Everyone has a different method in pursuing a healthier lifestyle. With the sudden influx of fad diets, magical weight-loss/“skinny” teas, and questionable “body goals” for both women and men, it can be easy to feel consumed and victim to it all. Often times we see images of people that are most likely edited a certain way, and we get discouraged with our own body. We lose our sense of reality and self by becoming infatuated with someone else’s body and life.
When we try to implement these fad diets, “skinny” teas, and workouts that mainly consist of squats, it can be easy to get discouraged and quit when you don’t end up looking like instagram “models.” A lot of people have this issue where they want to lose weight in an easy and fast way, often times forgetting that our bodies are highly complex and far too intelligent. These fad diets and other trends blind us from the easier and real ways towards a healthy lifestyle. Here are some super simple ways that you can get fit without hurting your body:
1. Don’t deprive yourself of certain foods
Making certain foods (aka junk food) “off-limits” usually doesn’t work for most people. It’s all about portions and balance. Usually when people deprive themselves of foods during their diets, it inevitably has a counter-effect and makes the body crave it even more, which could eventually lead to binging on that specific food and ruining the flow of all of your hard work. Food is a blessing and should be appreciated and enjoyed, all in moderation.
Instead, allow yourself to enjoy food, mindfully. Be aware of what you’re eating instead of just eating snacks and food just because they are there.
Replace any of your usual daily beverages (soda, frappuccinos, juice, etc.) with water. Invest in a nice water bottle and take it wherever you go. Not only will it help with digestion, skin health and make you physically feel better, but you’ll also cut out a lot of extra unnecessary sugar from your diet, leading to you inevitably losing weight.
Tip: If you’re the type of person who gets bored with the “bland” taste of water, try infusing some real fruits and veggies into it or even squeezing some lemon to make it more palatable for you.
A lot of people just aren’t gym people and that’s okay. Some people also don’t have the time to go out and take a walk around their neighborhood. Although you should aim to try and incorporate that into your life once in a while, you can also workout and get good cardio in at your own leisure and from the comfort of your home. No, I’m not talking about buying pricey workout equipment to store in your basement. Get a jump rope (they’re so cheap, even Forever21 sells them now). Jump roping is a great way to get your heart healthy and blood pumping throughout your body. It’s fun and also is a great way to get fit if you make it into your regular routine! If you can make it to the gym, then I highly recommend doing at least 20 minutes on any cardio machine of your choice plus some type of light weight training. If you can’t make it to the gym, then check out our article on simple, effective at-home workouts right here!
4. Don’t skip breakfast
When you skip your morning meal, your metabolism functions slower throughout the day, meaning that it doesn’t “wake up” or utilize food as quickly and will cause you to gain weight, instead of losing it. Even if you’re a person who never feels hungry in the morning, eat something small and with sustenance, such as oatmeal and a banana or an egg with toast. Avoid super sugary foods in the morning to evade feeling tired and sluggish within a couple of hours. Your body will thank you in the short and long run.
5. Mindful snacking
A lot of people have issues with snacking and eating whatever is at their fingertips; this can reap many negative effects on your fitness journey. If you are an avid snacker, opt for healthier choices. If you like savory things, there are a variety of roasted almonds and pistachio nuts that can satisfy any salt craving (speaking from first-hand experience). I’ve personally found that when I’m craving something more sweet, grabbing for fruits is way more substantial than when I go for chocolates or cookies. Sure, you can allow yourself to indulge every now and again, but as a daily routine it’s best to stick with low-fat snacks that will nourish your body. Remember, every snack counts and being aware of what you’re eating makes all the difference.
6. Green Tea
Make green tea your best friend. Seriously. This wondrous tea is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that have powerful effects on the body. It improves brain function, enables fat loss, and even lowers the risk of cancer. Green tea also has a decent amount of caffeine so it’s the perfect energy booster (depending on your caffeine tolerance). If you like your teas to be on the sweeter side, add in a natural sweetener such as honey in order to cater to your liking. Try and have a glass of green tea (hot or cold) every day, and you will begin to see and feel results.
7. Aim to make at least one meal a bit healthier
There are ways to make “healthy” foods taste so amazing that you might not even realize you’re eating right. Timing and affordability are usually the main reasons that many feel as if they cannot opt for healthier choices. Even if you are able to get a big box of greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and feta cheese at your local grocery store, then you have one wholesome meal for about two weeks. Make it a commitment to incorporate a good amount of fruits and veggies in your diet. Even if your cultural food doesn’t necessarily have many veggie based dishes, have them on the side or find a new, creative way to combine them into your meal.
8. Get some fresh workout gear
Okay, so this is probably super materialistic, but for some people it works! Just by buying some nice workout clothes, sneakers, or even a good water bottle can put you in the mood to really get into exercising. It kind of goes without saying, but if you look the part, you will more likely feel and act the part.
These are just a few of the most basic, but major, actions you can take towards leading a healthier lifestyle. If you take away anything from this, it should be that you should always strive to be mindful about what you are consuming and how beneficial it is for you. Remember, success does not mean being able to stay on track 100% of the time, but that you are able to love yourself enough to continue to get back on track each time you falter.