Many people who come to me want to look and feel better. Some have never done structured exercise before and others may have joined a gym at some point. Many also come under the umbrella of a yo-yo dieter. For some a quick fix is all they want, being able to get into the outfit for a special occasion. Most people ultimately want to achieve something that is going to last long term. A lifestyle to last a lifetime.
In order to look and feel good it is necessary to have a healthy lifestyle and for many this means making lifestyle changes. Two main areas to consider are diet and exercise. You need to have a good, balanced diet and exercise regularly and consistently.
Healthy habits include drinking at least 2 litres of water every day, drinking little alcohol and removing processed food, in particular sugar, from your diet as much as possible.
People are time poor.
We now live in a fast food nation. Takeaways, fast food we can pick up on the go in petrol stations and corner shops, microwave meals to name just a few. The fact that people are time poor means turning to these options are becoming more common. People are trying to juggle all of their commitments, work and family, this is challenging and that is often why a healthy lifestyle can slip. But lack of time should not be used as an excuse! Planning and organisation is key, fail to plan, plan to fail. It is possible to achieve a healthier lifestyle if you apply some of these methods to your weekly routine.
Planning and preparation
Make a plan of what you are going to eat for the week ahead. This means you can write a shopping list and ensure that you have everything that you are going to need. It also allows for you to be prepared for potential mid-week shops knowing exactly what it is you need and when. Restocking on the items you need without the temptation of those you do not. It is also a good idea to plan preparation times, when you are able to cook and more importantly when you need to prepare in advance. If you are fortunate to be able to cook each meal fresh that’s great but chances are this is either rarely the case or at the very least will occur. The easiest way of having balanced and nutritious meals throughout the day is meal preparation. Cooking in bulk is a great time saver. Something that you can eat within a couple of days can be boxed up and put in the fridge ready to take when you need it. For some even preparing a couple of day’s food is not enough. You can also freeze meals that you have bulk prepared and then get them out of the freezer the night or morning before you want to eat them.
If you are out all day preparation is especially important. Boxing up your meals (essentially a packed lunch) can ensure you don’t miss a meal. The problem if you don’t is you may end up grabbing fast food that you’d rather not eat or reaching the point of hunger and overeating because of that. If you go long periods of time without eating your blood sugar level, energy level and metabolism will drop and these are things that you want to try and avoid.
The same amount of planning should go into your exercise routines. Decide when you are going to work out during the week ahead. What you are going to do for each workout and what your goals for the week ahead should all be considered. Being methodical and organised should keep you on track and potentially increase your enjoyment as you will be achieving goals each week. A feeling of satisfaction at the end of the week is a great motivator for wanting to keep going next week. Focusing on improvements and positive steps will lead you to a healthier lifestyle.
Prepare, be organised and make it a lifestyle.
Vicki is a Personal Trainer, Coach and Swimming Teacher with the aim of helping others achieve their health and fitness goals.