Since Ron and I have worked toward making changes to lead a healthier lifestyle we learned some things that have helped us to not only of let go of weight (135lbs between the 2 of us), but the habits that run counter to our objective.
Here are 10 tips that we have found helpful for us as we continue on our wellness journey and hope you find them helpful for you as well.
1) No time like the present! You don’t have to wait until the beginning of the week, month, or year to embark on change… no matter what day of the week or month it is …today is a perfect day to start taking a healthier approach to living your life.
2) It helps when everyone in the house is on board with wanting to live a healthier lifestyle. It doesn’t matter if one person is slim and other larger…this is about health and wellness not weight. Skinny does not always equal healthy, and not everyone is made to be a size two. Let go of that mindset and embrace the understanding that you can be fit and healthy at any size.
3) No more diets! There was an article in The Washington Post recently (it’s worth the read) where they discuss exactly that. Studies actually show that dieting is not the way to lose and maintain weight loss, in fact…it really only leads to repeating a cycle of losing and regaining. Mindful eating is what helps to sustain long term weight loss and leads to overall better health.
4) Take a look at the pantry and fridge and let go of the foods you know do not make you feel good or are not going to contribute to healthier you. Replace them with foods that provide more nutrition to keep you feeling fueled for longer periods of time. If chocolate is your thing… go ahead and keep it in the house but instead of milk, try dark chocolate. Dark Chocolate has a ton of health benefits and a little goes a long way.
5) Cut back on the alcohol. It’s not only about the empty calories, but all the poor food choices that are likely to get made when you are drinking. I can’t tell you how many times I have eaten that extra cupcake or those few slices of pizza at 1am after a night of drinking. If I was sober I most likely would not have made those choices.
6) Eat foods that are not only good for you, but that you truly enjoy. When you eat smaller portions of things that you really like, you will feel satisfied not deprived, and therefore less likely to reach for snacks that lack nutritional value or make you feel sluggish.
7) Try dining out or ordering in less. You never really know what is being used to prepare your food when it’s not prepared by you…you will also save your self quite a bit of money.
8) Be adventurous with trying new recipes. Cook together as a couple or family, it’s a great way to find healthy new foods you like while spending quality time with the ones you love.
9) Get your heart rate up! Find things that you really love to so that you will want to do them several times a week. If the gym is not your thing try yoga, dance classes, tennis, biking or whatever you enjoy that will have you looking forward to incorporating it into your daily routine. Group fitness classes are always fun, and it feels good to have the support of others. We have also found that going for a walk or working out together has been a great way to spend some extra time together.
10) Make exercise dates with your friends. In NYC especially, the most common get together is dinner or drinks. Instead meet your friends for a fitness class…friends don’t let friends work out alone!
Photos: All photos by Marie Lombardo