How do you start a fitness journey if you’ve never been on this path? First of all, fitness is not only about eating salads and high intensity workouts. After almost 3 years since I changed my lifestyle I have discovered it’s all about balance and making the right choices most of the time so that when you make not so great ones (hello Tex Mex frozen margarita and nachos) it’s OK because you got yourself covered with better choices the majority of the time (let’s call it insurance).
People often ask me what has helped me the most or what has kept me motivated on this fitness journey. I want to share the first aspects I changed about my life that help me feel and look better almost instantly. Remember, the important thing is to get started. Work towards your goal every day whether big or small, progress is progress. Let’s do this!
Drink More Water
I used to hate drinking water but now I love it and can drink around 100oz. in a day! You can have water in so many ways without it being boring: hot tea, lemonade (add Stevia or coconut sugar), black coffee, sugar free energy drinks, electrolytes, amino acids–the list is endless. I have a healthy combination of these each day which makes it easier to consume a lot of water in a day. Things that are helpful are getting a reusable water bottle and just keeping it with you at all times. I also used this water app and water bottle which kept track of my water consumption. I stay away from diet soda and have one only once in a while.
Did you know that sometimes when you feel “hungry” all you are is thirsty but we tend to snack instead of grabbing a glass of water. Try it next time you get a craving for chips!
Get Active Beyond Your Fitness Goals
Get off of the couch and go walk for 30 minutes or take your son to the park or the dog for a walk. For me, the trick is to mix it up so I never get bored! Here’s what I have been using:
- These free 30 minute strength workouts
- Free fitness app with 10, 20 and 30 minute workouts
- At home workout with my own equipment like bands and dumbbells
- Rowing on my Echelon machine with their strength and endurance workouts
Eat More Veggies
I used to load my plate with very little veggies. Now, I always load my plate with lots of veggies like spinach, broccoli or a kale salad mix, a lean piece of chicken or fish and a smaller portion of carbs.
Cut Back on the Alcohol for a Successful Fitness Journey
Raise your hand if you mindlessly have wine or beer everyday? That was me and I didn’t think it was bad because it was only once a day. Unfortunately the cumulative effect of alcohol is that it makes you look puffy like the marshmallow-man so limiting your drinking makes a huge difference. I love to indulge in a low sugar version of my favorite margarita or a glass of my favorite red wine once a week.
Meal Prep or Try to Plan Your Meals as Much as Possible
Portioning my food has made me realize how much I overate and how much I should be eating to maintain/lose weight (depending on your goal). Meal prepping has educated me on how much protein, carbs and veggies I should be eating. Read more about how I meal prep and what I eat in a day. If you don’t have time to meal prep then I recommend trying Snap Kitchen which meal preps and delivers food right to your door.
Watch Out for Added Sugar
Well, I have the biggest sweet tooth in the world so what’s YOUR excuse? I was the girl having dessert with every meal, buying chocolate bars on my grocery runs and sipping on frozen drinks all in the same week! The biggest difference from cutting back on added sugar besides the weight loss is how I don’t break out as much. I would constantly get facials but then my skin would be irritated again and I blame the sugar. Unfortunately, even the best foods out there like Greek yogurt and peanut butter can have unnecessary added sugars so always check your nutrition labels and ingredients.
The most important thing about starting your journey is knowing that if you are not willing to make a change then you won’t see any change happen in you. I was so scared when I started because I was never active or fit and I was also scared I was never going to eat my favorite foods or desserts; I still do but I do it in moderation.