The lifestyle, are you living it?
Are you living the lifestyle? We are reaching for our goals but in those goals comes our desire to strive to live a healthy lifestyle that we can maintain for the rest of our lives. In order to do so, we must eat right, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, keep a positive attitude and believe in ourselves. It seems pretty simple, right? But, we all know that it’s much more complicated than a few simple words. While you might be successful in one area, like meeting your nutritional goals, that doesn’t mean you are successful in all of the different areas. If you’re still in thinking in terms of “diet” and temporarily changing your habits just until you reach your goal(s), then this could be one of the sole reasons you are having a hard time making this a lifestyle. Diet and lifestyle do not go hand in hand. They are actually quite the opposite in they have nothing to do with one another! Let’s take a look at a few things that may be holding you back.
You fail on the weekends…
You strive to eat well and hit the gym throughout the week, but once Friday arrives, all bets are off. and relaxing, but be careful not to go overboard and cancel out all of the hard work you put in during the week. One weekend of overeating, overdrinking, and under-exercising can set you back and halting your progress. Weekends are a great time to be flexible with your activities but not calling them off completely.
Instead, view weekends as a chance to do the things that you enjoy and spend quality time with your family and friends. “Weekends” should not be used as times to go crazy or fall hard off our band wagon with too many “refuels” or avoiding activity. Use your free time constructively: plan your menu for the upcoming week, design a new workout routine, take your time grocery shopping, and read something that motivates you. Remember that Sunday is the best day to prepare and cook up your healthy meals for the day!
Take advantage of your time away from work to get outside and be active. Weekends are the perfect time to go paddle boarding, go on a walk or work in your yard. If you have children, get your kids and other loved ones involved as well; weekends are YOUR time to enjoy physical activity—without watching the clock or keeping a strict schedule! This is how we make it a lifestyle!
No doubt, it’s difficult to make exercise a priority in your life. Perhaps you had an extra busy week and didn’t have a spare moment to get the gym. Soon thereafter, that exercise-free week turned into two, then three weeks and so on. Exercise can help you reach your weight loss goals much faster than only watching your nutrition. Plus, strength training builds lean muscle that fires up your metabolism so you burn more calories all day long. Are you really “too busy” to include even a little exercise, a few times a week, or are your priorities elsewhere? Remember, anything and something is better than nothing. Those small efforts add up! Taking a 10-minute walk is better than no exercise at all. Anything that gets your heart rate up and blood flowing is a good start. “Success is the sum of SMALL efforts, repeated day in and day out.”~ R. Collier
It’s easy to focus on the calories, but remember, we do not focus on calories here but rather focus on the quality of foods your calories are coming from. Counting calories for the rest of your life would get old and can become all consuming! Here we do NOT focus on Calories but rather Quality! There is a huge difference between eating 400 calories of chocolate for lunch and enjoying a 400-calorie salad, loaded with leafy greens, beans, tomatoes, cucumbers and grilled chicken. For one, the salad will fill you up longer, but also it offers so many more healthy nutrients! Chocolate, on the other hand, will leave you hungry and unsatisfied for the same number of calories.
Make sure you get the most out of what you are eating. If you eat too many high-calorie, low-nutrient foods, you’re more likely to overeat and less likely to meet your body’s nutritional needs. It might not be how much you are eating but what and when you are eating!
You might think that eating as little as possible throughout the day will help you lose weight. Perhaps you skip breakfast altogether and only eat a small snack during the day. But if you don’t fuel your body regularly throughout the day, you’re more likely to binge or get cravings in the evening—at dinner and into the late evening. Plus, without adequate nutrition all day, your metabolism will slow, making your energy levels low and weight loss even harder.
Instead, space out your meals and snacks evenly throughout the day, eating every 3-4 hours. Always start with breakfast, which is proven to help people lose weight, and enjoy a good balance of nutrients—lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats like nuts or oils. Eating at regular intervals will keep your energy high and your metabolism boosted while keeping you satisfied.
One key to a healthy lifestyle is moderation, and moderation means setting limits, applying portion control, and making choices based on long-term health goals, not immediate gratification. If you know that you have a family event coming up, do your best to maintain your healthy eating and exercise habits in the days prior to it. Go on an extra walk or make an extra trip the gym. Make sure that you eat a balanced breakfast the day of the event, and consider eating a healthy meal before you arrive so that your hunger won’t tempt you to overindulge. It’s okay to enjoy yourself and to celebrate important events but it is important to be aware of your choices. Make your friends and experiences the center of these occasions, not the food.
When you’re “on a diet” excuses like these seem to come up more often and make it easy to go off of it. Forget the “diets” and start going on a “healthy lifestyle” instead. Once you start living and stop dieting, things all come together and become much more realistic!