For this reason I have developed a few things that work for me to make me feel better in general. Like I said, I'm no nutritionist, but these things help me, and I hope they will help you too.
Don't Eat Two Hours Before Bed
This one you probably have heard before, for good reason. It's pretty simple. Food=energy, and you don't need very much energy to sleep. So that excess is stored and turns into fat. How do you stop that from happening? Simply, don't eat too close to bedtime. If you are too hungry and can't stand it, eat only something small. For example a few veggies and some hummus, or a few of these baked peas, I'm in love with them. An additional bonus to not eating at night is that I wake up more hungry in the morning, which is when you should be eating the most anyway.
Don't have an "All or Nothing" Attitude
Real talk: It's hard to stick to a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes Netflix, pizza, ice cream days are going to happen. My struggle is feeling like when I have a setback, it's the end of my routine all together. Don't feel that way! Just think about it logically for a minute. Having one bad day and the next day getting back on track is much better than having a bad year. Not working out, but eating healthy is better than binging on Doritos for dinner. Binging on Doritos after a workout is better than binging on Doritos before bed. Little steps add up, don't trick yourself into giving up! You will see results eventually, but if you give up you won't, so stick it out, even if you have a bad day.
Also, don't feel like you have to change your entire lifestyle in one day. Start with whatever you think will be the easiest for you and add more changes in a little at a time. This will add to your sanity and make a new program easier to stick with in the long run.
Don't Workout to be Skinny
I confess, skinny is an ever elusive dream of mine. Sometimes it's the only reason I try. But usually the times I try and fail are bigger setbacks than anything else. I'm going to rant for a second, skip to the next paragraph if you don't want to hear it. Society today is based around looks, and the "right" look today is a tiny waist, huge butt, clear skin, the list goes on and on. Well it's just not realistic for the average woman. If you are skinny, people wish they were you. Good for you. If you are fat, you are well fed and have curves to be envied! Good for you. If you are average, you are at a good medium. That's awesome! Let's not try to force our bodies into a mold they don't fit into. It's not healthy. Let's be corny and realistic and say that the true beauty is on the inside, and if you have a beautiful heart that's all you need. Being healthy is not about how you look, but how you feel.
Ok I'm done. The truth is that if you try to be healthy for the wrong reasons, it likely will not last. Workout to feel good, and along with it the best look for you will follow.
Follow a "Healthy Lifestyle" Community
Let's admit it. You need support to accomplish big things in your life. Yes you can do anything you set your mind to, but I don't think anyone really can deny that support makes everything a lot easier. You know what else makes things easier? Motivation. It's hard to do anything if you aren't motivated to do it. These two things lead me to say that you need a community to help you in your healthy journey.
Ok, I confess. I didn't believe in this for a very long time. It's still a little hard for me. But when I don't want to work out and I look at pictures of supportive people who are struggling too, or who have accomplished what I am trying to accomplish, it helps to motivate me. So give it a try and you might be surprised how much help it can be.
My favorite community is the Blogilates community. I have not yet found a person who is mean or unsupportive, and the community is very involved. Also Cassey Ho is pretty much my hero. She's amazing and inspiring and I love her. Check out her website here.
Find Something Active that you Love
I am not an active activity person. I enjoy sitting on the couch watching Gilmore Girls for six hours in a row when I have a day off. So when I married one of the most active people on the planet it was quite a change for me.
No, I am not saying that I am now an active person. But living with a sports person has taught me that I don't hate ALL active things, in fact, I actually like some of them. For example, ultimate frisbee is amazing, and I could play all of the time. It also turns out to be exercise, which I need more of.
What I'm getting to is this... if you hate going to the gym, don't go to the gym. Find something else that you actually like and do that instead. Rule of life #46 - if you hate something you won't do it for very long. If you haven't found that something yet, keep looking! I guarantee that if I can find something, so can you. Try something you haven't done before, you might be surprised. If I had never tried frisbee I never would have known that I love it. Try rock climbing (another new favorite of mine), basketball, or find a YouTube workout channel. Once again I go back to Blogilates. I'm not sponsored I just seriously love her. Cassey puts out a free workout calendar every month to videos you can get on YouTube, and they're actually really fun and effective. Sign up for the calendar here.
Keep Track of What you Eat
How many of us are guilty of bored or stressed eating? (Raises hand with emphasis) The truth is that we all do it sometimes. "I just want one" quickly turns in to "I can't believe I ate the whole bag," and to be honest, this is bad even with "healthy" snacks. Calories add up before you even realize that you've eaten them.
I have heard it said many times that you should keep a food diary. I'm sorry, I can't force myself to keep a journal of food. If you can, do it. But for me it is easier to count calories. I use the app "My Fitness Pal" but there are others such as "Lose It" which I have seen people use and it seems just fine.
If you aren't sure, or even if you hate the idea, do me a favor and try it for just a couple of days. If you still hate it then stop doing it, but I think you will be surprised how much more we eat in a day than we think. Even if you don't stick 100% to the calorie intake you should be at, knowing what you are taking in is the first step to making smarter choices.
Drink More Water
I used to hate drinking water. Soda was my friend and when it wasn't soda it was gatorade. Then, when I was about 19, I got kidney stones. I cannot describe to you how bad the pain was. I thought I might die right then and there. Actually I think I wished I would die instead of the pterodactyl that was ripping its claws through my kidneys until I vomited. Ok, a little dramatic, but you get the point. After that day, I swore my love to water.
Soda is anti-healthy, no exaggeration. Fun Fact - Coca Cola is used in some applications to give a rough finish to concrete, because its properties literally melt off the top layer covering the aggregate. I don't know about you, but I do not want a layer of my stomach melted off. Water, on the other hand, makes up most of our bodies, it is natural, and we need it to survive. If we drink enough of it, it will help wash away toxins in our bodies and reduce bloating, ultimately reducing our weight as well.
At first it can be hard to get used to drinking enough water. The first reason for this is that you will pee a lot, and it can be annoying. Eventually, however, your body will adjust and it will not be as frequent. The other reason it can be hard is that some people really just do not like water. If this is you don't worry. Try starting with something like unsweetened (or lightly sweetened if you really need it) green tea and water it down a little every day. You will get used to it eventually.
What I like to do is fill a tumbler with iced green tea in the morning and keep adding water when it gets to half empty throughout the day. I actually think it's easier to drink enough water if I make it in a tumbler with ice and a straw and sip on it through the day. Do whatever works the best for you.
I hope at least one of these can help you out in your journey to health! Let me know in the comments which one you find the most helpful, and don't forget to sign up to get emails every time I post something new for you. Until next time!