Hello Pretty Perfect Readers! Happy Wellness Wednesday!
Don’t feel guilty that you’re munching on that tower-high chocolate sundae while reading this. I lied. Feel very guilty.
Years ago, when I started my weight loss journey, I studied the habits of the people around me who led somewhat healthy lifestyles. While it seemed daunting at first, time would reveal that living/eating right is more than just asparagus and oven roasted sweet potatoes. It’s also not as terrifying as it seems. Why? Because for most of us, it’s a gradual process. Make one little change today, another tomorrow, one more the following week and, you look back many years later and wonder, with a hint (or more) of glee, “How the heck did I get here?”
If you want to start living a healthy/healthier life now, here are ten relatively simple habits you should adopt.
1. Eat breakfast: Seriously, throw out that idea that skipping meals will do wonders for your waistline. It only leads to reduced metabolism and stuffing your face come lunch and/or dinner (because, you know, you’re like…starving?)
2. Balance: Now I know what is good for the goose, isn’t necessarily good for the gander (I also know I butchered that saying!). Different people stick to different diets (hey, whatever works, right?) – low carb, super-low carb (aka punishment), high protein e.t.c. If I were you, I’d go with eating the right amounts/portions of the food groups (carbs, protein, fats – good fats such as avocado, olive oil, peanut butter).
3. Non-H20? Kick the habit: I can’t stress enough how counter-productive liquid calories are. Especially when it’s not as if the drink is your meal. You mean you’re still going to have pasta with that lemonade? Cut back on liquid calories. Increase water intake. Drinking water has so many benefits – helps control calories (did you know that what you feel is “hunger” might be “thirst”?); increases energy by energizing your muscles, and helps flush out toxins! Many have attributed water to better skin but, I can’t relate because… I woke up like this. #flawless
4. Go Green: I’m not referring to environmental awareness/waste reduction (although that is a very important issue). When I say go green, I mean eat more greens! Eat it, drink it, cook it, love it! Green foods (such as broccoli, bok choy, avocado, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, green beans, edamame, to name a few or a lot, lol) are great sources of antioxidants. They are also low in calories (which means you can eat more of them, yum!).
5. Cook: Stop eating out so often! The downside to that is you never quite know what goes in your food. Cooking will save you a ton of money and calories. Trust me! It also allows you to be creative (I have made some oddly delicious meals in my lifetime) and the good thing is, there are MILLIONS of recipes online to help!
6. Exercise: I can’t stress this enough. You can’t keep giving excuses and expect to see change. Exercise doesn’t have to be an hour of AMRAP or running 8 miles. Start small and gradually progress. All I’m asking is that you…START. Another great piece of advice? Start with an activity you enjoy! Once you adopt the habit of exercising, you will find yourself trying things you hated. I would never have imagined I’d like climbing stairs. I’m partially out of my mind so, there’s that.
7. Set realistic but challenging (short & long-term) goals: Long-term goals give direction and let you know where you want/need to be; short-term goals keep you from feeling overwhelmed (YOU MEAN I HAVE TO LOSE 3 DRESS SIZES???? *runs to grab Butter Pecan gelato* I had that for breakfast on Saturday but, I digress) and
8. Eat superfoods: Incorporate these into your diet: Tomatoes (I hate raw tomatoes, yuck!); blueberries (hello greek yogurt partfait!); salmon (aka BAE); kale (I throw these bad boys into my smoothie; I prefer my salad with spinach, thank you very much -_-); black beans, broccoli and oats (I’ll share my go-to oatmeal breakfast recipe soon!)
9. Reduce consumption of processed food: Snacking here. Snacking there. That’s how the calories creep in. I had to learn the hard way. Processed foods often contain high amount of sodium, and a crazy LONG list of ingredients (half of which I most certainly can’t pronounce). Why do 20 ingredients need to go into the production of this tiny granola bar, sir? I try to snack on fresh foods (fruits) or greek yogurt and, if processed food comes calling, I look at the ingredients and choose the ones whose list is kept to a MINIMUM. Sodiumbarthocarbonitrazanex-wha???
10. Believe in yourself: Trust the process. Know that you have the ability to achieve it. Use words of affirmation and BELIEVE them. It may not come easily but when it finally does, it will be so worth it!
Hope you enjoyed reading as much as I did writing.