We are always looking for the next best thing to help us live a healthier happier lifestyle. We all want to have endless amounts of energy, a relatively fit toned physique, and a natural craving for the “healthy foods”. Being 4 months post partum I can assure you I was one of those people looking for the best way to live a healthier lifestyle, so I could keep up my energy with caring for a newborn. I feel like I have a good sense with what I need to do and what I need to be eating, but after having Aspen my motivation and drive was wayyyy down.
It wasn’t until I sat down one day and really starting to think back to when my health was at its best. I wrote down these tips and tricks in hopes that they will help you as well. Whether you are postpartum, a parent, student, really any one can incorporate these tips into your daily life to kick start your new healthy lifestyle.
1) My first tip, don’t skip breakfast. I do not want to get into the debate on eating breakfast versus not eating breakfast and the benefits of both. I do however, want to share my experience with breakfast and how eating this very important meal kicks off your day on a good step.
Personally, I find if I skip this meal I am starving the rest of the day, and no matter what or how much I eat I still feel hungry. When I do eat breakfast I feel satisfied and I’m more prone to making healthy decisions throughout my day. Now when I say I eat breakfast I am not eating a bagel, cinnamon roll, waffles with sugary syrup. These breakfast types are full of simple sugars that don’t take long to break down, thus leaving you feeling hungry again shortly after. I do like to eat eggs, sausage, turkey bacon, oatmeals, yogurts, fruits and sometimes smoothies. These options tend to leave me fuller longer.
Apart from just starting your day off right there are many benefits of eating breakfast to ensure you have a productive day. My favorite benefits are;
Prevents me from over eating throughout the day, it improves my mood (because honestly whose mood isn’t improved after eating?) improved concentration, and lastly it keeps blood sugar levels stable. So eat your breakfast or not, but I can’t be one of those fasting people, I become too h-angry too quickly.
2) Drink your WATER! I use to be a person who drank only a bottle of water at most throughout my entire day. This usually left me with a dull headache, fatigue, and overall feeling drained. I now drink no less than a gallon A DAY! My body craves water, because why wouldn’t it? We are made up of mostly water anyway.
Some of the benefits you will gain with drinking water:
Your energy will increase and it will relieve fatigue. This was a huge reason I started focusing on drinking my water daily. It also improves skin complexion. So ladies if you are looking for a natural way to clear your skin and have a softer complexion, drink you H20. Drinking water also promotes weight loss by flushing out toxins that build up in our bodies. This also helps us maintain regularity, need I say more with this benefit. Lastly, water is a natural remedy for headaches. Who would have thought drinking water would cure my headaches. Maybe I should have listened to my dad when I was little, whenever I said I had a headache he simply told me to go drink water. I had no idea this is what he meant. Thanks dad!
3) This tip is so over looked and it’s probably the best tip I have to help with motivation. Tip 3 Make small reachable goals. So many people tell me their ultimate goals such as “I want to lose 50 pounds, then I will be happy” First off this is the end goal, but what are your smaller goals? If you go day to day stepping on the scale and being disappointed with the number not being -50 pounds your motivation will soon disappear.
First off your happiness should never be determined by the number on the scale, this is simply an example of what people bring to my attention on the daily. I ask them what are your small goals, and they almost always look at me with a confused stare. Having an end goal of losing 50 pounds is fine, but if you focus on smaller more reachable goals,for example I want to lose 2 pounds in 10 days. This is reachable and more realistic than trying to lose 50 pounds as fast as possible. Reaching these smaller goals are also inspiring when you do lose that 2 pounds. This will ensure your motivation to continue is always present.
So tip #3 make small reachable goals with the end result being your ultimate goal.
4) Choose an exercise program that you enjoy. So many people think they need to do 30 minutes of cardio daily with abdominal exercises and booty workouts everyday. I can promise you if you do not like these activities you will not be motivated to continue these daily. Find activities you enjoy. If you like running, go running, but if you like hiking or playing soccer, or yoga and pilates, choose these exercises that you personally like. This helps make living an active lifestyle not feel like a chore. I use to be so addicted to the “bodybuilding” style of working out until I had Aspen. Now I don’t want to be in the gym 60-90 minutes a day, I want to incorporate Aspen in my active lifestyle. I love going on long walks with her, and going hiking, or even doing yoga at home. This style of activities are what I love to do now, so I know I will never get bored or feel like these activities are a chore for me.
So choose something you personally like. If you’ve always want to be a yogi, you grab that yoga mat girl and go to those classes! Don’t make exercise something you dread.
5) This last tip was probably my most difficult tip of all. Portion Control. I was a binge eater. I would sit down for a meal or even a snack and eat until I physically could not move. This is bad. Our bodies do not need this much food in one sitting. We easily become confused between what our bodies WANT rather than what our bodies NEED. I am a huge believer in listening to your body and eating when we are hungry. However, I am also a big believer in feeding our bodies with the ‘right’ foods and in moderation. Try this next tim you are grocery shopping. Try to buy only the foods on the outside isles, don’t buy any foods in the center. These are mostly processed foods, whereas the outside isles are your meats, veggies, fruit, all foods that have a relatively short shelf life. These are your go too foods.
Graduating from college I changed my whole life for the better. I began eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day to satisfy my hunger, but with healthier smaller portion sizes. I soon felt like I didn’t need to binge eat anymore to satisfy my cravings. This is a skill that is not developed over night, and quit frankly, I still struggle with on occasion.
I encourage you all to look up myfoodplate.com to grasp a better understanding on portion sizes. I promise you this will be an eye opener for most. It was for me.
SO there you are folks my 5 tips to help live a healthier lifestyle. I hope this helps you start and maintain a lifestyle that you are proud of and can maintain for the rest of your lives!