I’ve had a couple of people reach out to me recently asking for advice to get healthy. I figured it would be good to share. No matter where you are, at the beginning or in full swing, you may pick up something new!
- Look at it as a lifestyle change, not a diet. You want to make changes that you can continue and incorporate into your life. For example, it’s important to eat from all food groups. Cutting out all carbohydrates may give you an instant drop on the scale but guess what happens when you start eating them again… the weight comes back on. If you love carbs, start paying attention to your serving sizes and what times you eat them. Carbs provide our bodies with energy, we need more energy in the mornings than we do at night. Moderation is key!
- Eat!! If you aren’t already, eat every 2-3 hours (5-6 meals per day). Aim to have a protein and vegetable at each meal. Be sure to have fruits and carbs but try to keep them in your earlier meals. Remember, these provide energy and you don’t need as much at your last meals. Look at your body as a fire. You start your fire at breakfast and each time you eat you are keeping your fire burning at a consistent pace. When you skip meals or wait too long in between meals your fire gets low and you end of eating more and/or things that are not good for you to get the fire going again. Eat whole foods and avoid processed foods. Check out my Pinterest board (https://www.pinterest.com/fitnessgirlclt/) for ideas. If you think that you don’t “eat that bad” but aren’t seeing any results, start keeping a food journal. You may find your answer there!
- Drink water! I try to drink a gallon per day. I keep a pitcher of water in my refrigerator and pour my water from there so I can keep track. If you are a big soft drink person, start to wean yourself off. It will be hard at first but I can speak from experience that you will get to the point that you don’t want it anymore. Alcohol in moderation. Remember for each drink you have, your body has to burn off those drinks before it will start burning fat.
- Get moving! If you aren’t exercising, get started! Pick something that you like to do. There are so many different options… aerobics, spinning, boxing, pilates, yoga, boot camps, etc. Choose something that will challenge you and will get your heart rate up. I am a huge proponent of resistance training. Why? The more muscle you build, the more efficient your body is at rest. There’s nothing better than knowing you are burning calories at rest! High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a great cardio choice. When you do HIIT you are constantly taking your heart rate up and down by going as hard as you can and then recovering before doing another cycle (no more than 20-25 minutes, 2-3 times per week, not on back to back days). When you are finished your body takes hours to regulate itself back to normal which means that you are still burning calories! On the other hand, when you do steady state cardio (staying at the same pace) your body goes back to normal when you are finished which means your calorie burn is over.
These are just some quick things you can do to get on the path to a healthy lifestyle. If you are starting out, don’t get discouraged. It takes time to change habits. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Slow and steady wins the race!