With the new year closing in, I know that everyone is looking for health resolutions that will actually stick in 2017. I’ve made a fitness/ health resolution every single year but they don’t normally last beyond January/February. However this past year I was able to actually figure out what has worked for me and it’s really helped me on my health journey!
- 1-2-3 Rule: I mentioned this rule earlier this month, but this has been a game changer for me! I try to eat one serving of a fruit/vegetable in the morning, two around lunch, and three at dinner! I sometimes spread it out, like have a serving for a snack in the morning or afternoon. Also knowing my serving sizes made me realize that at dinner I was already eating about two servings anyway so I just had to add one more at night. Its a lot more manageable than 10 servings a day in my opinion!
- Drinking a glass of water right away in the morning: This one is a tip you read often, but it’s actually really helped me! I feel more full in the morning, and it’s a great way to slowly wake up. I still need my coffee, but this has also helped me remember to drink lots of water.
- Keep sweets out of sight & mind: Some people are able to just remove sweets from their line of site and it’s fine. Me? Nope. They can’t even be in the apartment, so we don’t buy junk food or sweets in order to keep our options healthy!
- Try new things: Matt is able to eat pretty much the exact same salad for lunch every day, but I really can’t. I’ve been doing my own thing by buying different things that I can make, changing it up every 2-3 weeks!
- Preparation is key: If I don’t prep well for the week ahead, I really don’t do well in terms of my healthy eating goals! I’ve found that by grocery shopping well and taking time Sunday night to meal prep, everything is so much easier and I feel a lot better at the end of the week! If I don’t, finding healthy, affordable options is hard and I tend to reach for junk food!
- Bouncing back: On days/weeks I don’t eat the way I would like, I tell myself it’s okay and that I can just eat better tomorrow. I look for a fun healthy recipe to try and prep my food for the next day. Beating myself up doesn’t do any good, so I just look for how I can change it.
- Little changes: The biggest differences have been made by choosing slightly healthier options. Using Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, cooking with coconut oil instead of canola, or using whole wheat flour instead of white flour. These little changes have made all of the difference!
- Using a Fitbit/ Apple Watch: I know that there has been a lot of studies saying that these give people license to eat whatever they want, but once I realized that the calorie count isn’t always correct I used it as more of a guide. Hitting my exercise, calorie and hourly move goals have been so helpful because I realized how little I was moving, and how much more I needed to move. If you use them as a guide to help you track your activity rather than a permission slip for what you can eat they can be really helpful!
- Training for a 5k: I started and stopped this a lot during the year, but in October when I ran my first 5k completely it was such a triumph! It gave me to confidence to keep going knowing I could do something that four years ago I thought was basically impossible.
- Staying consistent but listening to my body: The program I’m following now says you should work out 6 days a week. That’s normally pretty manageable, but some days emotionally or physically I’m just not ready for it, so I give myself a break now and then. Working out normally helps me fell better, so even if I’m not in the mood, I get dressed and start doing just push-ups or say I’ll just do 15 minutes on the bike. I normally end up going longer. If I don’t continue, at least I did something!
- Slow and steady wins the race: I have said “I’m going to lose 20 pounds by the time XYZ happens.” Now I know that it’s hard to give myself that kind of deadline because as soon as there’s a set-back I realize I won’t make my goal. Now I’m focused on getting strong instead of skinny no matter how long it takes.
- Take time for myself: I am 50/50 introvert extrovert. I always thought I was an extrovert, but after a jam packed semester I figured out that I needed my quiet time. So during a particularly busy time, I make sure to take an hour or two to do nothing.
- Talk about it: I’m someone who feels better talking to people about what’s going on, so instead of keeping things bottled up, I make sure that I talk to someone about how I’m feeling
- Socializing: Like I said, I can be an extrovert. After months of hanging out with actuaries (who are all great) I decided that next year I’m going to try and find some new friends that I can hang out with in order to start socializing more.
Living with someone who is also committed to their health (my fiance) has made all the difference. Sitting on my butt when he works out is not fun for me so I get up and work out too!
Giving myself grace has been the best idea, and realizing that it’s about creating life-long habits makes it that much easier to get back on track when I fall off the bandwagon!
What tips and tricks have you gained during your health journey? I hope this helps you with your own journey!