Some Starting Steps Toward a Healthier Lifestyle

I promised some ideas of things you can do to start yourself on the path to being healthier in general, and losing excess weight, if that’s something you need or desire to do. I’m going to try to break them into categories, based on what’s easiest, some that are a bit more aggressive, and also a short list of what has worked well for me, but maybe won’t be for you- and that’s OKAY! Like I ranted about in m last post, there is no one size fits all, and these are just *ideas*, not *rules*.

Very Basic Starting Steps:

  • Replace most of your beverages with water – this will benefit you in so many ways, not least by reducing your sugar intake, as well as hidden sources of wasted calorie intake. If you don’t like water, you could make iced herbal tea or infuse water with fruits or cucumbers for flavor.
  • Write down everything you eat for a few days- this will help you become aware of what you are eating, and maybe inspire you to make better choices. A lot of times we don’t think we are overeating or we don’t;t realize that we are snacking mindlessly. Just being aware can help us identify this, and maybe start to make wiser, more intentional decisions.
  • Prioritize good rest- when you don’t get good rest, your hormones are thrown off, and you are more likely to eat more. Also, if you are working out, your body needs sleep to heal and rebuild. Robbing it of rest and continuing to work out can put extra stress on our body, increasing cortisol and making your body think it needs to store fat rather than burn it.
  • Eat more veggies. Non starchy vegetables are full of fiber and vitamins, and are so low in calories that they are “freebies”. You’ll be more full, and your body will get some great density of nutrition. I really like a good veggie stir fry for this.
  • Find a type of exercise you enjoy- I could go on about this all day, how it really doesn’t matter what you do to get started moving your body, as long as it’s something you can stick to. More specific fitness goals require more specific training, but at the start, just find something you like enough to be consistent with. Our best friend plays BeatSaber a ton, and while I definitely don’t consider it to be “training” in the sense that my workouts are, he’s moving his body and getting his heart rate up son a regular basis, so I’m thrilled he found it!

If you want to be a bit more aggressive: (in addition to the above)

  • Go through your fridge and pantry and start by getting rid of everything that has MSG (monosodium glutamate), Trans Fats (anytime it says hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils), and High Fructose Corn Syrup. These three things are just plain bad for everyone, and they are in SO many things. If you want to clean out even more, I’d also recommend getting rid of anything with non organic soy (this is MANY things), and Canola oil (most vegetable oils). These things are just not great for the endocrine system, which controls your metabolism, and canola oil is flat out toxic to the body. Avocado, Coconut, and olive oils are all great oils for cooking and all of them are nutrient dense.
  • Plan your meals ahead of time. I do meal planning (and prep) once a week, for all my meals, including snack options, and this takes a lot of the guesswork out of my nutrition and the temptation to snack mindlessly. Hopefully in my weekly (or more often) updates, I can share more with you on how I do this and how it helps.
  • Plan and schedule your exercise. If you make it an appointment with yourself you’re more likely to stick to it. Consistency is KING.

Things I’ve found that work well for me that you might want to try:

  • I limit my gluten and dairy to rare occasions- I’m not extremely sensitive, but I just find I feel better without them. If I’m going to eat these things, I try to make sure it’s something I’m really going to enjoy, like a slice of cake, or one of Scott’s amaaaaaaazing Grilled Cheese sandwiches.
  • I try to make sure I time my workouts so that I can replenish well right after, meaning, usually right before a meal. I don’t eat a lot of starchy carbs, but when I do ( oatmeal, brown rice, beans, potatoes, bananas) I try to time it right after a workout, and also include plenty of protein, for muscle recovery and fullness!
  • I track my food and calories in MyFitnessPal, but not to limit them. I use it as a tool to observe the correlation between what/how much I’m eating and how I’m feeling and if i am getting the results I want. This will probably be its own blog post soon.

I hope this list has been helpful, and I plan on keeping it updated with ideas as they come to me!

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