When you make the decision to focus on your health, it’s easy to fall in old traps. We often think of restricting our food intake, micromanaging the scale, and exercising until we’re so sore we can barely move as “healthy” ways to get started. But, I have a news flash for you! Those are not ways to live a healthy and happy lifestyle. Will you lose a few pounds? Sure, if you can stick it out long enough. Will you create a sustainable lifestyle change that you’ll be able to stick to, though? Absolutely not! How do I know? Well, I’ve been there and done all of it, and while I lost some weight initially, I also lost my self-confidence and most of all myself. So, please, if you want to live a happier and healthier life, step away from the scale, know that it’s not all about depriving yourself, and realize that exercise doesn’t have to be torture. What can you do instead? Follow these simple tips to live a healthier, happier life and actually make a lifestyle change that you can live with!
1. Eat Clean
Now, there are different meanings to this statement, but know for all intents and purposes, when I mention eating clean, I’m meaning avoiding processed foods. Someone explained it to me as the majority of her groceries have to be weighed and typed in by number rather than just scanned when she is in the checkout line, which made sense to me. However, you need to think about it, though, focus on eating more “real foods” – vegetables, fruits, lean meats, slow-digesting carbs…and fewer processed items – boxed foods, store-bought grains…
2. Sweat Daily
You read that right. I didn’t say do a hardcore workout that leaves you aching until you can’t move or only follow this specific program. I said, “Sweat daily.” Just get moving enough to break a sweat every single day. If you enjoy yoga, do yoga. If you’re a walker, walk. If you enjoy a scheduled program, look for a program you love. But, whatever it is, just get moving every day.
3. Don’t Focus on Calories
Okay, so I’ve been there done that, too. Honestly, in the past I’ve had some good success counting calories. But, you know what it ended up doing to me? It made me hyper-focused on the number of calories I was consuming so much so that I kept reducing my caloric intake to try to “do just a little better.” And, in so doing, I was depriving my body of essential nutrients. So, don’t focus so much on the calories. Instead…
4. Control Portion Sizes
When I made the switch from counting calories to actually learning what portion sizes are appropriate and what foods my body actually needs, my whole world changed. My energy level skyrocketed, my level of fitness sored, definition and toning started appearing…Eating the right foods to fuel your body in the right portions makes a whole world of difference. Want to learn more about portion-controlled eating? Fill out the form below, and I’ll send you all the details!
5. Use the Scale Less
I’ll admit it. I still hop on the scale too often. But, if you really want to focus on living healthy and happy, then look at the scale as a single tool to track your progress, not the only tool. I’m not saying you can’t ever check your weight, but limit yourself to once every week or two rather than every single day.
6. Focus on How You Feel
Rather than being hyper-focused on the scale, focus on how you feel and how things are fitting to track your progress. (Another great tool is taking measurements and using those for progress.) When you’re more concerned with how you feel, you’ll be less concerned with the number on the scale, and you’ll actually be working toward health rather than a digit that doesn’t mean anything anyway.
If you really want to live healthier and happier, I challenge you to live by these six simple tips. Are they rocket science? Heck no! But, will they change your life? Definitely!
Want to know more about portion-controlled eating to fuel your body or one of the other tips I mentioned? Fill out the form below, and I’ll get you all the details!