It’s not going to be fast, but it is going to be easy and it’s going to be effective! Follow these five little adjustments for a healthier lifestyle and watch the pounds drop (over time). Everyone is busy, everyone wants a quick fix, especially as we head into the holiday season. Every magazine, blog and fitness “expert” claims to hold the top-secret golden ticket to get you to your ideal weight, and sadly, a lot of people believe it. Time and time again. Understand this: There is no quick fix! There is no miracle food, no miracle powder, no miracle workout! But there is a way to make slight changes to the way you already operate to keep you moving in the right direction.
Don’t eliminate foods from your diet. Instead, focus on adding fruits and vegetables IN your diet. When you take away foods from your diet, you end up missing them and eventually they creep back in. It’s tempting to follow trend diets that promise instant results if cut out food groups left and right. But the key to long-term success is focusing on increasing the high fiber, low sugar, natural foods in all of your meals, and enjoying the foods you love in moderation.
Your easy tip- Portion sizes should not change! That means squeezing out a lot of that pasta with a heartier sauce loaded with veggies or reducing the size of that burger to make room for a larger salad.
Don’t pressure yourself to workout more. Instead, find the activities that make you feel great while you are doing them, not just when they are done. We’ll be the first to admit that the best part of a workout is the end. But getting to the gym is far easier when we’re doing something we love. Dance your butt off in a Zumba class, let the stress of your day melt away with Yoga, or hit the weights while you enjoy your favorite playlist. Find what you love, and do that. Don’t stress about adding five or six running miles to your week if you hate running! Don’t stress about making time to drive to a specialty studio across town! Don’t fret about making time to lift weights if you find it boring and too difficult to master. You will never stick with something that doesn’t make sense. Find your fitness passion- everyone has one.
Your easy tip- If you are really stuck on this one, ask your closest friends if you can tag along to their favorite workout. At the very least, you might discover that what you love is hanging out with your buddies, regardless of the exercise, which is just fine. Working out with friends builds an instant support network and adds an accountability aspect.
Do more effortless movement. You can do it. Set a timer on your phone off go off every 45 minutes. Get up and walk around. Doesn’t matter where you work, you can walk around for at least five minutes without raising eyebrows. Bathroom breaks are not outlawed yet, are they? Take a walk up and down the stairs, around the building, or to the corner and back. It all adds up. The benefits of this are mental, too- you will return to work or the task at hand both refreshed and de-stressed. In just five minutes. That is a promise.
Your easy tip- In addition to your five-minute walks, try a quick desk workout during your lunch break! We love to reduce stress with some midday chair yoga.
Hydrate, with water. Don’t wait until you are thirsty, keep a bottle of water close by at all times. Notice how it can keep hunger at bay. Notice how you don’t feel like taking a little trip to the vending machine for a soda at 3 pm. Notice how much nicer your skin looks when you are consistently hydrated! Add a squirt of lime or a slice of cucumber, a sprig of mint or rosemary. Go nuts with the possibilities!
Your easy tip- Remeber that 5-minute walking break from Tip #3. Make it a goal to finish your water bottle by the time that timer goes off every 45 minutes, then take a walk to the water fountain!
Learn to share. Whenever possible, share your meals with your friends. Restaurant portions are huge. If there is less on your plate, there will be less on your waist later. Sharing is fun, too- that means you can get a little taste of many things instead of overdoing it with just one dish. This idea of sharing goes deeper than just food… consider sharing the cost of a personal trainer, that way it’s not only a better value proposition but also a lot more fun. Learn to share your fitness goals and achievements. There are many trackers and apps to help you record your progress- let the world know how well you are doing! Making note of your progress will keep you motivated to keep going on the right path and find support from those around you.
Your easy tip- If your friend is not interested in sharing a meal, ask for a box when your entree arrives. Box up half of your meal immediately so you can enjoy the rest later.
There is no reason these five tips cannot be worked into your day. I dare you to make a liar out of me!