basic equipment like a mat and a couple dumb bells, or just head out with your running shoes and run a mile, and then 3 miles, and then 5. And if you feel like you have a routine going, you can check out fitness classes or programs either online or in a wellness center near you. Make it easy for you to do. Think about logistics, time, and convenience. If you have those sorted out, you will come up with less excuses not to stick to your fitness routine.
Always listen to your body. If you can only plank for 10 seconds today, try 15 tomorrow until one day you can hold it for a minute or even longer. It doesn’t get any easier, but you will get stronger. One day at a time. If you give up on day 2, you will never get to day 3 and it’s always going to be day 1 for you. Again, think back to point #1 as to what your end goal in mind is.
3. Write a FOOD DIARY.
One of the things I recommend my health coaching clients to do is to write a food diary to keep track of what they eat in a day. In a notepad, draw columns for each meal + snacks, and rows for each day of the week. You can also use your smartphone and input what you eat per meal for the next 7 days. You can continue to do this until you feel confident that you can actually keep track of what you are consuming. Write remarks how you felt after each meal or at the end of the day. Did you feel bloated? Did you have more energy or feel lethargic? At the end of 7 days, you can review the diary and think about how you were feeling generally. Take note of what food you may be sensitive to, which types of food felt good for you, and what didn’t, then make adjustments for the next week.
I am not really into calorie counting, but I am more for mindful eating. Meaning, I value QUALITY over quantity. Start with reducing processed food and refined sugar from your diet. Stock your pantry and fridge with more natural and whole foods which doesn’t come in a box or pack. These small changes when done over time can create tremendous positive effects to your health.
4. Find an ACCOUNTABILITY buddy.
Do you find it easier to get your butt off the couch when you have a workout buddy? Do you enjoy healthier meals when you eat out with a friend? Then by all means, call the girlfriends or you can always get yourself a health coach. Health coaches act as accountability mentors who will guide you, and empower you to make better food and lifestyle choices. Click HERE if you wish to know more how a private health coach can help you.
Another option is to get your partner or your kids involved as well. When you’re a stay-at-home parent, it gets extra challenging to find time to squeeze in a workout with clingy toddlers to look after. But if you involve them in your exercise routine, then it becomes more feasible and fun too!
5. REWARD yourself.
A little motivation every now and then can go a long way. Do you fancy a rejuvenating massage, or are you perhaps eyeing that chic swimsuit for your next getaway? Whatever feels rewarding to you, prize yourself after achieving your health goal. More than the external motivation, give yourself some internal credit that you deserve. Look into the mirror and proudly say, “YOU DID IT!” and go to do it again, and again, and again. You can never overdo when it comes to living healthy. Amen to that?
These 5 quick and easy tips is not an exhaustive list but my hope is that you start to incorporate these tips one at a time. Remember, that you are a work-in-progress. Just trust the process, and trust yourself that you can do this, no matter what your circumstances.
Being healthy is more than just having a trim waistline or toned arms. It’s also about having a sound mental, social, emotional state of well-being. More than just eating your broccoli or lifting weights, find ways that nourish your mind and soul. You can get some more SELF-CARE TIPS here in this post. You may not feel the effects that fast, but trust me, your future self will thank you for what you do every single day, starting today. Motivation will get you started, but being consistent will get you through it.
If you found these tips helpful, share this to your family or friends, and leave a comment below on how these tips have helped you.