It is only February, which means there is still plenty of time to make 2017 your healthiest year yet. Here are six healthy habits you should pick up this month, and six that you should get rid of!
Can’t –> Can
There is a famous phrase that I want you to remember: your body achieves what the mind believes. If you think you can’t do something… you won’t, simply because you’ve started with that negative energy. Quit the negative self-talk. In 2017 I want you to rephrase all of your negatives to positives. Instead of saying you can’t do something, say I can make myself do anything. But remember to set realistic goals… I know that I can’t hold my breath for 10 minutes. That’s not being negative, that’s just being realistic.
Diet books –> Food journals
There is no diet out there that has been made specifically with you in mind. So no book is going to tell you how to eat that is best for you. A proper diet takes time to figure out. There is a lot of trial and error involved. So instead of taking someone else’s advice, start to keep your own food journal and see what is working for you. Track what you eat, when you eat, how you felt afterwards, and whom you ate with. Once you do this for a while, you will start to see what foods make you feel the best and what “diet” is bringing you the best results. I personally enjoy food journaling in an actual pen and paper journal. But there are plenty of apps (like MyFitnessPal) that help you track your food intake.
Throw out your scale
Relying on a scale to tell you how your body is changing is a bad idea. Your weight can go up and down for many reasons (muscle gain, hormones, water intake, and many more). Even if you eat properly, workout regularly, and sleep enough, your weight still may go up. And that can be both frustrating and confusing. Start to track your body fat and take regular measurements instead. Doing it this way allows you to see how much fat you are losing (or gaining) and in what way your body is shrinking (or growing). You can measure body fat many ways; some scales even offer a measurement. You should take body measurements of your hips, waist, chest, thighs, and any other area you desire with a tape measure.
Workouts you hate –> Workouts you love
If you hate running on the treadmill, stop doing it. Find a way to make exercise fun! If you like organized sports, join an adult intramural league. If you used to love swimming, start it up again. If you dislike cardio, turn your strength training into cardio sessions by doing circuits and intervals. Having fun while working out is important because you are less likely to quit something enjoyable.
Calorie counting –> Counting macros
Counting calories is a tricky thing to do. Calories are such a superficial number… a healthy smoothie has more calories than a diet coke. A handful of candy may have fewer calories than a plate of chicken and broccoli. I recommend spending less time focusing on calories and more time looking at macros (carbs, fats, and proteins). Track how many grams of each macronutrient you consume, and see what kind of macro split works best for you. Again, this will take trial and error. But, typically if you are naturally lean you can handle more carbs. If you are curvier and gain weight easily, you may need fewer carbs and more fat in your diet. Everyone should be eating a good amount of protein to keep his or her lean muscle mass high.
Fix everything that is holding you back
Going back to that food journal… Just as you will see what foods make you feel the best, you will also see what and who is holding you back. You may find that when you eat with your best friend, you eat poorly. So find a different activity to do with him or her, or ask your friend to eat healthy with you. You may see that you snack a lot when you are at home. If this is the case, find things to do that keep you busy and get out of the house more. There is always a simple solution; you just have to do it!