Maybe your favorite jean shorts from last summer are just too tight… the zipper won’t even zip. Maybe you just spent another afternoon trying on bathing suits and you’re leaving the store empty-handed and disappointed… again. Maybe you feel sluggish and tired all the time and you have a sneaking suspicion that it has something to do with all those filling lunches you’ve been enjoying or the mid morning snacks that seemed so harmless at the time. Maybe it’s time to make a change.
Living a balanced lifestyle is a choice. You can either eat whatever you want and face the consequences … or eat what makes you look and feel better and then enjoy the results! Starting a new healthy lifestyle can be challenging and overwhelming. The thought of eating healthy meals, avoiding processed junk food and limiting your sugar intake can be a daunting dilemma. Today for Monday’s Motivation, I want to share with you my Top 5 Tips for starting a healthy lifestyle that is maintainable, realistic, and yes, enjoyable!
1. Portion Control- The key to a healthy lifestyle is BALANCE and MODERATION. Don’t eat too much, but don’t eat too little. Eat a variety of types and amounts and try not to eat out of boredom or anxiety. Plan ahead and use smaller plates and bowls. My mom and I actually like to eat certain foods with those cute little baby spoons. You can’t fit much on your spoonful, so it takes longer and feels more satisfying to finish a small portion.
2. Tasty Treats- Anyone who knows me would say that I make healthy choices with all my meals. But they’d also tell you that I guiltlessly indulge in small sweets everyday. I treat myself daily with some sort of chocolate, be it salted dark chocolate, dairy free coconut chocolate ice cream, or the occasional slice of gluten free, dairy free chocolate cake (which was very hard to find, by the way!) Decide what your favorite special treat would be and then … ENJOY it!
3. Activity Awareness- My FitBit is my go-to for keeping active! Simply going for an after dinner walk will result in many health benefits including: increased energy, potential weight loss, improved blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and reduced risk of osteoporosis and heart disease. And here’s my current favorite: it clears your mind and makes you more focused and productive.
4. Realistic Restaurant choices- I confess, I’ve been eating out at restaurants lately. I love trying new places! I do not like chain restaurants, but I find it hard to resist a cute little local cafe. Calories can add up quickly at restaurants. I like to order my meals a-la-carte! My fave tip? Get a salad with your dressing and toppings on the side so YOU decide how much to eat!
5. Baby Steps- When all else fails, remember that tomorrow is a new day! If you eat too much one day, or if you hardly move off the couch, remember that a healthy lifestyle is a balanced one! Simply cut back your food intake, increase your water consumption, get up and move. Realize that it’s all about ‘progress’ not ‘perfection’ and you’ll be feeling better in no time!
What are your favorite tips for starting (and maintaining) a healthy lifestyle?!