Living a healthy lifestyle is more easily obtained these days than it ever was before.
Can’t get to the gym, no problem there are workouts you can stream to your TV instead of doing the same old boring DVD every day. No $$ for a streaming service, no problem … YouTube has a wealth of free workouts.
Heck, I even know someone who just takes advantage of every free group workout that pops up in our area.
While we’ve increasingly gone down the rabbit hole of prepared foods (thank’s 1990s), in that same token, finding healthy options (and much more variety) has become so mainstream that big grocery stores are carrying them. No more making a pilgrimage to the health food store for items like almond flour and nutritional yeast. Shockingly, Walmart has gotten on the healthy bandwagon and carries so much more now.
With the wealth of availability, there’s no excuse these days. But yet, we still find ourselves sabotaging our health journeys. Here’s how to quit.
It’s not all or nothing.
I know you’ve all heard the 80/20 lifestyle idea. Eat well as much as you can and don’t deny yourself. I used to be the person who would come with my own little prepared food. Clearly that one meal was going to kill me, right? Over the years I’ve loosened the grip and realized that I was alienating people by eating this way. If we are out with friends, I order something indulgent sometimes, and other times I order healthy. But every single minute of every day can’t be perfect. Just make progress. If lunch was greasy pizza, then make a salad with grilled chicken for dinner. You don’t have to spiral out of control. Then again, you also don’t have to be a rigid in your healthy eating ways. No one has died from one singular donut on a Saturday morning.
Workout when you can.
Some weeks you might have time to get your body moving every weekday. Some weeks it might not work and you’ve only got time on Saturday. The point is, do what you can when you can and don’t beat yourself up for not working out. At the same time though, don’t let that one missed workout turn into 10 years of missed workouts. Keep your body moving in some way at least 3-5 times a week. There has been a lot of new information out there about not over working out. Find the balance, listen to your body, and live life.
If you’re going all willy nilly every single day and never thinking ahead about what you’ll eat, I can promise you will eat junk. Save time during the week by meal prepping on the weekends, taking snacks to work, and even logging what you plan to eat into apps like My Fitness Pal ahead of time. Not having a plan is planning to fail. Maybe you just aren’t that type of person, just put some thought into your day. Even slightly thinking ahead about what you are going to eat will making staying on track so much easier. So you can’t meal prep for an entire week? Why not just make double when you do cook and take that for lunch the next day.
Don’t get wrapped up in fads.
There is no earthly way to consume every miracle super food every single day. Don’t flop from vegan to paleo and suddenly find your life back in the junk food aisle. Just focus on eating more veggies and foods that you can identify where they came from. If it has a mother or grows from the ground, you’re good to go. If you don’t know where it came from, can’t recreate it with the ingredients listed at home, and can’t pronounce it … it might need to be limited.
Take advantage of the freezer and canned options.
There are tons of great pre-cut frozen veggies, healthy sides, and even full meals waiting for you in the freezer section. Cut down on cooking time by buying steamer bag vegetable sides and pre-chopped vegetables. You can have a healthy dinner on the table in 15 minutes with a steamer bag of veggies and chicken sauteed in the skillet. Consumer demand is apparently making things change, because I’ve recently seen more organic canned options at big stores like Wal-Mart. Just be sure to check the ingredients for extra ingredients you aren’t looking for.
Get some sleep.
Without proper sleep our bodies never repair themselves. So you got to the gym at 5am but you only got 4 hours of sleep? At this point you’re beating a dead horse. Want to burn more fat, have a clearer mind, and more energy … get more sleep. Rest is as equally important to being healthy as the food you put in your mouth and the steps you take running after your children.
The biggest takeaway from this. A healthy lifestyle isn’t all or nothing. Eat the cake. Have pizza on Friday night with the kids. But balance it out by taking care of yourself in all areas over the course of time, think long term and not quick fixes.