How far away are you from the goal to be healthier you set for yourself in January? Quite far? Not to worry, you are not the only one…
Usually we all get motivated in January and decide to go on a crazy diet or go workout everyday…but by mid Feb (or sometimes earlier), with all our good intentions our motivation fades away…
Why? Because we forgot to manage our expectations in the first place! We always think we can go on complicated restrictive diets or crazy workout routines and THIS TIME we will stick with it but guess what, for 99% of us, this is not going to work and we will even blame ourselves for it.
It gets too hard, too restrictive and we just quit…So what should we do?
Go step by step! First start with making small changes in your daily routine. Those small changes will add up and make you healthier without even thinking about it!
I swear I will not talk about cutting carbs totally or spending 3 hours at the gym in this post. It is all about easy steps you can start doing tomorrow that will make a big difference. Minimum effort required and maximum rewards at the end of the year!
It sounds too good to be true? Let’s list a few small steps you can take to get on the road to a healthier you. For change to stick, you should be able to read these tips and feel like you can definitely make that change with very little effort – let’s see!
1.Drink more water
I think 9 out of 10 posts I do will talk about you water consumption. But this is an easy one everyone forgets! I hope after reading this for the 5th time you will see my point 😉 if not read this article
Before forcing you to drink a specific amount a day (BIG change), start by being mindful of your water consumption. Buy yourself a bottle of water with the quantity written on it and see how much you drink a day. if it is under 1.5L, challenge yourself to drink a bit more everyday until you reach that milestone! Drinking will help with weight loss, digestion, water retention, it will lubricate bone and joints..should I keep going or are you already grabbing your bottle?
Do you think plain water is boring? Check out a few recipes in my previous blog post “what to drink when you are not drinking”.
2.Cook at home
I always hear, but I do not have the time to cook at home. Once again, manage your expectations. We do not expect you to become Jaime Oliver overnight, but there are easy recipes you can do at home without being a chef, using 10 utensils or 15 ingredients!
Cooking healthy food at home doesn’t have to be hard, making yourself a salad or some roasted veggies will take max 30min, you will eat healthier, control your portion better and know what is in your food. The less process food you eat, the better you will look and feel trust me!
3.Make your plate look pretty
Ok it doesn’t have to be worth an Instagram post every night, but there is no harm in making your food look appetising. Remember we eat with our eyes too. It has been said that the more shades you use in your place, the more nutrients you will eat! Use veggies with different colours, place them nicely on the plate, go with a colourful sauce using tomatoes, avocadoes or beetroot… these small changes will make you salivate in front of your salad bowl!
4.Mix it up
First thing you think about when I tell you healthy food: a salad – and a salad ONLY. Let’s set this straight, salad is not always the healthiest choice, some of them contain more calories than a burger (true fact!). There are so many other ways to eat healthy, you don’t have eat the same thing every day. Look for recipes online and try something new. It will definitely make it easier and less boring to eat healthy if you explore all the great options you have out there!
I can hear you say: “I thought she said no crazy exercise!” and that is exactly what I mean by move! Find some activity you like, whether it is walking in the park, rock-climbing or aqua cycling and stick to it! As long as you love it and it makes your heart beat faster, activates your muscles and makes your body move around I am 100% with you. We do not have to punish ourselves with crazy workout routines we don’t like and we will never stick to, make it easier for yourself and find something you love!
6.Use herbs and spices
There are 2 benefits to this swap: First they are cheaper and they are so much better for you. Even when on a diet, we always forget to track the amount and quality of dressing and sauces we eat. However, it makes a big difference! Sauces usually are filed with sugar, salt and additives that will then be stored as fat. You feel food has no taste without sauces? Try using rosemary, paprika, curry powder or even our good old chili flakes to give a kick to your meals!
7.Satisfy your cravings
We usually get cravings when we are out. We are with a group of friends and everyone is having chashu pork so why not you?
Good news is, if you want it then have it. Wait, where is the trick? Satisfy your craving by having a bit of chashu but full up the rest of your plate with lots of green leafy veggies to fill you up. Your brain will absolutely love the pork (soul food) while your stomach will thank you for the veggies (good food!). We can enjoy unhealthy food we love 20% of the time just try to keep the healthy food intake at 80% of your meals and you will definitely feel healthier without depriving yourself!
8.Think about your portions
On the same note always be mindful of how much you eat. If you have a boyfriend / husband the answer is no, you should not be eating the same portions.
Listen to your body more. Are you full? If yes then stop eating and keep the left overs for tomorrow! No excuses you can always ask for a take away box if you are out. Reducing your portions is one of the best ways to lose weight without making too much of an effort…just saying…
This is an important one. Sleeping is SO important it makes me mad when I hear some of my clients sleeping an average of 4-5 hours a night (without kids). How do you guys even function!? You should aim for a 7-8 hour of sleep a night for optimum cognitive function and to avoid overeating – yes it is related! In fact the National Sleep Foundation said: “people who don’t get enough sleep eat twice as much fat and more than 300 extra calories the next day, compared with those who sleep for eight hours”. So are you willing to give it a try?
10.Take the stairs
As I said earlier, every step count. The best way to get more fitness in your day is to incorporate small moves in your daily life. Taking the MRT? Don’t take that crowded escalator and use the stairs instead. Take the stairs to work or visit that colleague who is only 2 floors below you. These small little steps will help with your cardiovascular performance and get you a nice booty as an added benefit!
As you can see no crazy dieting or exercise steps are required to live a healthy lifestyle you can sustain. It is not about going all out but finding the right path and tricking your mind into a healthier lifestyle without even realising it.
If you have more baby steps to share with us please feel free to leave us a comment!