Monday, August 4, 2014

Some healthy advice

I recently mentioned in a post that I was trying to lose weight/eat cleaner/be healthier, and since then several people have asked me about that process. You guys have had questions about what I eat, what I do to exercise, and just about general tips for being healthier so today I thought I'd share some thoughts.

I'm in no way qualified to say any of this. Well isn't that a weird thing to say. But it's true. While I've done a fair amount of research on nutrition and fitness, I am not a certified trainer, and I only know what works for me.

BUT, health is best achieved with support, and I'm always here to support you guys if you need it.

That being said, here are my top five tips for living a healthy lifestyle.

1. Find exercises you enjoy
As someone who once proclaimed to my family that "I just hate physical activity," I find it impossible that anyone can really hate all exercise. Getting started is hard, and at first a lot of exercises can be difficult and frustrating, but get over it. Whether it's spinning, kickboxing, yoga, running, hiking (my fave!), organized sports, or just walking to a good playlist, there's SOME form of physical activity that you can find joy in. You just have to be willing to try. Find something that makes you feel good and do it repeatedly. If you like what you're doing it's WAY easier to motivate yourself to do it, even on days when you're tired.

2. Start by cutting out processed foods
You don't have to give up your favorite foods to be healthy, just give up their devilish, processed selves. You can make pizza with a whole wheat crust and tomato sauce that doesn't have 12g of sugar. It is in fact possible. It just takes a little bit of conscious effort. If you just LOVE mac and cheese (I feel ya) then try making it at home with simple substitutions like olive oil instead of butter and almond milk instead of whole milk. Want ice cream ALL the time? Freeze bananas into small coins and put them in a blender. It's awesome. Love mayonnaise (is that even possible?), then use greek yogurt instead. These things are easy, people. Stop making excuses for yourself.

3. Drink more water
I drink at least 125oz of water a day. I'm not kidding. The best guideline. Drink your body weight in ounces of water every day and you will amazed how much more energy you have, how much better your skin looks, and how much less often you crave unhealthy foods. Water is a cure all. Drink. DRINK!

4. Plan
Meal plan, workout plan, or both. Whatever it is you're trying to achieve, it's easier with a plan. If you don't have time during the week to make healthy meals, or if you know that when lunch time comes you'll be so hungry that you'll over-stuff yourself, plan ahead. Write down a meal plan for the week, a workout schedule, and STICK TO IT. The key here is sticking to it. It's okay if sometimes you deviate, but even a perfect schedule can allow some wiggle room. A great way to help yourself out is to do meal prep one day of the week (weekends rock), and to prepare a ton of healthy stuff that you can grab during the week. As for workouts, build your schedule around them. It's only 30 minutes of your day... you certainly can model the other 23.5 hours of your day around making sure 30 minutes of it happen.

5. Don't be too hard on yourself
The best piece of advice I ever read about weight loss was that "self love is the best weight loss accessory." Whether you're trying to get more fit, lose weight, gain weight, "get swole," or whatever else it is that we're all doing these days, always do it for the purpose of bettering yourself not punishing yourself. Your health will allow you to live longer, feel better, achieve higher, and be happier. Health isn't about correcting yourself or beating yourself into place, it's about expanding your opportunities and improving your life. Love yourself. Do this because you deserve it. You do.

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