It’s no surprise to hear about the growing epidemic of obesity in America today. We must face it. Round is the new black.
It is getting ever more common to see unhealthy people on the streets, around the workplace, and on our television sets.
But round leads to diabetes, heart disease, strokes and a plethora of other scary things that aren’t going to make anybody’s Christmas list this year.
As it turns out, there are habits you can learn to get fit and stay fit. Incorporate these habits into your routine to shed the pounds and shred the abs:
1. Eat REAL FOOD
Cut out the junk, or at least limit it.
Real food is food that is minimally processed or not processed at all.
This includes fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, healthy fats and oils, and a whole lot of other goodness that comes right from mother nature. Sure, you can have a treat every now and then, and it is important to enjoy the food you’re eating. However, many people eat too much processed food.
2. Cut Back on Sugar
Sugar is added to so many things, it’s terrible for your insides, and it can become a stronghold standing between you and getting fit. It should definitely be the most limited “food” you take in.
This includes fake sugar, too, as artificial sugars can be just as bad, if not worse, for you.
The majority of people I notice that are sucking down the big gulp of diet soda usually have a couple big gulps hanging over their belt. Let’s not forget that it wreaks havoc on your teeth, too.
3. Get Sleep – Get LOTS of Sleep
Spend some quality time with your mattress every night. Proper rest is crucial to a healthy body.
There’s a bit of contradictory information from studies recommending how much sleep we should be getting, but the general consensus seems to be somewhere at no less than six hours and no more than ten hours every night.
A good rule of thumb is to aim for eight hours of actual sleep time.
Quality time also means preventing electronic devices from butting in. It’s been shown that the light from electronic screens postpones our ability to fall asleep and get a proper night’s rest.
4. Make Getting in Shape a Lifestyle
Getting in shape for the summer, only to let the pounds pile back on during the holidays, can lead to a vicious cycle of eventually not caring.
Getting in shape isn’t something that you should do. Being in shape should be part of your lifestyle.
Don’t wait for any occasion or let health be controlled by your feelings. Find the physical activities you enjoy and incorporate them into your week. Find the healthy foods you enjoy and shift them into meals. Wash, rinse, repeat.
5. Focus on How Great Healthy FEELS
I have days where I want nothing more than a big bowl of ice cream for dinner and to run a marathon… of my favorite show on Netflix. It’s easy for this to become the norm, but it leaves us feeling like a sloth.
Instead of skipping a workout, focus on how great you’ll feel after. Instead of succumbing to the convenience of fast food, think about how eating a balanced meal will give you the energy you need.
Healthy can sometimes be difficult, but it feels amazing.
6. Have Realistic Time Expectations
We are bombarded with so many weight loss quick fixes, we begin to develop expectations that starting a new weight loss regimen should result in seeing the scale drop immediately. There are programs out there where this can happen, but it’s rarely a long term pattern. The pounds drop in the short-term, and then add back up over time.
Real lifestyle changes to your health take time.
There may have been years of eating poorly or not exercising for a person to get to where they are, so they shouldn’t expect it all to be reversed by a weekend detox.
It may seem daunting that healthy takes time, but the sooner you start, the sooner you reach your goals.
7. Push Through the Pain
When it comes to exercise, starting something new can result in soreness in the body that makes it even more difficult to work out the next time around. This is normal, and often times it is temporary.
If your muscles have been jogged, push through the pain that you experience as your body adapts.
Be realistic, though. It’s important to know how your body should feel to differentiate between sore muscles and conditions that could make matters worse.
8. Mix it up
Doing the same activities and eating the same foods over and over again can lead to a mundane lifestyle that leads us wanting more. Mix up the fitness you’re doing as well as the the healthy meals you’re eating.
When it comes to physical activity, you can achieve this by having something new to do each season of the year.
As far as nutrition is involved, find a month of healthy meals you enjoy to keep your taste buds guessing while keeping meal prep easy to manage.
9. Celebrate Your Progress
Seeing results from hard work is a great thing, so tell someone about it!
Make sure you take time to recognize the little victories and accomplishments that add up to the bigger goals. Celebrate your progress and don’t beat yourself up when you still have more work to do.
Remember that healthy can take time and things may not always progress the way you expect. Celebrating your progress can help keep you on track for the long haul.
Out of Shape Sucks
Just because something is easy, like being lazy and eating junk food, doesn’t mean we have to do it. Those things can feel rewarding in the short-term, but they deteriorate our health in the long-term.
You don’t need to stress about every little thing you do, just focus on the things that can make big differences.
Don’t focus on having to run 5 miles a day or being completely strict about what goes into your mouth.
Turn your focus towards physical exercise a few times a week and making sure the vast majority of the food you eat is real food.