Listen, I get it. There are a million different “next big thing” fads you could try to finally lose the weight you’ve been wanting to lose, or fix the gut issues you have, or finally maintain energy throughout the day without needing that jolt of caffeine.
I’ve always been a big believer of a few things.
1) That fad diets don’t work for weight loss.
2) That health is all encompassing- mind, body, soul.
3) That putting those two points together = a formula to keep you “on track” and healthy, consistently, so you can ditch the guilt and finally reach those goals without losing your sanity, friend!
I’ve got 5 solid tips for you, and these tips have helped me get rid of my scale (haven’t weighed myself in months… literally), love my body AND love taking care of it, and have made me happier.
Seriously, that sounds a lil’ dramatic and cliche but these tips have made. me. happier. So naturally, I want to share because I want YOU to be happy. Happiness is the bomb!
Let’s dig in.
5 TIPS TO HELP YOU “STAY ON TRACK” AND REACH YOUR ULTIMATE HEALTH GOALS
FIRST TIP: Attitude
This is one of the first things that needs to shift for the biggest impact to be made and for everything else to fall in place and “stick.” Seems strange, right? If you’re health goal was weight loss, you need to address your mind to change the shape of your body? Yes, yes you do.
First, find your “why”– why do you want this? What’s your motivation? Make it deep, give it some foundation and visualization, give it life. Do this by visualizing yourself already reaching your health goals. Find some affirmations that will keep you going when things get hard, because they’ll get hard.
Change is never easy. If you have a solid foundation and you know why you’re doing it, and you have systems in place to keep you going (like shouting your affirmations from the rooftop), you will keep going.
Second, bring your focus on working WITH your body instead of AGAINST it. So many times we drown ourselves in negative self-talk, yelling at our bodies for being fat or tired or disease-ridden.
But really, our bodies are just trying to tell us something… like hey, eat healthier foods or hey, maybe you should get outside and move because it’s beautiful and moving is wonderful.
We need to listen. Listen to what your body is telling you and start working WITH it. You’re a team! You and your body are the same entity, so stand strong and stand together. Doesn’t that feel nicer?
I remember when I made that shift, and woah. It took a few times for it to stick, but when I viewed my body’s symptoms as messages instead of annoyances, I listened. Things changed!
Third, gratitude. Gratitude is the fastest way to pull you out of a slump. Feeling down? Feeling fat and ugly? Find something to be grateful for. It feels SO foreign and SO hard to find something to be happy and grateful for when you’re feeling lousy, but try.
Make a list of 10 things. That attitude shift will follow and you’ll feel more motivated to keep moving forward.
SECOND TIP: Exercise
Cue the eye-roll because we’ve all heard it before ;).
OBVIOUSLY exercise is important for health, and obviously being consistent with exercise is better than not. BUT HOW, DANGIT? Why is exercising so hard?
A couple of theories.
First, our attitude surrounding exercise isn’t the best. We tell ourselves it’s hard, we tell ourselves we don’t like it. And guess what will manifest? Exercise sessions that are hard and we don’t like. We create what we create!
Baby steps. Tell yourself things like “this is hard but I can do hard things.” Or “it’s just exercise, I can do this.” Or don’t call it exercise! Just go for a walk and call it walking. You got this.
The second theory- we do exercises that we think we “should” and not necessarily ones we enjoy. Think running is the key to your weight loss, but hate running? Then it’s probably not the key to your weight loss. The stress of doing exercises we dislike is not going to help us reach out health goals- in fact, it hinders our progress significantly. Stress is the worst, yo.
The solution- find an exercise you enjoy. Try different types of exercises! Classes, bootcamps, indoor, outdoor, fast-paced, slow-paced. Start small if you need to. Go on a walk every day.
Just DO SOMETHING, and give yourself enough time to figure out if you like it or not. Get used to it, try it for a few weeks. And if it’s still not floating your boat, try something else.
I rotate types of exercises all the time. I’ll strength train for a few months, then do yoga every day for a few months. I consistently walk my dog every day, and a few times a month I’ll attempt a jog. The point is to moooooove.
DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CONSISTENCY WORKBOOK TO GET STARTED!
(and then keep reading)
THIRD TIP: Meal planning and/or meal prepping
Easily one of the most important tips, and there are a lot of popular phrases to back it up. “Abs are made in the kitchen.” “Weight loss is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise.”
When you cook for yourself, you have control over what you eat. Simple. You know exactly what’s going into your body. BUT kitchen burn-out is real, and cooking for yourself can get exhausting real quick.
My solution is to meal plan/meal prep each week (or as often as you can). You can download my meal planning guide here.
I make a list of the meals I’ll make for the week, write out what groceries I need, and acquire said groceries. Then I’ll prep all of the veggies for the week, prep some meat for meals, prep some snacks.
WHY? Because now I have an accountability factor that will keep me in line. I already have half of the meals made, so making dinner takes half the time and I will actually stick to my meal plan.
I can bring snacks with me when I go places because they’re ready to grab, so now I’m not eating the free desserts/candy/garbage at work or eating out of a vending machine when I’m hangry as heck.
Meal planning is key!
FOURTH TIP: ACCOUNTABILITY
Find a friend to do this with you! Find a program to sign up for. Find a free email challenge. Find a free class to attend. Find something, bring someone with you or meet someone there.
Accountability matters! We break promises to ourselves all the time (which we should all work on), so in the meantime find someone that you have a hard time breaking promises with. Make that buddy follow-through on these tips with you. Meal plan together. Shop together. Exercise together.
Whatever will help you stick to this lifestyle change until you can feel the enjoyments, benefits, and motivation for yourself!
FIFTH TIP: Inclusion
What?? You thought losing weight and reaching health goals was only about restriction?
Let’s flip that on its head.
Something I’m big on is inclusion. I seriously dislike the phrases “cheat day,” “falling off the wagon,” and “back on track.”
In order to make healthy a consistent thing, to make it more than “sticking to a diet,” you need to be more inclusive of what healthy looks like to you. All-or-nothing strategies rarely work when it comes to diet.
Limit sugar, but have the right kind of sugar occasionally and be okay with it. Don’t eat white flour, except sometimes. Focus on quality ingredients and cook at home, but still go out to eat with family and friends. Maybe just have a bite of dessert instead of the entire cheesecake.
This is a challenge because there are no hard-and-fast rules here. The important leg-work that needs to happen is listening to our bodies to know what we need and don’t need, and then using a dose of common sense. We know that sugar is not good for us, so don’t eat a lot of it. But enjoy it every now and then.
Don’t stress about “perfectly” sticking to one way of eating. Be more inclusive of what healthy looks like, so you don’t feel like you’re “falling off the wagon” and send yourself into a guilt-tripped downward spiral before you try again next year. Simply include more grace and occasional indulgences on your journey.
When you do these things, you can figure out for yourself what works for you. You can come up with your own “healthy” and stick with it. I enjoy trying things like paleo and keto to see what things I can implement in my own ways of eating, but I don’t necessarily just stick to one way of doing things. I try new eating ideas and then see how my body feels.
So…1) be kind to yourself and don’t stress about sticking to one way of doing things, 2) be more inclusive, 3) find a friend to do things with, 4) get out and move, and 5) shift your attitude to one of gratitude and working WITH your body, not against it.
Any tips you’d like to add? Experiences with the tips above? Let me know in the comments!