I often write my blog posts assuming my general audience is made up of other bloggers and people like me who are looking for a few new recipes or tips to live a healthier life. But maybe you’re new to this scene and you’ve never heard of quinoa and you avoid vegetables at all costs. Maybe you’d like to lose some weight and get healthier, but this is all so overwhelming and scary and there’s so much to learn. I’ve put together these 5 simple tips that you should know before starting this journey, based on my own experience.
1. Baby steps
Before you go all cold turkey on junk food and start working out like crazy 7 days a week, take a step back. You don’t have to do it that way, because you will eventually burn out. Start slow, like cutting out soda instead of committing to eat salads at every meal. Find a way to exercise so you feel happy afterwards, instead of feeling like it’s a chore. Eventually you can keep adding on more healthy habits to replace the unhealthy ones, but doing it all in one week is guaranteed to put you back where you started.
2. Don’t Diet
Think again before starting a weird fad diet that bans all white foods. Don’t even bother cutting carbs. And please DON’T go gluten free unless your doctor has told you to do so. Instead of restricting specific foods, try some new, healthy foods. Start cooking. Try recipes that incorporate lots of veggies and plenty of protein. If you don’t like one, mark that one as a failure and try another. Practice makes perfect! Keep your favorites in a binder so you can always find them when it’s time to cook.
3. Don’t fall victim to marketing ploys
If it’s being advertised, you don’t need it. All those As Seen on TV products are endorsed by models who probably had never seen the product before they filmed the commercial. If you’re walking along the aisles of the grocery store and a box of granola bars catches your eye because it’s “Low-fat!” or “With Fiber!”, don’t buy it. Anything that has to label itself with a health claim is actually a surefire way to let you know it’s NOT healthy.
Like I said in #1, don’t go crazy at first and commit to an intense workout program. Just ease yourself into it. If you’re really inactive, start with walking around the neighborhood. Chances are there’s some sort of activity you secretly have always wanted to try. Don’t let yourself get in the way! Try that yoga class. Get a gym membership. Yes, you’ll be uncomfortable the first few times you go. Just remember that everyone else has been in that same place at one point too.
5. Don’t give up
This one is important. It’s awesome that you’re invested in this and trying to make a change, so just keep on truckin! If you slip up, it’s okay. Don’t let that ruin all your hard work. Just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and eat a banana.