Getting healthy and losing some weight in the process can be real challenging for many people. I will be the first to admit that I’ve not always kept up with my fitness goals. Especially, when I’ve had little sleep or just not in the mood. The problem with this mindset, it can cause you to become great at procrastinating. Hey, add me to the top 10 list of that one.
I got a bit lazy in the last couple of years with not working on regularly and as a result, I added on a few extra pounds. Pants that used to fit me suddenly seemed a bit tighter around the waist. I knew I needed to change a few habits in my life and it got me thinking, if I’m having this challenge, then surely there are other people in the same boat – right?
OK, several months ago, I bought a nice high speed blender because not only did I want to make great tasting Isagenix Shakes, I was interested in learning about juicing overall, including making green smoothies. I wanted to see what kind of interesting smoothies I could invent. I will cover that in another article later on.
So, this year you are going to finally make a change, get healthy and lose some weight? Great, here are a few ideas to keep you pointed in the right direction. The main thing to keep in mind, don’t be too hard on yourself if you have that desert today or an extra serving of your favorite food. I am a firm believer that anything in moderation is OK. However, too many unhealthy things can cause you to have problems.
1. Get rid of junk food – The fact of the matter, if you have it around, you will likely eat it. I ask my wife when she does the shopping for the week, please limit the amount of junk food you buy, especially potato chips. Hey, I have a weakness and if it’s around, I will eat them if I can get to them before my daughter.
So, before you reach for that next sugary item or unhealthy snack, get rid of it first and foremost. Think of it like an external cleansing of your home.
2. Look for healthy snacks to buy – One thing that’s helped me stay on track is to buy several containers of things like almonds, walnuts, mixed nuts and seeds etc. As well, have some fresh fruit and chopped up vegetables ready in the fridge for a quick snack.
When I get hungry between meals, I simply reach for a handful of nuts or some vegetables which will instantly satisfy those hunger pains. Of course, if you are stuck for other ideas, just search online for the term healthy snacks and you will find thousands of suggestions.
3. Think about cooking in bulk – If you plan ahead, you will more likely stick with it when it comes to healthy cooking and eating. Look, after a long day of work, the last thing most of us want to do is spend an hour or more cooking. For example, you could make a large batch of stew, chili or even vege stir-fry for 2 or 3 days. Oh, don’t forget to have some meal size containers on hand. All you will need to do is simply heat it up and you are good to go.
4. Find someone to work out with – One of the best ways to motivate yourself is find someone that you can work out with. That way, you can hold each other accountable. When one doesn’t feel like working out, the other can help them stay on track. As I do more research and testing myself on working out, I am a firm believer in keeping my workouts shorter with more intensity for at least 2 or 3 work out sessions each week. I’ve read a number of articles on this topic and the results so far are really promising.
Try and keep your work out sessions under 1 hour to avoid spending too much time on this single activity. This can be a real time sink if you are not careful. If you don’t have time to go to a gym, then there are many things you can do at home. For example, you could get 1 of those DVD programs that walk you through a work in say 20 to 30 minutes. The idea is to find something you enjoy. You will have a higher probability of doing it when you enjoy it.
5. Get outside whenever possible – I can’t stress the importance of this. We really need to get out and enjoy the great outdoors as much as possible for some fresh air. Even if you only have 10 minutes, go for a walk. Before you know it, you will be back home and be more energized. The other added benefit, getting some sunshine gives us our vitamin D, which is important to get each day. This is really ideal especially when you are feeling tired. If it’s cold outside, suck it up and walk quickly.
6. Eating out – So, you are heading out for the night with some friends, but you don’t want to eat unhealthy. I have found that most restaurants will have healthy alternatives. The one you want to try and avoid is where they deep fry everything. It doesn’t mean you can’t eat out once in a while at a place like that.
Rather, you need to do some planning before going to those types of restaurants. A simple Google search in your local area will probably yield some new restaurants you have never been too. I love trying out new places when I go out with my family.
7. The importance of water – I used to drink several cups of coffee a day. However, I was finding after awhile I was getting some heartburn. Then I started reducing my coffee intact per day to where I wouldn’t even have any for many days. I replaced it with either water or tea.
Try some organic chai tea or green tea. The nice thing about green tea is it contains about 25% of the caffeine normally found in a cup of coffee. If you need a little pick me up in the morning, it’s a great alternative. If you need to sweeten things up, try stevia instead of sugar or honey.
8. Take regular breaks – This is something I took a while to appreciate and understand because I work on computers all day. Make sure you get off your butt and move around. I find after about 60 minutes, is a good time to take a quick break for 5 minutes if your work allows you to do that. If you are working from home, there’s really no excuse not to get up every 60 minutes.
This will actually help improve your overall productivity by getting up and moving around. Even if you only have say 5 minutes, do a few push-ups, running in a stationary spot, jumping jacks etc. This will help to increase your blood flow. Plus, you will feel much more energized throughout the day. OK, time to go and move around myself and grab some organic tea.
9. Tips on how to lose some weight – start off small – Making change can sometimes be a challenge. However, one important tip is starting off small. In other words, baby steps each day can have a dramatic impact long term.
For example, say you can only do 5 – 10 minutes of jogging or walking. Do that for a couple of weeks, then add on 1 minute each week. Before long, you are doing 15 to 20 minutes. I’ve tried to go at it full throttle a number of times and each time, I get discouraged easily because I couldn’t work out for an hour. Now, I just appreciate that if I can only do 15 minutes of exercise today, then that’s all I can do.
Remember, do 1 activity minimum per day of exercise and you will see results provided you include some of the above suggestions like cutting back on junk food. The goal here is to get you into a habit of doing something every day. Before you know it, this becomes your routine and you do it without over thinking it.
10. Enjoy your exercise – One tip that I’ve really come to appreciate over the years is have fun whenever possible. This is especially important for exercise. The more you enjoy something, the higher the chances you will stick to it. Put some tunes on, crank up the stereo and get moving. It’s also important to have a healthy mindset. This is a topic of interest to me and something that I really want to talk about in a future post.
11. Cut down on unhealthy Carbs – I know many of you reading this post love spaghetti as I do. However, I’ve also come to the conclusion that eating too many bad carbs each week, can really add on the weight. Again, I will say it, eat in moderation and have a cheat day, not a cheat week.
For the most part, I’ve dramatically cut down on eating bad carbs every day, including cutting down my sugar intact. The other problem with white flour is that there is no real nutritional value in it, so why do we eat so much of it? With some simple lifestyle changes, you will see a big improvement in your health.
While this list is not exhaustive, it’s intended to get you thinking about doing something each and every day. Imagine how you will feel after 6 or 12 months?
So far by following the above strategies, I’ve dropped 10 plus pounds in about 6 weeks. My pants feel looser and I have more energy overall. The important thing to remember, do some of everything and you too will have success.
Make it a productive day everyone!