THE FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANT thing about this entire post is:
#1—- You are a human, humans are not perfect, we are not meant to look perfect, some of us are short, some of us are tall, some of us are curvy, some of us are flat (me)… but please please remember, looking fit is all about living a healthy lifestyle and enjoying “all things in moderation” while avoiding extreme measures. Taking short cuts DOES NOT work or help at all, but here are a few things that will:
#2 Meal Planning: I know a lot of people say 6 small meals a day is the way to go, but I feel like the classic 3 meals a day with a few snacks is just as good. I eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and fit snacks in between as often as I can. Breakfast staple foods: Turkey Bacon, Greek Yogurt, & Fruit. [ALWAYS eat a substantial breakfast in the morning so your body is energized and craves less throughout the day]. Lunch go to’s: Cucumber & tomato salad, hard boiled eggs, lunch meat roll-ups. Pack your lunch for work or school so you’re less tempted to order food. Dinner faves: Turkey burger, sauteed brussel sprouts & mushrooms. [Cook at home instead of going out to eat, you’ll save money, eat the correct portion size and prevent feeling stuffed, and you’ll be a better cook!] Meal planning IS KEY, but it takes effort, so it’s definitely something you’ll need to get used to. Pinterest has so many great pre-packing ideas for working girls. [Get in the habit of going to the grocery store every Sunday].
#3 ‘All Things in Moderation’: I am the first one to admit that my favorite food is french fries and I have no self control when it comes to doughnuts, slurpees, and cheetos. Sometimes the last thing I want is a salad. I think we would all go a little bit crazy if we tried to completely cut these treats out of our diets, so the point I’m making is that giving in to sweets temptations every now and then is actually a good thing. Giving in every now and then prevents binge eating and unhealthy habits. ALSO: Just because something is sugarfree, fat free, gluten free, and featured on Oprah’s favorite foods, this DOES NOT mean it’s ok to eat the whole box. Portion control is SO important. Portion sizes should be no bigger than the size of your fist.
#4 Lots of Liquids: One of the best health tips I can give you is to load up on the liquids. I try to constantly carry around a water bottle whether I’m at work, home, or in the gym, so I’m always hydrated. A few of my other favorite fluids are: orange juice (every morning), green tea (Starbucks iced green with no sweetener), and black coffee. Tip: jump-start your morning with a glass of water to start the hydration process. It fires up your metabolism, helps your body flush out toxins, and gives your brain fuel. (A cute water bottle like this one helps with motivation, I try to drink 5 of these a day).
#5 Pack your Snacks: Here are a few of my favorite (easy) healthy snacks. Pack them to go in your bag for work or make a few of each at the beginning of the week and keep them refrigerated:
-Pre-cut Grapefruit (Kroger has big jugs!)
-Greek Yogurt (FAGE is my fave brand)
– Whole grain English Muffins with bananas & peanut butter
-Energy Bowls from Jamba Juice (pic above)
-Celery and Peanut Butter
-Cottage Cheese & Peaches
-Yogurt & granola
-Hard boiled eggs
#6 Gym Time: How often should I be going? 4 times a week. What usually happens? 3 times.. in a good week. Sometimes finding motivation to work out after a long day at work is impossible. I’ve found that planning to meet a friend there or going with your boyfriend is also good motivation. Also – take progress pics and find fun workouts on Pinterest or Pop Sugar Fitness.
Best lower ab workout: v-ups, extended sit-ups on a half bosu ball, and leg lifts with a weight in-between your legs.
Best way to tone not bulk arms: push-ups are the best (I do 3-5 sets of 10) and basic bicep curls with 15 lbs.
Best leg workouts: cardio (elliptical & stair stepper), front and back lunges.
If you’re not a runner and can barely make it .5 miles without getting a cramp (me), skip the treadmill spend twice as long on the elliptical. It takes longer, but I’d way rather be on there than go through a painful session on that horrible running machine. Tip: Hit the sauna after your workout. It clears metabolic waste from your body as you sweat and it’s basically like cardio while sitting still. Your heart rate typically increases to what you would have seen during moderate exercise.
#7 BEAUTY SLEEP: THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. It is a FACT that people who are more well-rested lose weight at a higher metabolic rate than the perpetually sleep-deprived. Plus, when you’re sleepy, your body craves sugary foods (hence the late night McDonald’s runs). My sophomore and junior year of college I started getting the worst insomnia in the world. I’d lay in bed until 6 or 7 am several nights a week without ever falling into a deep sleep. This was by far the most unhealthy my body ever was – I put on 10 pounds.. and on a petite frame that can feel like 20! The good part? I had boobs and a butt.. the bad part, my cheerleading uniform cut off my circulation lol. If you want to become healthier and more fit, you HAVE to get close to 8 hours a night. (And if you have insomnia issues, seriously e-mail me, I’ve been through that stuff and it sucks but I found some things that help)
#8 Natural Cleanse: I’m looking in to the whole ‘cleanse trend’, so I’ll have to keep you updated on my opinion of the juice cleanses, but I do think washing toxins out of your system is a great way to get your body on the right track to becoming more fit.
Cutting back on sugar
Eating more raw foods
Eating plenty of fiber
Drinking at least 2 quarts of water/day
More: garlic, beets, kale, and lemon
Drinking herbal teas
…are all natural ways to detoxify your body——————————————————–
Remember, you’re not going to be able to make all of these changes over night, so be patient with yourself. Noticeable results take at least one month, but your body will instantly start to feel better. I still have plenty of weeks where I miss the gym or eat fast food and feel like a piece of crap. It takes effort and dedication and eventually this will all be second nature to you. I hope this little bit of advice helps, let me know if you have any questions, comments, or tips you think work as well! xo, happy sunday