The goal of a healthy life is to develop a plan that you can maintain for more than just a few weeks or months. The secret to healthy living is making small changes that lead to big results. It is truly a lifestyle change.
Get ready to transform your life with these easy tips.
Plan, Plan, Plan!
- A healthy lifestyle balances on the act of planning. Meal preparation and planning a workout around other obligations can help you to stay organized, save money and time, waste less food, eat healthier, and maintain a new lifestyle. We’ve all had those weeks where we barely have enough time to breathe, let alone think about eating healthy or working out. Great news! With good planning, your workout is already scheduled, your gym clothes are already packed, and a healthy meal is already on hand. Planning is crucial for the times when you’re running low on time and energy.
- Set realistic and increasing goals. For example, a small goal might be “Eat healthy 80% of the time this week,” a medium goal might be “Lose 10 lbs by the end of the month,” and a big goal might be “Compete in a Bikini Competition.” Remember to set realistic goals and expectations. Try “I am going to switch to dark chocolate” instead of “I’m never eating chocolate again.”
- Recommit to your goals as many times as you need. It doesn’t matter how many times you fall down, as long as you get up each and every time.
Keep a Journal and Track Progress
- Write down your plan and goals in a personal journal and track your progress as you move forward. The simple act of recording the foods you eat can results in healthier choices. You will also be more aware of patterns, such as eating when you are stressed, late at night, or when you don’t exercise. It’s can be incredibly rewarding to look back and see how far you’ve come.
Find Activities That Work For You
- Not everyone is a marathon runner, yogi, or swimmer. The idea is to find activities that work for you, as long as you are incorporating both cardio and strength training into your workout routine. The type of activity you choose is completely based on personal preference.
Ask Questions, Do Research
- Every fitness model, pro athlete, personal trainer, health coach, and bikini competitor was once a beginner. There is no shame in asking questions and doing your own research. Reach out to people who have experience in whatever area you have questions about. Most people are more than happy to offer assistance, ideas, support, and education.
Use Your Support Group
- When you have a support network of like-minded individuals who encourage you, cheer you on, and uplift you on bad days, it’s easier to stay committed to a lifestyle change. Involve your significant other, close friends, kids, family, and/or coworkers. Research healthy living blogs, buddy up with a friend for workouts, and ask for support and encouragement when you need it.
- Sleep, just like nutrition and exercise, is important to overall health and wellbeing. People often underestimate how much a good nights rest can positively affect the body. Adequate sleep is necessary to work effectively, stay energized, and fight off infections. Sleep deprivation alters metabolism and increases cravings for sugar and carbohydrates. Fatigue and exhaustion can also greatly reduce productivity. 8 hours is what the average person needs per night, but not everyone falls under average. Some people need more, some people need less. Strive for 7-9 hours and see how you are feeling. Most people fall painfully short due to over-packed schedules.
- Eating clean doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of all guilty pleasures or give up everything you love. Far from it! Clean treats are just as good (if not better) than your normal, sugar-laden treats. Try some of these healthy desserts!
Stay Positive, Stay Focused
- One bad weekend or one bad meal is not enough reason to trash an entire plan or lifestyle change. Setbacks are part of life. Think of your journey in terms of your overall health. Follow the 90/10 rule. If you are sticking to your plan 90% of the time and committed to eating healthy 90% of the time, one night out won’t ruin your healthy lifestyle. Remind yourself that each new day is an opportunity to make healthier choices. Guilt is counter-productive. Free yourself from the cycle.