In July 2015 I decided to start my healthy life style journey. I wanted to be healthier and was not happy with my current health. I was 25 years old and had put on quite a bit of weight since going gluten free in 2013 due to a severe gluten intolerance. I also had high cholesterol.
My starting weight was 150 lbs at 5’0″ and I am now a healthy 120 lbs and my cholesterol is great.
Below are the things I did to become healthier.
- Start Somewhere: Make the decision that you will be starting your healthy life style and follow through on it. I say healthy life style because that is how you maintain it. Yes “diets” are a quick fix if you can follow through on them, but they are not permanent.
- Start Small: Set realistic goals that aren’t weight based. Personally I started with walking on my lunches 3 times a week and taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Drink Enough Water Daily: Drink at least half of your ounces in water daily (150lb/2=75oz.)
- Don’t Drink Your Calories: That means no soda, juices, energy drinks, Starbucks, coffee flavoring, beer, or wine. If this is a struggle for you then I would at least limit the amount that you drink. Once or twice a week for a calorie filled drink suggested. So you can still have your Friday favorite, but limit it to one.
- Get a Health Tracker: I personally used a Fitbit and have loved the versatility and accuracy. It helped me count my calories and stay on track. They also recently added a Female Health tracker within the app that you can use for tracking all female related items. If Fitbit is not your preference then there are multiple health trackers that have similiar qualities.
- Start Fidgeting While Working/Sitting: You can burn up to 350 more calories a day than someone who remains stationary, according to a study at the Mayo Clinic. As I am short in stature I lift my desk seat up and kick my feet the majority of the day at work. I’ve personally seen more definition in my legs and have been able to sustain my weight with this new habit.
- Find Fun Ways To Work Out Either With A Friend Or A Program: Having a friend to workout with can hold you accountable. If you happen to prefer working alone I would suggest a program. Personally I used the 21 Day fix challenge as my starting place. I quickly moved on to other HIIT workouts and now enjoy doing yoga. My favorite free ones are XHIT and DOYOUYOGA.
- Portions, Portions, Portions: No surprise here, just being aware of your portion everything you eat. Counting calories can be helpful, but at times it is not enough. I first started counting calories and lost 12 lbs in 4 months, which was great until my physical reported I had high cholesterol. (Who knew that eating a brownie for dinner instead of actual food would do that.) Which is why it is important to not only count your calories, but have a well rounded diet. Veggies, fruits, proteins, carbs, and fats should all be present in your daily diet and portioned correctly.
- 80/20 Rule: If you would prefer not to do a rigorous program such as counting colored containers I would stick with the 80/20 rule. Eat healthy 80% of the time and the other 20% is less healthy options.
- Find Ways To Create Healthy Treats: I have some recipes here for more details. But basically if you have a sweet tooth then you will want to find healthier alternatives to satisfy that craving. Get creative!
- Enjoy The Journey: I can’t express to you enough how important it is to enjoy the journey. Always looking at what you will do when you are your goal weight will not get you through the rough days. By enjoying where you are now to where you started can be a big booster.
- Take Progress Photos Monthly: Take photos along the way and on your rough days look at them. You will start to see definition in the oddest places and it can make you proud of your journey so far.
- Celebrate Each Step: If your first goal is to lose 5 lbs and this week you didn’t quite make it but instead you walked up the stairs without clutching your sides from being out of breathe then celebrate that! You are doing amazing things to your body even if you didn’t lose the 5 lbs you wanted to.
If you have any tips that have helped you on your journey don’t forget to share, I would love to hear from you!