Trying to lose weight, get fit, or gain muscle can require huge changes to your life, but for many people these changes, when implemented all at once, are completely unsustainable. When you make such a huge overhaul, deprive yourself of everything you enjoy, and force yourself to expend energy you just don’t have, you’re far more likely to catch yourself binging on forbidden junk food at 11 pm that you ever were. Instead, taking small but positive steps towards an ultimate goal allows you time to adjust to your new lifestyle. After all, being healthy isn’t just about crash dieting and going gym crazy for a month a year – it’s about creating a healthy lifestyle for the future, forever. Here are some little changes you can make to your daily life in order to see an overall improvement in wellbeing, without any serious relapses.
Get your walking boots on
Signing up to a year-long gym subscription, only to lose the motivation within a month, is probably not the most economical way to approach a new healthy lifestyle. Instead, start by increasing the distance you walk every day. Just a half hour walk every single day, non-stop, is enough to have a huge impact on your overall fitness. Take the stairs, not the elevator, walk to work or the store, and set up walking dates with your girl friends – it’s even an excuse to buy a family dog, if you wanted one.
Cut the chips
Snacking when you’re not hungry is one of the leading causes of obesity, and let’s face it, most snack foods are junk. Eating healthy meals which contain a lot of protein but low calories will enable you to feel full for longer, which is great for a weight loss diet. This will help you to avoid binging on calorific and unhealthy junk foods, as you’ll find your hunger is abated for longer. If you do want a snack, have a piece of fruit, a few nuts, or some veggie sticks.
Switch out the soda
Soda tends to be so high in calories, sugar, and even caffeine that you’re doing your body a huge disservice, even if it claims to be sugar-free. Caffeine is a diuretic, meaning you’ll end up dehydrated, and the rest is just empty calories that will end up being stored as fat. Switch your soda for plain old H2O and see how easy it becomes to lose weight, and how much more awake and energetic you feel as well.
Cut the cigarettes
This is a seemingly small change which can make a world of difference. Not only will quitting smoking ensure you live longer, healthier, and happier, it’ll also make you feel great more immediately. Within days your sense of smell returns, your lungs clear up, and you feel more energetic and fitter. And if that’s not incentive enough, just think about what it could do for your bank balance.
Join a team
Starting at a gym, or deciding to go jogging four times a week, can be really unsustainable for many people. Some just don’t find it fun, and some just don’t feel motivated to push themselves. Joining a local sports team surrounds you with people who’ve got the motivation thing sorted for you. You meet like-minded people, learn a skill, and get fit. And it will just keep you wanting to go back for more.
Take some time to breathe
Stress and anxiety are not particularly helpful for weight loss or fitness goals. When you’re stressed, your body decided to pile on the pounds in a system that’s still a hang-up from our days living in caves. It puts pressure on your heart, makes your skin look dull and unhealthy, and all in all isn’t a great way to be. Taking some time to yourself, breathing deeply, and celebrating small successes enables you to love your body, and helps your body to take better care of itself. This, in turn, enables your fitness journey. Take holidays, take days off to relax, and don’t forget to go for the occasional massage, if that’s your sort of thing.
Don’t sweat the screw ups
Sometimes it doesn’t all go according to plan. Sometimes a huge chocolate cake or a family-size bag of chips becomes far too attractive after a long day at work. Don’t punish yourself if you give in to temptation, and don’t berate yourself either. Keep looking forward, and keep aiming for your goals. The occasional screw up isn’t going to set you back as far as you might think, so long as they’re only occasional.
Fitness goals are all about making sustainable changes, not crash dieting. Good luck, and remember that you have totally got this.