For the past three years or so, I’ve been relatively healthy in diet and exercise. I’ve learned a lot. And each time I experience something new and learn, I become better. Better in general. I begin to understand more and more about my own body and nutrition and what feels good and what doesn’t feel so good.
At the beginning of 2014, I made a commitment to myself, my well-being. I was going to consistently eat right and exercise for the entire year. Measurements and weight aside, I wanted to be strong and energized and healthy. Until this commitment, I would have months of regression before going back to diet and exercise. While it’s only been two months, I want to share with you what are, and what will continue to be, my secrets to success.
8 Tips for a Consistently Healthy Diet
- Exercise often.
Personally, the more I exercise, the less food I feel the need to consume. If I weigh myself down with food too much, I can’t exercise. So when I exercise, I eat lightly and feel great and know that my calories are going towards rebuilding muscles, and replenishing energy, not towards undesirable areas! They have to be good calories, though!Also, I find that the more I exercise, the more I am consistently motivated to get out to the gym and be active. So if it’s hard now, or even a month or three from now, if you stick with it, it will become easier and more enjoyable. I’m experiencing this process of enjoyment myself, slowly but surely. On the days I feel more lethargic, I motivate myself with my favorite running music. Try not to give in to those days.
- Drink LOTS of Water.
Like regular exercise, this also helps with keeping you from eating too much. Drink a lot of water throughout the day and before every meal, and you will have less need (and less room) to fill yourself up with empty calories. It should be a no-brainer. Water is cleansing and drinking your daily dose can do great things for your body. I have to train my mind to drink more water. It’s harder than it sounds.Oh, and drink tea, also! Tea is good. I’ve officially eliminated the need to add sugar to my tea. Chia seeds are surprisingly good in tea, too! It is slightly more filling than water, if you need something with a little flavor, texture, and protein.
- Mix up your routines.
Don’t eat the same thing every day; and don’t do the same workout routine every day, either, for that matter. Your body needs variety. Without variety, you could regress, become bored, and have cravings. Your body needs a plethora of different vitamins, minerals, protein, and carbs.By changing up your food intake (at least every week. I food-budget a couple types of meals per week), you’re less likely to become bored with the food, you discover more delicious ways to eat healthy, and you will begin to enjoy the food you’re eating more and more for it’s healthful values.
- Don’t weigh yourself obsessively.
Let the results come naturally, along with the feeling of being invigorated with energy and quality foods. People don’t understand that the scale is only one small factor of what it means to be healthy. If you obsess over the numbers too much, it could become a big problem. Weight fluctuates and takes time. Instead, I like to focus on mirror-based results. As long as I’m feeling good, and eating right, the results will come naturally.Use weight as a reference point. Weigh yourself no more than once per week. Results are good, but what we really want to achieve here is long term health and fitness. Therefore:
- Think long term.
Don’t give up. Keep yourself motivated.On the bad days, remind yourself that, even if results are slow to come (or even if you lost progress!), know that they will come, and know that a full year, two years, five years, will yield only good things for your body.
- Don’t overdo it.
Some people restrict too much from their diet, too quick, in order to achieve faster results. What’s more important than fast results is how strong you feel, how much energy you have, and how healthy you feel.Don’t be too hard on yourself and listen to your body, in both diet and exercise.
- Know and understand your body.
Learning about your body comes with time. You and only you know what it needs or what it doesn’t need. If a certain food is hard for you to eat in moderation, try to stay away. Unless you know you’ll have cravings and binge eat. In which case, I recommend saving the sugar cravings for your cheat days.Which brings me to my next point:
- Cheat days!
Accept your cheat days. Let them be, whether it’s scheduled or they happen on their own. Even if you happen to overeat a few days in a row, let the snack attack happen, and continue on your way.My body knows what it needs and always tells me that I need to pull back, and then I’m back on track for another week until the next snack attack happens. Yes, I’m calling them snack attacks. They are quite savage and unforgiving. But I feel that these cheat days are very important for your sanity!
Who else will be joining me on my year long (and beyond) adventure to a hearty, healthy, fit lifestyle? What tips would you like to share? Successes/failures? Comment below. Also, check out my new interview with holistic health coach Jaison Greene!
Briauna Mariah (: