If you would like to see yourself in better shape in 2014, it’s time for you to start implementing healthier lifestyle habits. Fitness is the one thing that will not be handed to you on a plate and must be earned.
Making healthier lifestyle decisions is a lot easier than you think. It only takes three weeks to start building new habits. Here are some tips to help you get off on the right foot.
1- Eat every three to four hours
Have a (healthy) meal the second you wake up and eat every few hours until bedtime. Regular food intake helps to maintain your blood sugar levels, supplies your body with energy, stabilizes your mood and helps to prevent cravings.
Skipping breakfast or having a really late dinner will make you feel ravenous and increase the chances of binging. Irregular eating habits also makes it hard to stick to a healthy diet and will encourage uncontrollable cravings if you start feeling hungry.
2- Join a gym (and actually go!)
Exercise is the quickest, easiest and cheapest way to get fit. In addition to sculpting a lean body, it makes you feel ridiculously good about yourself. It boosts your immune system, prevents health diseases AND makes your jeans looser. Need more convincing?!
3- Sleep well and allow your body time to rest
Do you remember the last time you took a day off? If you would like to get into better shape, it is essential to sleep well and allow your body time off to recuperate from your daily activities. It will be extremely hard to exercise if you are lethargic or tired. You will be less productive in pretty much everything you do if you do not sleep well.
4- Eat natural, unprocessed food
Stay away from junk and eat more of any type of food that is in its natural state. This includes lean protein, healthy fats, fruits, veggies and wholegrain carbs. Restrict cheat meals to once or twice a week and let healthy food make the bulk of your diet. A bad diet will only prevent you from getting into shape.
5- Become more active
If you can’t remember the last time you walked anywhere, it would be time for you to start being more active. Use the stairs, walk to the supermarket or do anything to encourage movement in your daily routine. If your idea of leisure is being slouched in front of the TV, try to start switching your habits around.
6- Drink more water and cut out your liquid calories
Drinking water helps prevent hunger, keeps your body energized and boosts your performance. Staying hydrated is extremely essential for maintaining a healthy and fit body.
Start drinking more water, tea or coffee on a daily basis. Use low calorie sweeteners and avoid adding creams, full fat milk or white sugar to your beverages. Stay away from sodas, fruit juices or any other liquid calories. A regular Coke contains 39 grams of sugar! Drinking liquid calories will only contribute to weight gain and make it hard to keep track of your overall caloric intake.
Restrict your alcohol intake to once a twice a week and not only will you promote weight loss, but you will also feel better too.
7- Pay attention to portion sizes
It is extremely easy to overeat, whether you are at home or in a restaurant. Monitor how much food is on your plate and eat moderate serving sizes. One explanation for weight gain (or lack of fat loss!) is simply that you are eating too much without noticing.
8- Eat protein at every meal
Protein helps to suppress your appetite and helps you feel fuller for longer. It is also the fuel that will feed your muscles and give you sizzling muscle definition.
Once you start incorporating some of the above habits into your lifestyle, you will not only notice a change in your physique, but a healthier and happier mind too.
Here’s to a successful 2014!