Don’t deprive yourself of any food. The key to being healthy is everything in moderation. I absolutely LOVE frozen yogurt, and I know there is no way I would ever stop eating it. Thankfully, I’m not supposed to. The more you deprive yourself of one food, the more you want it. It all goes back to the saying “You always want what you can’t have.” That could not be more true. So enjoy your guilty pleasures, just be smart about it :)
WRITE IT DOWN ––
Recording what you eat is a big step when trying to lose weight. It makes you realize all the mindless snacking you may do, gets you to read the nutrition labels, causes you to think before you eat and much much more. My favorite app on my phone is probably My Fitness Pal. I’ve found it to be the most accurate.
It has you enter your weight, height, level of activity, and goal weight. Then it calculates the amount of calories you should consume in a day to achieve that weight. Separately you log your purposeful exercise, and it will subtract that from your net calories. I like this app because it allows you to lose weight in a healthy amount of time, and offers a wide variety of foods to record.
I am probably the worst at this. Front loading means you eat most of your calories earlier in the day. I do eat a large breakfast (about 500 calories), but front loading would encourage eating about 700 for breakfast, 500 for lunch, and 300 for dinner. Front loading could also mean you eat your sweets in the morning though, which is a great idea because the earlier in the day you eat your “cheat food” the more time you have to burn it off.. and who doesn’t want permission to eat sweets for breakfast!?
EAT THE SAME ON THE WEEKENDS —
It’s easy to stick to a diet during the school/work week, because it’s routine. Don’t let the weekends ruin all your hard work!! Going out to eat can be tricky, but a lot of restaurants offer a “skinny” section to their menu which is a great guide. If you want to splurge, then split with a friend and order a side salad. It’s okay to get a drink with your girlfriends, or order dessert. Just don’t forget moderation.. even on weekends.
EAT SLOWLY —
Take the time to enjoy your food. Don’t scarf it down like you’re never going to eat again! You want to give your stomach and mind time to register that it’s not hungry anymore. If thirty minutes passes and you’re still hungry, then go grab a healthy snack — don’t go back for seconds.
AVOID TEMPTATION —
Although you don’t want to deprive yourself, you also don’t want to tempt yourself. Keep your favorite foods around, but keep them in places where you aren’t going to see them every time you pass through the kitchen. When I buy a sweet treat, I keep it tucked out of sight so I have to go out of my way to get it. DO NOT keep it near your bed. I made that mistake one too many times..
The 80/20 rule means eating healthy 80% of the time and unhealthy 20% of the time. Nobody can be healthy 100% of the time! If you strive to do this then anytime you slip up you’ll feel guilty and that’s not good for your mental health. Choosing a healthy lifestyle should be fun, not stressful. You want to be mindful about how you’re treating your body, but don’t beat yourself up if you slip up or splurge here and there.
NON FOOD ACTIVITIES —
Eating when you’re bored is way too easy to do. Keep a list of activities you can do instead of eating. Examples would be: Read, go for a walk, start a hobby, paint your nails, call a friend, go shopping, watch a show, etc. Don’t resort to eating from boredom. It’s not worth it, and you’ll feel guilty afterwards.
MAKE SLEEP A PRIORITY —
This cannot be stressed enough. Sleep is so important for your physical and mental health. Treat your body with care and don’t wear yourself down. You will be more alert and willing to get up and do things with your day when you have a good nights rest. You will also be less inclined to have unhealthy cravings.
THINK FIT —
Food and hunger are SUCH mental things. If you envision yourself fit and healthy, you will become fit and healthy! Constantly think about your goal and how far you’ve come in reaching it.. not how far you have left to go.
EAT CLOSE TO THE EARTH —
This does not mean to eat organic. It simply means to eat unprocessed food! Anything that has been genetically modified or processed is obviously not intended to be put in our body. God created this earth, and he created all the yummy, NATURAL foods that come from it! If it takes years to expire it’s probably not a great choice. Choosing fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts (in moderation), and both animal + plant proteins is a healthy way of living. Why’s a nice, homemade meal always so much better? Because it has real and FRESH ingredients!
3 MILES OR 30 MINUTES —
A lot of people say to exercise one hour a day/seven days a week, but I think a good rule of thumb is three miles of walking/running, or thirty minutes of weight lifting, yoga, pilates, cycling, etc. Some days I choose to just run, and I definitely don’t run for hours. It’s important to not overwork your body. We are all trying to achieve different goals, and if you know 30 minutes isn’t going to be enough then by all means exercise longer, but the important thing is to listen to your body.