It’s that time of year. The overeating fest that began with Thanksgiving and culminated with Christmas leftovers is behind us and it’s time to think about getting back to healthy habits again.
This is especially true for me this year. Six years ago, I began adopting a healthier lifestyle that resulted in me losing 90 pounds. Unfortunately, over the two years, I’ve been reminded that it’s much easier to gain weight than to lose it. That stops now, though, because I have no desire to go back to morbid obesity.
I’m committing to making these 10 ways to get in shape a part of my daily life again.
1. Adopt healthier eating habits. Today is a good day to toss out all the leftover sweets from Christmas and get back to (or start) a well-balanced diet. The website, Skinny Taste is one of my favorite sources of inspiration for healthy foods that real people eat. My whole family enjoys the recipes.
2. Drink more water. I try to drink at least 64 ounces of water a day. It keeps me hydrated and healthy – and sipping on water helps prevent mindless snacking.
3. Cut down on (or cut out) sodas and sugary drinks. I love my sweet tea, but I try to limit myself to drinking it only at lunch and supper. If you’re drinking too many sugary drinks, you may need to cut back gradually by replacing one or two servings a day with water and/or using a little less sugar each time you prepare beverages, such as tea, that you make at home.
4. Get moving. Find an activity that you enjoy so you’re more likely to stick with it long-term. Walking is a fantastic form of exercise because it’s safe for nearly every fitness level and doesn’t require special equipment. Consider getting the whole family involved with a daily walk, bike ride, or other family-friendly activity.
5. Find a support system. I have always found that I am much more successful in my weight-loss efforts when I enlist the help of a support system. It doesn’t matter if you go to formal meetings or ask a group of friends – in real life or online – to hold you accountable. Just find a support system that you can count on to help you stay motivated.
6. Get the family involved. That support system may just be your family. Get them involved not only in your activity, but in your healthy transformation in general. Go shopping for new, healthy foods together. Cook together. Try new activities as a family.
7. Educate yourself. Take time to learn about health and nutrition. Many of us think of getting healthy as starting a diet of carrots and celery sticks, but there is much more to it than that – and much tastier ways to eat healthy. Educate yourself and consider including education about health and nutrition as part of your homeschool.
8. Set reasonable, attainable goals. People tend to be all or nothing when it comes to making healthy lifestyle changes, which often results in giving up too quickly. Set reasonable, measurable goals, such as losing up to 1 pound a week, working out for 30 minutes at least 3 days a week, or drinking 64 ounces of water each day.
9. Purchase new workout clothes. Sometimes some cute new workout clothes or a good pair of running or walking shoes is enough motivation to get me started those first few days – and starting can be the most difficult part. If some new workout gear sparks your motivation, what are you waiting for? Plus, depending on the activity, that new gear may be a necessity, rather than a splurge. Good shoes so your feet and knees have the proper support and a quality sports bra are must-haves in my book.
10. Don’t let a minor setback derail your efforts. Despite your best intentions, old habits can be hard to break. Don’t let an unhealthy meal or a missed workout get you off track. A bad day doesn’t have to become a bad week. Consistency is the key, not perfection.
What are your best tips for living a healthy lifestyle?
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