Hey everyone! This week I had my friend Kellie Wirpio write a post that is very special to us. Kellie is a writer and PR and marketing specialist. She is currently taking on new opportunities so if you are looking for a stellar team member look no further.
Okay, back to business. We both take pride in being healthy but sometimes take it too far and let it affect our happiness. I hope you learn a lot from this and enjoy your journey to a healthier life!
Disclosure: I have placed some affiliate links below that I may receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Keep in mind, however, these are all my personal recommendations that I stand by. I would not bring them to you if I did not believe in each item.
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Are you ever down on yourself for your weight and health choices? Comparing yourself to fitness models on Instagram? Believe it or not, sticking to a healthy diet, reaching fitness goals, and dieting are common struggles within the fitness realm. Many men and women who are seen as fit have personal struggles of their own. Being fit is not only a physical journey, but a mental one as well. Here are my top 11 recommendations on how to create a happy and fit lifestyle:
1) Eat real food and include a cheat meal
Don't get me wrong, you can have the occasional cheeseburger or taco bell run. Many new dieters have the problem of restricting their diets to the extreme, and then guilting themselves when they cheat their diet. It is normal to crave unhealthy food. Do yourself a favor and incorporate a cheat meal (not day) each week so you have something to look forward to.
Even if you start off only 1-2 days a week, working out is great for your physical and mental health. It realeses endorphins that overall trigger a positive feeling in the body.
Positive endorphins= reducing stress= a happier you
Working out will help you become closer to your goals, which in the end will make you a healthier/happier person.
3) Find what works for YOU
If you want to slim down consider cardio. If you want to gain muscle mass consider lifting free weights. Figure out what your personal goals are and research the best ways to achieve them. If you are trying to bulk up, running long distances will lean out your muscles, which is taking you further away from your goals. It is important to look into workouts for specific muscles so you can find the best ways to reach your targeted goal.
4) Be involved
This may not concern everyone, but some people find it hard to stay motivated when working out alone. Consider joining clubs such as Title Boxing, Orange Theory, etc. If you are too far away from clubs such as these or just flat out don't want to pay the extra money, consider joining a fitness accountability group on Facebook or find a friend with similar goals in mind. Having an accountability partner can help you both be accountable for your actions and can push you towards reaching your goals. It is a lot easier to slack off when you are on your health journey solo, which is why it is important to share with others along the way.
Last year I was a part of Title Boxing Club in Ann Arbor, and became the most fit that I've ever been. I became friends with the trainers and club members, which created a positive experience for me. It made the classes fun, and motivated me more than I ever thought it would.
5) Meal prep
Making meals in advance can help you make better choices. If you have a busy day ahead, make a healthy meal in advance. Packing healthy choices that are easy for on the go days will lead to better results vs. swinging through the drive thru.
6) Make substitutions
Leading a healthy lifestyle doesn't have to feel like a burden.
Craving spaghetti? Substitute spaghetti squash for the noodles.
Want pizza? Make a pizza at home with cauliflower dough.
Craving Starbucks? Skip the latte and get an iced coffee with a extra almond milk and two pumps of sugar free vanilla (It's delish and around 40 cals for a grande)
Eating healthy doesn't have to be the end of the world. Google substitutions and read up on how to make healthy versions of your favorite foods.
7) Set realistic goals
Don't let the scale be the reason you are putting in all this effort. Focus on looking and feeling good, not what the scale says. You can be healthy and happy but not like how much you weigh. Weight is just a number.
I am a prime example of this. I just recently purchased a scale that told me my BMI, body fat %, water wight, muscle mass & more. Here I was thinking I was fat because I kept gaining weight and was weighing myself on my sister's scale (that only told me my weight). Come to find out, my muscle mass was high and I over all had a low body fat %. This boosted my confidence, and made me truly realize there is more to your fitness journey than the pounds. My body proved to be healthy. I deprived myself of food (unhealthy) and pushed myself harder than I needed to all based off of a silly number. If you too are struggling based off of a number, I suggest getting a similar scale so you can know more facts about your situation.
8) Drink enough water
Drink enough water plain and simple. If you do not drink enough, your body will hold onto weight and not flush out toxins. If you are depriving your body of water, your body then holds onto weight because it doesn't know when it will be receiving water next. I know that sounds silly, but just stay hydrated folks.
Your body needs 64 ounces a day. I use this bottle daily and absolutely love it. It is 32 ounces, so drink two of these a day and you golden. Plus it has a space to put chopped fruit in to spice things up.
Make sure you take care of your body and have days of rest. Working out everyday is not good for your body, and will actually affect your results. The human body needs days to repair damaged tissue and will not create desired muscle if you're constantly working that part of the body. I recommend 2-3 days of rest each week. (Generally not in a row)
10) Mix up your workouts
It is important to have a variety of workouts. If you are consistently doing the same actions, they will become easy. Challenge yourself and learn to do new routines. Doing the same workout over and over becomes boring, and you will have better results when you switch it up.
11) Cut out the alcohol
You don't have to cut it out completely, but drinking is high in calories. I know this isn't a fun step to include, but alcohol can lead to unhealthy eating ( bar snacks i'm pointing to you). Not only that, but a hungover individual is less likely to squeeze in their morning workout.
Overall these are what have worked for me, and fitness is not a one size fits all. If something isn't working for you, don't hesitate to switch it up. There is no one clear answer on how to work towards your goals, but in general clean eating and working out are a good start.