With New Year's resolutions still fresh in your mind and the recent release of my ebook 'Sweet simple cooking', I thought I would write a post about how to improve your eating habits and overall health. Being healthy and the feeling of being fit have, personally, increased in importance over the last three years. Once I realized the difference my eating habits and fitness routine made to both my physical and psychological health, I decided to improve my lifestyle and make lifelong changes. I know I'm using big words, but it's so important to care about yourself and to invest both time and motivation into creating those lifestyle changes.
1. CREATE A WORKOUT SCHEDULE & STICK TO IT
Trust me when I say that working out wasn't my forte in the past. Although I've always been quite a sporty girl, I thought working out was a complete waste of time as the only one who had to put up with my body was me. But, working out isn't just about feeling and looking fit, it's about having a better night's sleep, speeding up your metabolism, challenging your body and improving your eating habits.
I try to work out at least three timesa week, preferably four, for 40 minutes but I make sure not to overexercise as I've been through a phase of exercising seven days a week and thus exhausting my body until it (nearly) shut down. As I'm currently training for a half marathon, it's easy for me to stay motivated. I really want to reach my goal which makes exercising a lot more fun. Try to set a goal and work towards it. This can be a set distance you want to run, a certain amount of kgs you want to lift or just improving the way your body feels whilst exercising.
2. EAT MORE & DON'T STARVE YOURSELF
I'm not lying when I say that some of my portion sizes are huge compared to my relatively tiny body. As I'm only eating plantbased foods, which are much lower in calories than animal derived foods, I can eat more and still not gain weight. The only weight gain I've recently experienced is due to muscle gain. Most people have the new year's resolution to 'lose weight' translating to 'starving myself' which isn't a healthy mindset. If you want to lose weight, try to exercise more, eat more plant foods, less animal derived products and less sweets. Starving yourself will most likely lead to binge eating and isn't a long-term solution for weightloss. Diets don't work, a change of lifestyle, on the other hand, does work.
3. DRINK MORE WATER & HYDRATE YOUR BODY
Drinking more water has an endless list of benefits, as it clears your skin, strengthens your hair and nails, cures headaches, keeps your energy levels up, fights bloating, aids in digestion etcetera. I try to drink at least 1,5 litres a day (more if I'm exercising that day) and make sure to drink it before my meals. I'm not saying I never overeat when I drink before I eat, but it makes me feel less hungry almost instantly which leads to eating (a little bit) less.
4. A NUTRITIOUS START: GET YOUR BREAKFAST GAME ON
Something most people skip when creating better daily routines, is breakfast. If you start your day with a nutritious meal to keep your energy levels up, you're most likely in a mindset that wants you to not ruin the progress you just made and, consequently, your other meals will be healthier too. Don't skip breakfast, but have a large meal in the morning, a slightly smaller lunch and an even smaller dinner. Also, don't forget to snack in between meals. I tend to have a handful of almonds, an apple or tangerines and a less healthy Lotus biscoff during the day.
5. BALANCE IS KEY (AND KIND OF THE SOLUTION FOR EVERYTHING)
As I mentioned before, having balanced meals and workout plans are key to creating a healthy lifestyle. Eat healthy most of the time, but allow yourself to have a snack now and then. That's exactly why diets don't work, because you're forcing yourself to do something that isn't natural. Unless it's a lifestyle change, it's most likely not going to lead you to living a healthier life.
6. WALK MORE & GET OUTSIDE
I try to walk for at least 30 minutes every day to get my heart rate up and get some fresh air in my lungs. Sometimes thirty minutes of walking may seem like an incredible waste of precious time, but the benefits of those minutes most definitely outweight the time it takes. It increases your energy, reduces stress and provides better sleeping patterns. So get moving!
What are your tips for improving your lifestyle in 2017 and making this year all about treating yourself better?
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