Think back to the moment you started doing something. I remember the first time I went on an airplane and touched the outside of it for good luck. Now I do that every time I fly because it’s turned into a habit, and I’m almost scared what would happen if I didn’t do it. Or I think back to the moment I stopped eating meat. It may have been weird at first, but six years later, when I think about the way I used to eat it feels like a whole different life ago. I’ve never been a smoker, but for all you ex-smokers out there, think about your last cigarette. It may have been terrible the next few months having that need for tobacco, but now life probably feels pretty normal without having to step outside to smoke.
What I’m getting at is that it is hard to start anything, but if you stick it out long enough, that thing will become a habit.
The hardest thing about getting started is getting started.
Making the decision to exercise and all around make healthy choices will be just as difficult in the beginning as everything else. But give it time, and you will find that taking care of yourself becomes second nature. Eventually you won’t even have force yourself off the couch to go for a jog. There will be a point where you choose the healthier food option simply because you don’t crave junk food anymore. It will be hard at first, but I’m going to give you some beginners’ tips on trading up for a healthier lifestyle.
Tip One: Drink a lot of water
Water is great for your body: your skin, muscles, kidneys, and digestive system. Unlike everything else you can consume, drinking too much water isn’t terrible for you. Drinking water can also help control how much you eat. If you drink a glass of water before you eat, you may find you were never hungry at all and simply just thirsty. Or at least it will fill up your stomach before a meal so you don’t over-eat.
Tip Two: Eat your veggies first
Few people eat enough vegetables, and it’s time to fix that! Here is an easy to make sure you eat enough veggies – start every meal with them. If you have a plate full of protein, healthy carbs, and vegetables, eat every single one of your vegetables before you touch your other food. A common excuse people have for not finishing the vegetables on their plate is that they are “too full.” Well, if you eat them first you won’t have that problem, will you? Added bonus, if you get full off of your veggies, you are likely to consume less of the more fattening foods on your plate.
Tip Three: Don’t deprive yourself
80-20 rule. Eat clean 80% of the time, and you can treat yourself 20% of the time. Completely depriving yourself of a certain food will only make you crave it more. Humans tend to want things they are not allowed to have. So, instead of completely eliminating chocolate from your diet and bingeing on it at the end of a “good day,” allow yourself a little treat every once in a while.
Tip Four: … Quit fast food
I know I just said not to deprive yourself and you can “cheat” 20% of the time. But, you really have to cut fast food out of your life. Actually, you should never be eating something if you don’t fully know what is in it. If you are in the grocery store and read the ingredient label on a package (which you should ALWAYS do) and do no know an ingredient on there … don’t buy it. You need to know exactly what is going into your body at all times.
Tip Five: Take the stairs
This is probably the easiest thing anyone can to do start getting into shape. Stairs are great cardio and make your legs and butt look fantastic. So don’t be lazy – skip the elevator and take the stairs.
Tip Six: Don’t waste a minute
Taking the stairs is a great way to fit extra exercise into a busy life, but honestly, the excuse “I’m too busy to work out” should never come from any person’s mouth. You must learn to multi task. So, you had a busy day – had to go to work early (couldn’t wake up 30 minutes earlier to get a little sweat in?) and got off ridiculously late. You’re still planning on brushing your teeth right? Perfect time to do some calf raises. You have a crying newborn baby and are up all night rocking her to sleep. Maybe instead of sitting in the chair by the crib you could do some walking lunges. Or maybe you say you are way to busy to workout, but in reality you spend two hours every night watching TV. First, I will advise you to cut that time in half and get an hour of fitness in. But, if that is still too hard, use those commercial breaks to do some abs or quick bursts of cardio. There are literally no excuses. I dare you to send me your excuse for not working out and I will break that excuse in half! If you want to change your body, you must stop making up excuses.
Tip Seven: Sleep
If you are using your awake hours to their fullest, you owe it to your body to get a good nights rest. A healthy body comes from healthy rest.