Focus on yourself, not everyone else
Being healthy nowadays is such a relative term. What one person deems to be healthy can be completely different to someone else, and to someone who is just starting out trying to become healthier, it can be really overwhelming!
As someone who has spent the last 5 or so years trying my hand at every diet and ‘lifestyle’ on the market and managing to come out the other side with good and bad experiences, I thought I could give a few handy tips on becoming a healthier, fitter and happier.
Ditch the diets
I think this one is the most important. The best way to become healthier is to really just go back to basics. Try and get into a solid routine of having a good breakfast, lunch and dinner with minimal processed foods as well as a couple of healthy snacks in between if you feel like you really need it.
Find what exercise works for you
Just because someone tells you that running is the best exercise, doesn’t mean it is. For them it may be, but for you it probably isn’t. Trial and error is your best friend! Try everything you can! Bootcamp, swimming, weight training, pilates, yoga.. there are so many options. It’s important to try out as many things as you can until you find what you enjoy. Don’t just do something because it burns the most calories. Do it because you love it and eventually you will start to feel better and mental & physical results will follow.
Listen to your body
This one is hard and has taken me SO long to get right. It goes for food and exercise. Food wise, if you are following some kind of plan and that plan tells you that you have to eat at 3pm, but you really don’t feel like it, then don’t. Your body can tell you when it is hungry and when it is not. Exercise wise, it is important to recognise the difference between really not wanting to go for your workout and your body telling you that you have done enough. That takes time. But same goes; if you wake up and really do feel far too tired to go for that run, then maybe just go for a walk or stay home and stretch and see how you feel afterwards.
Quality workouts over quantity
Instead of trying to work out 6 times per week and potentially running yourself into the ground, start with 3 workouts a week where you try your absolute hardest and see how you feel. The following week you might be able to add in an extra one.
Small changes can make the biggest difference.
I think it is so important not to go all or nothing. 90% of the time you end up burning out after a couple of weeks rather than making it a long term thing. You don’t have to completely change your lifestyle overnight, (if you have, then seriously, good for you) , you are allowed to take time. Doing small things like getting your exercise up by going walking at lunchtime or drinking one extra bottle of water in a day, or cutting out the sugar in your coffee really makes a difference over time.
Find something positive in every day
Life is just one big annoying mind game and sometimes it can feel really overwhelming. At times like this I like to take a breath and just think of things that I am grateful for or something positive that has happened in my day, even if that is something really small such as appreciating that delicious coffee that gets you through that Monday afternoon.
If you are really struggling with feeling unmotivated to go to the gym or are having self control issues in the food department, keep accountable to someone or someones’. Whether that’s booking into a class at the gym with a friend or using an app such as Snapchat or Instagram to send pictures of your meals to your bestie. These things can help you to make better choices overall.
Don’t beat yourself up, just try again tomorrow.
Changing your lifestyle generally doesn’t happen overnight. Give yourself time. In the great scheme of things, that extra meal you had is not going to matter. That pizza you ate, or that workout you missed, isn’t going to destroy your progress. You really just need to give yourself time. You are human, we all have bad days, so eat that pizza, it is completely normal.
When it comes to health & fitness, everyone is different. What works for someone, won’t work for someone else. Or it might, for a while. But to be a healthy and happy person overall, you need to find what works for you, what YOUR healthy is.
Please note: I am not a qualified Dietitian, Nutritionist, PT or Health Coach. Please contact a professional if you would like in depth advice on anything mentioned.