Each year, approximately 45 million Americans vow to go on a diet. Keto. Atkins. Weight Watchers. Beach Body. NutriSystem. And the list goes on. Sure, some people see amazing results using these systems as when used correctly, they certainly offer weight loss benefits. But if you’re one of the millions of dieters who are sick of dieting, this article is for you. Here you’ll find tips for creating a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle that is attainable and maintainable. Not a yo-yo diet or something so strict that you find it impossible to stick to. This is about creating a healthy lifestyle, which may include embarking on a weight loss journey that involves healthy eating habits, adequate exercise, and self-love.
Read on to discover a few things you need in your life if you want to stop dieting and start living.
Exercise You Actually Want to Do
When something feels like a chore, chances are, you won’t continue doing it. This is the problem with so many exercises. People try them out with the goal of losing weight or getting in shape but the task of exercising soon shifts from fun and invigorating to tedious and taxing. To avoid this exercise slump, choose an activity that you enjoy doing. The first step in this process is to start thinking outside the box. There are countless ways to participate in physical activity that don’t resemble the exercise routines you’re used to. Some of these activities include:
Most athletic sports require a certain level of physical activity to perform. Even golf! Skip renting a golf cart and walk from one hole to the next. And with increased upper body strength you can drive the ball a lot farther. Gardening requires upper body strength, along with hoeing the soil, digging, pulling weeds, and planting seeds. Any activity can take the form of exercise if performed correctly and with a little forethought. So, remember, exercising doesn’t have to mean hitting the gym and comes in all forms.
Creativity in the Kitchen
Just like exercise, eating healthy should be fun and interesting, not tasteless and boring. This means creating delicious, colorful, and varied meals that pack a punch in terms of protein, whole grains, healthy fats, and other essential vitamins and nutrients. There are so many ways to bump up your cooking game. You can find countless healthy recipes online, network with friends or search your local bookstore. If you live near a farmer’s market, try investing in locally grown, fresh produce. These fruits and vegetables offer less preservatives and hormones for keeping items fresh since they are often delivered straight from the farm.
The more aesthetically pleasing your plate is, the more enjoyment you’ll get out of eating it. Incorporate lots of color, flavors, and variety into your meals and you’ll be surprised at how easy and enjoyable eating healthy can be. Short on time? Try meal prepping on Sundays for the week. Meal prep saves time and money when you purchase certain ingredients in bulk and use them in several meals. Pre packaged them for lunch and dinner so they are easy to grab-and-go on those busy mornings. This will help stop you from indulging in fast food, which is usually processed and high in saturated fats.
A Positive Circle of Friends
We often surround ourselves with people and friends that are like-minded. This means that if you’re embarking on a new, healthier and more self-serving lifestyle, you need to surround yourself with people that support you and your goals. Negativity is a toxic thing. When it comes to transforming your life, the last thing you need is someone putting negative thoughts into your mind. You want someone who is encouraging, supportive, and may even be interested in transforming their own lives alongside you. Distance yourself from people who are discouraging or try to convince you the change your mind or behaviors.
If you’re tempted by bad habits like excessive drinking, overindulging or a lazy lifestyle, you may need to eliminate those individuals who still practice these behaviors. Leading a healthy lifestyle is similar to addiction recovery. You’re turning over a new leaf and that means changing old, bad habits and adopting new, more fulfilling and healthier ways of life. And part of this process may include finding a new, more supportive group of friends who motivate and inspire you.
Mindfulness looks different for everyone but the general concept is the same. Mindfulness is about tuning into your inner self – your needs, desires, feelings, and emotions. It’s about being more aware of yourself, your surroundings, and your reaction to those surroundings. Practicing mindfulness makes you feel more in control of your life, both present and future. You have a better handle on your emotions and the way you react to others. Mindfulness can do wonders for people with anger issues, anxiety, and stress. But it’s a healthy practice for anyone looking to improve their life and mental state.
By practicing mindfulness you become one with your emotions, feelings, sensation and thoughts. You possess the ability to accept these feelings, internalize what serves you, and release the rest out into the world. This includes negative energy or thoughts. Mindfulness is often achieved through meditation, yoga, or simply sitting still and quiet for a few moments each day. It’s easy, inexpensive, and something everyone can, and should, do as part of a healthier lifestyle.
Self-love is an extension of mindfulness. It’s about taking the time to indulge and foster the things you love and are passionate about. Self-love might mean taking a long walk each evening following dinner, meeting friends for lunch or coffee, or taking a yoga class. Self-love also means treating yourself kindly and with respect. All too often we are critical of ourselves and don’t give ourselves enough credit for the hard work we do. Try starting each day with a positive affirmation. Look yourself in the mirror and give yourself a compliment. It doesn’t have to be about your looks. In fact, it might be best to start out recognizing and acknowledging your non-superficial characteristics.
Whether it’s in the morning or at night, it’s important to make time for yourself. You can’t be a supportive friend, partner or parent if you constantly neglect your own needs and happiness.
There is a difference between getting enough sleep and getting quality sleep. There are certain ways to ensure that the sleep you’re getting is actually benefiting your overall well-being. Try keeping a consistent routine of going to bed and waking up at the same time. This helps your body get into a natural rhythm. If you tend to take naps in the afternoon that interfere with your sleep at night, you may want to eliminate these from your routine. Creating a calming and comfortable space is also key to a quality night’s sleep. You can use room darkening shades in your bedroom to keep any external light from peeking in. Sleep masks are another option if you’re sensitive to light. Avoid eating fatty foods or drinking alcohol or coffee prior to sleep. All of these items can interfere with your body’s natural sleep patterns. Getting quality sleep is essential for weight loss, mental clarity, and overall functioning.
Kick Bad Habits
We all have them. Bad habits are hard to break. Whether it’s smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, engaging in dangerous behavior or some other type of negative indulgence, these bad habits can directly affect your health and stop you from living your best life. Smoking causes a long list of health complications including difficulty breathing, lung cancer, and yellowing of the teeth and skin just to name a few. Excessive alcohol consumption can cause complications with your liver and other major organs. Anytime you engage in dangerous behavior, you’re running the risk of getting seriously injured. You also can’t focus on the positive things in life or improving your health when your daily routine includes unhealthy practices.
No one is perfect and we all make mistakes. But it’s important to forgive yourself and move forward. Dwelling on missteps or mistakes can lead to feelings of depression and failure. These negative thoughts can keep you from accomplishing your goals and following your dreams. Forgiveness means cutting yourself some slack. One of the best ways to support forgiveness in your life is to set realistic goals. When you set goals that are completely out of your ability or current scope, you’re setting yourself up for failure. And with that, comes feelings of defeat. This holds true for weight loss and in life in general. Start with small goals and as you achieve them and become stronger, you can expand your horizons. Without mistakes, you’d never learn what works and what doesn’t. So view these bumps in the road as small life lessons that make you stronger and wiser about future decisions.
Leading a healthy lifestyle looks different for everyone but contains the same basic principles. You need to maintain a healthy weight that allows you to participate in physical activity and perform day to day tasks. But your physical health isn’t the only thing you should be concerned with. Fostering your mental and emotional well-being will only make you stronger and more capable for meeting your weight loss, and other goals. So when it comes to live a healthy lifestyle, think about nurturing your entire self and everything will fall into place.
Article submitted by Community Writer