“I know what to do, I just need to do it!”
I hear this all the time. Well, dang right you do! Maybe tackling many changes towards a healthy lifestyle seems like more than it’s worth. Maybe tackling multiple changes seems unrealistic right now. I will share my 5 healthy habits that have allowed me to enjoy balance, stay in shape, and feel good. Choose 1, choose 5, but choose something to get started today!
1) Workout before you realize what you’re doing.
Many say, “I am not a morning person. I cannot get up and workout.” Maybe if you could give it a shot for 28 days, it would become habit! For 10 years, I have been waking up between 4:00-5:00 AM to go tackle a workout. I don’t even realize what’s happening. It’s so early. But it’s done! I feel so accomplished and I don’t even have to think about it for the rest of the day. To be honest, I hate evening workouts. There is way too much going on and things to get involved in to be spending an hour at the gym in the evenings. Your metabolism will wake up, your food choices will be better, and you’ll have no problem getting in to bed at a decent hour. If you’re married, coordinate a schedule with your spouse so that one of you can do mornings, and the other go for evenings!
2) Eat higher carb meals before mid-afternoon
Carbs are for energy and performance. For me, every day is performance and task based. I need to be alert, I need to have energy. Where does this energy come from? Caffeine and carbs. I will tackle caffeine in the future. Choose your higher carb meals to provide energy to get you through the day, and then significantly cut carbs at your last meal and a bedtime snack. If you are working out in the evening, there is a method to the madness to eat carbs at night (that’s where an RD comes in). Think about it though. Do you need to eat carbs (energy and performance) to lay down and sleep? Now your body had to work all night to break down that energy and you wake up tired. Am I right? Or am I right?
3) It CAN wait until tomorrow. Go to bed.
You have to sleep, folks. Going to bed at 12A and getting up at 4-6A is not going to be enough for an average person. Your body rebuilds, repairs, and resets when you rest. I know that I need 7 hours a night. Shut off the TV, turn your phone to silent, and go to bed as early as possible. On a good day, that’s 8:00 for me. Sleep=weight loss.
4) Fast foods, sodas, and candy in the check-out line are off limits
I just know this is a rule in my brain. Make it a rule in yours. It is off limits. Fast prepared food, sodas with 40 grams of carbs (2 meals for me), and candy when you’re checking out at the store are simply off limits. They do not help you, they hurt you. Drinking one soda per day equals an additional 26 pound weight gain per year… ONE SODA. Put it down.
5) A gallon a day.
Yes, I carry around a gallon jug of water. No, I do not care and I am not embarrassed. I like meeting goals, and I like watching the water go down throughout the day. I will not go to sleep until that gallon is gone. Water helps with satiety and keeps you full. Yes, it hydrates, but it also makes my skin bright and helps me fight through intense cardio workouts. Pick up the jug, and find a pretty cup to refill throughout the day.