Almost everybody already knows the “magic solution”: diet and exercise. But what does that actually mean? What diet should you follow? What’s the best exercise?
“Diet” should not be a short term, hurry up and lose 10 pounds really fast and then fall off of the wagon type deal. Your diet should be a lifestyle change, not a fleeting fad or quick fix. The changes you make should work into your everyday life and be permanent.
If you do this, you won’t have to feel guilty or that you failed when you “cheat” or have a dessert for your birthday or a special meal on vacation. Every day is a new opportunity to start over for the rest of your life.
Try these tips to help get you started.
Focus on real foods – not “food-like” items. Think about and look for foods that are their own ingredients, like romaine lettuce, carrots, strawberries, plain yogurt, turkey, sweet potatoes, quinoa, etc.
One of the ways to find these items and simplify your shopping is to stick to the outside of the grocery store; that’s where all the good stuff is. Be selective about items in boxes and packages, these should truly be the “sides” on occasion and not the full meals.
Attempt to meal plan, even if it is just one day at a time. Pack lunches and snacks when you can so that you know exactly what you are going to eat and when. Although it does take a little bit of time in the beginning, it will save you time when lunch or dinner time come and you are really hungry and fast food seems more tempting.
Drink plenty of water: 60-100 ounces per day is a good general recommendation.
“Movement” is just a better connotation of “exercise”. Moving is good for our bodies physically and mentally. It can release stress, increase the chemicals in our brains that allow us to feel happy and relaxed. Physically it exerts our energy so we can rest better; it helps improve the function of our heart and lungs and our bones and muscles.
Try these suggestions to get yourself moving.
Start slow and easy! There is no need to jump right into a vigorous heavy-duty program.
Walking and water exercise are great for most people; they are fairly easy on the joints and back, and you can increase your distance or pace that works for you.
Most importantly do something you enjoy; this is the type of exercise you will be most likely to actually do and continue.
Check with your provider before beginning anything new or strenuous.
Get your head ready!
First and foremost: love who you are where you are. Don’t compare yourself to other people, especially people on social media or on television. #filters #photoshop
Avoid unrealistic expectations and demands. Achieving a healthy lifestyle is a process. It takes time, but will improve multiple aspects of your life, not just a number on a scale. Keep track of your overall health and how you feel, not just numbers. All change takes time and can be scary or overwhelming, but it is possible.
Find a friend, a group, or a support circle willing to make some changes with you and to help encourage you through your progress and your rough patches.
A lot of overeating or poor eating can be rooted in depression or anxiety, so if you feel like symptoms are keeping you from making changes, then you can get help.
Reach out to a therapist for coping skills and additional support.