Do you ever feel like feeling fit and healthy might be practical for the Instagram influencer who wears bright gym leggings and has perfectly blown out hair, but not for you?
Let's face it, the average girl has a job, bills to pay, a pet or a child to care for, and a to-do list a mile long. Finding the time to exercise and eat healthy regularly seems impossible! But what if it wasn’t? A few healthy habits put in place can set you up for success in your quest for a healthy and fit body.
Prepare or Prepare To Fail
Prepare your food and drinks in advance. You don’t need to hardcore “meal-prep” to set up your week to include healthy meals, but a little preparation goes a long way. Cook up some protein, chop fruits and veggies, and portion out food in containers. Find a cute lunchbox and plastic containers to fill up before you head out to work or school. Having your food on hand will stop you from eating take-out, skipping meals, or getting off track on your commitment to healthy eating. An hour or two a week to do a little preparation can save you time (and money!) when you’re on the go.
Having your food on hand will stop you from eating take-out, skipping meals, or getting off track on your commitment to healthy eating.
If you’re like me, you’re grabbing an iced coffee before you even think about water. But drinking the right amount of water daily for your body can change how you feel, fight bloating, curb cravings, hydrate skin, and boost your energy. Most athletes or fitness gurus aim for one gallon of water a day or half your body weight in ounces. At first, that much water seems daunting (won’t I have to pee all day?). Give your body several days to adjust, and it won’t seem like such a chore. Your skin and digestive system will thank you.
Personally, I carry a gallon sized jug (Hydrojug is my go-to). Not only does it keep me accountable for how much I’ve had to drink, but it’s on hand throughout the day, without having to constantly re-fill something small.
Plan Your Exercise
It’s pretty typical that we drag ourselves to the gym Monday through Friday and then cut loose on the weekends to rest and relax. But weekdays are often the most tiring and the busiest. Switch up your gym routine to give yourself several weekdays off, and go on the weekend instead. There’s more time flexibility, and you’ll get the benefit of a less busy gym without fighting for equipment or a treadmill. During the week, you’ll feel less pressure to make it to the gym at the end of a busy day, because you’ve planned differently! You might even find yourself more relaxed and rejuvenated by some quality, weekend gym time.
Be a Treater, Not a Cheater
I hate calling delicious food "cheat meals." Since when is a tasty drink or ice cream cone such a terrible thing? Rather than calling every yummy food I put in my mouth a “cheat,” I prefer to call them a “treat.” With a consistently healthy lifestyle, a few treats here and there is not going to make or break your journey to a fit and healthy body.
In fact, it’s good to treat yourself. Too much restriction or anxiety over food is likely to end in food guilt or binging. Snacking on a piece of chocolate, celebrating a birthday, and having a margarita on a Friday night with the girls is all a part of self-care. Finding the balance of healthy food and treats will result in a more long-term commitment, rather than yo-yo dieting.
Creating a healthy lifestyle that feels doable is accomplished by a collection of habits that sets you on a path to feeling confident in your body. Your routine doesn't have to be extreme or overwhelming to see and feel results. Life is pulling us in every direction. The solution is to build in time for self-care, so we feel better in our bodies and our minds. Incorporate these healthy habits, and you will feel empowered by how simple, daily routines can make fitness a regular part of your lifestyle.