There are no shortcuts to living a healthy lifestyle. This simple fact can be overwhelming, but this doesn’t mean you will never be able to indulge again or have to eat nothing but salads for the rest of your life. Realize that there are simple changes you can make that will have a positive impact on your life. Use these 9 tips below to kickstart a healthier you!
Eat More Color
EAT not drink your fruits and vegetables! Cold pressed juices and juice cleanses are everywhere, but unfortunately it’s missing the most important part – FIBER! Most of the time these drinks are mainly fruit based and without the fiber your blood sugar spikes dramatically. Eating fruit/veggies as a whole will slow down the sugar absorption making it easier on your body and you will actually feel full. Unlike juices, you can down those sucker in seconds and still feel unsatisfied.
I personally strive for 9 servings of fruits and veggies and always aim to have fruits and veggies on my plate at each meal. The recommended daily amount of fiber for women is 25g and 38g for men.
Drink More Water
I probably sound like a broken record when I say this, but drink more water people!! Water is a vital nutrient that is essential for your health. I have 3 tips to help you drink mas aqua: buy a large water bottle (preferably 32oz), infuse water with fresh fruit and herbs, and watch your urine color (pale yellow: hydrated, yellow: dehydrated, white: over hydrated).
Focus on the Way You Feel vs. the Number on the Scale
Why are we so number oriented? A number does not define you. You define YOU! Focus on the way you feel, how much energy you have, and how your clothes fit as opposed to the number on the scale.
Good Carbs, Healthy Fats & Lean Protein
Carbs are the body’s preferred source of energy and are the easiest macronutrient to breakdown into energy that fuels our entire body – read more about them here.
Fats provide health benefits, more specifically polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated helps lower cholesterol and supports heart health. Sources: Fish (tuna, salmon), walnuts, and flaxseed. Monounsaturated decreases risk of heart disease and improves blood cholesterol levels. Sources include avocados, olive oil, and nuts.
Protein is important for repairing and rebuilding muscle. Athletes need 1.2-1.7g/kg of body weight and 0.8-1.0g/kg for non athletes. Other source of protein besides meat: beans, lentils, and quinoa.
More Home Cooked Meals
More home cooked meals means a few very important things: control over portions, save money, and you know what is going into your food. These three reasons are my biggest motivation!! I need to know what I am putting into my body because I want to fuel it with the right things.
Serving size: Compare your portion size (what you choose to eat) to the serving size listed. If your serving size on the label is 1 cup and you eat 2 cups then that is twice the amount, which means double the calories and nutrients listed on the label.
Saturated Fat and Trans Fat: Aim for little to no values because these are the unhealthy fats that increase the risk of heart disease.
Limit Cholesterol and Sodium: By limiting these it will help reduce high blood pressure and risk of heart disease
Fiber: Remember 25g for women and 38g for men each day. The higher the better!
Ingredient List: The list is in descending order according to weight. So, the larger amounts are listed first. The shorter the list, the better!
Don’t Believe Everything You Read or Hear
Who is the source? What are their credentials and experience in that field? You want to make sure these sources are credible, properly researched, and accurate. Best advice: research yourself or consult a RD.
Indulge Once In A While
Treat yourself! And yes, that’s me eating smores, that might have been my fourth one. I have cravings and like to eat not-so-good food too! But, once I get my fix I’m good and back to eating healthy foods. Moderation is key.
Find an exercise you love
Exercising doesn’t have to be punishment or unenjoyable. Find what makes you tick and just do it!! Start out small, don’t overwhelm or overwork yourself because the goal is to be consistent and have fun.
For me that includes a little bit of everything: running, weight lifting, HIIT, hiking, boxing, jiu jitsu, boogie boarding, yoga, and most recently cycling (the hubs got me a road bike for our anniversary)! I love switching up my workouts and trying new things, it works for me and makes me happy.