There is so much chatter in the health space right now, and it leaves a lot of people confused on what to do. Theres 392847 different diets and workouts, and there are all these supplement companies with reps messaging you on Facebook and it all just gets really confusing. I even get caught up in it, and I am (what I would consider) a professional in the field! I can’t imagine the thoughts that go through peoples heads who are just starting out and aren’t sure what to do. What is why I want to give you the how to start a healthy lifestyle 101 rundown – for those of you who have no idea where to start and may be close to throwing your hands up and not doing any of it!
Don’t do it. Don’t throw your hands up and give up. Because starting over gets harder every time. Take a breath, take a step back and focus on what is important to you. Where you do you want your health to be in 1 year? In 5 years? That is what we need to focus on – not how much weight we can lose before vacation in August.
Let me start by saying…KEEP IT SIMPLE. There are 3 things that you should really think about when you are starting a healthy lifestyle. Only 3. The important thing to remember is that you are trying to build a foundation. A house isn’t built in a day, it doesn’t just show up completed. It takes time to build the foundation, so that is stays standing for years to come. Same goes for a healthy lifestyle – you can’t just expect one product or 1 day to change the rest of your life. It takes time, effort, and you have to start with the basics to build the habit.
There are so many different diets out there, ways to eat, rules for eating, types of food etc. We all get caught up in it. Whether it be “which diet should I try next” or “what time should I be eating my meals,” it all gets confusing and unnecessary. The main thing to focus on is real food. Minimize the intake of processed foods (which is what leads to blood sugar problems and chronic disease) and just focus on eating real, whole foods. This means fruits, vegetables, meat, potatoes, rice etc.
If you have to worry about shelf life and ingredient labels, then it isn’t the right food choice for you. Anything that is on a shelf in a box/package is already dead. That means it is not going to do anything for you, so leave it there. Focus on the outer isles of the grocery store because that is where the real value is. Another thing to focus on is eating a carb, fat, protein, and vegetable at every meal. This will ensure your blood sugar stays level, and you stay full without having to need several snacks or “pick me ups” throughout the day. If you want to learn more about macronutrients specifically, check out this blog!
If someone comes to you telling you their workout burns more calories than the average workout, or you will get to your goal faster with they’re program…run away fast! People are just praying on your insecurities and problems when they use those sales tactics. Besides, you don’t want to get to your goal as fast as possible because that is going to mean it is not going to be sustainable. Yeah, you can lose 30 lbs in a month, but you aren’t going to keep doing that for 5 months in a row and keep it off. Because once you stop that program/routine you will gain it all back because no one can support that lifestyle!
Focus on movement in general. 30 minutes a day. It doesn’t have to be a sanctioned workout or a high intensity butt kicking. it can simply be a walk with the dog or running around the yard with your kids. In fact, it can even be turning on some music and dancing/cleaning/stretching! Just moving your body is what is important when you are just starting out. Don’t worry about what program is the best, what classes you need to attend and how many calories you need to burn everyday. Just move your body!
There is not perfect day, perfect time, perfect season of life to start changing your life. Just do it. Start today. Start right now, because tomorrow there will be another excuse. There is no plan or schedule, there is just today, right now, and you can make a difference! Also remember that there is no ‘all or nothing.’ You don’t have to eat perfectly and workout everyday to make progress. It comes down to consistency over time. If you have a bad meal or a bad day, just get up and start fresh again. One bad meal is going to derail your progress unless you let it drag into “well I already screwed up today so I might as well just binge on everything.” Keep the end game in mind, and never lose sight of that end goal. And if you are someone who doesn’t have a goal and doesn’t know how to create one, start here!
The industry is so saturated these days I feel like there is someone around every corner trying to sell some type of supplement or “result”. Don’t get caught up in it. Supplements are something you add in after you have the foundation set and the routine in place. No supplement is going to 100% give you the results you want, it all adds up together. So if you don’t focus on the basics and dive straight into the supplement help, you are still going to be lost when it comes to how to reach your health goals. What happens when they discontinue the supplements? Or you can no longer afford them? Knowledge is power. So first educate yourself on food and movement, and then you can look into supplements if you are still not satisfied. After-all, supplements are meant to SUPPLEMENT your lifestyle, not create it for you.
So keep it stupid simple; eat real food, 30 minutes of movement, and focus on the long term goal!