This article was published on July 8th, 2013
Back on January 1st you probably made a New Years resolution around health, diet and exercise. Now that summer is here and everyone is headed to the beach, are you feeling awkward about taking off your top layers and getting down to your swimwear? Instead of fussing about your body, do something about it. Take control now.
8 simple things you can do starting today, to help improve your health, fitness and diet:
- Cut the excuses! It’s easy to find an excuse not to do something. That’s why people don’t achieve their goals. Everyone wants to lose weight, but you need to commit to the time and effort to for real results to happen.
- Get fitness knowledge. If you don’t know your way around the gym, ask a friend to go with you until your comfortable with the equipment and can get a good routine going, or join a bootcamp or crossfit class with a certified instructor. If you’ve been doing the same routine over-and-over, get a personal trainer to help you get to your next fitness level.
- Understand nutrition. The key to losing weight is to pay attention to what you eat. There are lots of simple things you can do to cut calories in your diet. Read health blogs, consult a nutritionist, and real food packaging labels. Fueling your body isn’t just about what you eat, but when you are eating it.
- Record your activity. Once you have set your measurable goals for fitness and nutrition, keep track of your progress. Keep a food journal and record every single thing you eat and drink; there are great apps to help you do this. Weigh and measure yourself every week. Don’t be scared when you start gaining weight; muscle weights more than fat, so as you slim down, you will be gaining weight.
- Watch your diet. Keep your fridge and cupboards filled with healthy eating choices like fresh fruit and vegetables that are ready to go for snacking. Throw away crackers, chips and candy; if they aren’t in the house, you can’t eat them. If you must eat out, choose salads and always ask for your meal to be prepared and served without sauces, fats and oils; that’s where the hidden calories are when eating out.
- Snack all day. From the moment you wake up you need to begin fueling your body. Skipping meals doesn’t save calories; your body burns calories throughout the day, and skipping a meal will likely result in you eating extra at a later meal. Your diet should be balanced from across all the food groups throughout the day.
- Team up. Having a buddy who is into healthy live and fitness can help give you helpful tips and advice, but will also hold you accountable. Fitness buddies who have similar goals will help push you to your limits provide positive energy.
- Variety. Diet and exercise shouldn’t be boring or routing. Switch up cardio with running, swimming, biking and hiking. It’s good to change out an upper body day at the gym for a day of paddling a kayak or trying a marshal arts class. Instead of core day, take a yoga class. Do the same thing with your nutrition by trying new fruits and vegetables, or new recipes.
Most importantly, if you have fallen off the wagon, you know what you need to do to get back on it. It’s OK to take a short break, but get back to your healthy living routine quickly and re-evaluate your goals regularly. And yes, it’s OK to have a cheat day, as long as you are working incredibly hard towards your goals.