Hey guys! Today my blog post is a liiiiittle bit different. Today I’m going to be writing about some simple tips and tricks to start living a more healthy lifestyle when you don’t really know where to start. Something about me is that I have tried every, EVERY fitness/health fad out there. I’ve tried probably every cleanse you can think of, diet plan out there, and any little tips you can think of. The thing about those is if you aren’t actually changing your habits, then you’re not really becoming healthier and as soon as you get off of whatever you were on, you’re going to gain all the weight right back. I’ll start by giving you a little background. I am by no means a professional or a health guru, but figured I would share some of things I’ve done to start living more healthy! Before college I was always pretty fit, not like a fitness model but I was always in shape. I was playing tennis almost every day and going to the gym regularly and never really had to worry about my diet. Fast forward to freshman year of college and I was still in pretty good shape. I made an active effort to eat healthy at the dining hall and also went to the gym at least three times a week. The fall semester I joined the club crew team so I was REALLY in good shape, probably the best shape I’ve been in my life.
I ended up quitting the crew team just because it became far too time consuming with schoolwork and sorority events. Still, I went to the gym and stayed about the same weight I was when I left for school. The summer going into my sophomore year was definitely when things started to fall apart a bit. I had a difficult time falling into a routine and couldn’t find the motivation to go to the gym on a set schedule and my days had no uniform to them. I would eat out a lot with my friends and go out with them which didn’t help my case. I knew that I was kind of falling off the wagon and so I told myself that when I lived in the sorority house sophomore year I would make an active effort to eat healthy, go the gym on a schedule, and get back on track.
I came to realize that living in the sorority house was one of the most challenging environments to eat healthy. There weren’t a lot of options and a lot of the time it was pasta and other carbs. Lunch always serves things like mac n cheese, mini corndogs, etc- not the type of food you want to see when you’re trying to be more healthy. I would either eat what our chef made out of pure temptation and because I didn’t have the willpower not to, or I would go eat out with my friends which was arguably worse. I would also put off the gym or things for myself to spend time with my boyfriend at the time or cater to him.I went abroad that summer and didn’t have the best habits, and didn’t really start changing my ways until the end of my junior year. Fast forward to now and I’m nowhere near perfect, but I have developed a pretty standard routine and can confidently say I’m definitely a few steps in the right direction. SO, without rambling on any more than I already have, here are my tips:
- Create a daily routine- I used to be the worst with this. All my days were extremely different and there was nothing uniform about them. I slowly started creating a morning routine that had a few simple steps such as washing my face, doing some morning stretches, making coffee, making breakfast (which I used to frequently skip), and then writing down my to-do list for the day. I didn’t want to start with anything wildly unrealistic because I feel as though when I do that I am the most unsuccessful. You have to make realistic goals. I started to wake up 30 minutes earlier than usual, and now I wake up an hour earlier than I used to. Writing down in my planner a daily checklist helps me stay on track because that way I’m holding myself accountable for the tasks I need to complete that day. This helps me never feel rushed and my days always tend to go more smoothly which leads to eating healthier because I have allocated the time to make a meal and am not rushing around having to eat out.
- Throw out any and all “bad” food- Yep, toss it! It doesn’t matter how much willpower you have because when you’re hungry and craving something you do not want those bad foods to be easily accessible. This has been incredibly helpful to me because I am forced to find other (and still delicious options). Cleaning out your kitchen is definitely one of the first things you should do!!
- Find healthy substitutes- Just because you’ve now thrown out or gotten rid of all the bad food, doesn’t mean those cravings go away. I always make sure to have plenty of fruit to help substitute for when I’m in the mood for something really sweet. Find healthy alternatives that you really enjoy to have as your new snacks and things to munch on. This is so important for me because before I replaced my cravings with something healthy, I would end up being in a bad mood, super hungry, and then end up ordering something (probably worse lol) off of Postdates or something.
- Prep your food- By this I do not mean that you necessarily have to meal prep, but definitely prep your foods. I will always chop my fruits and vegetables when I come back from the grocery store and put them in my fridge so that they are all ready for me to snack on. If something isn’t easily accessible then sometimes it doesn’t get eaten or you become too lazy to actually make it when you’re maybe in a rush. I’m still trying to get into a habit of fully meal prepping, it is just difficult for me because I personally do not like eating the same exact thing every day. I would rather find easy and quick recipes that I can fix up and enjoy!
- Don’t give up flavorful food- For me it was so important to make sure I was eating foods that still tasted good to me. I tried to do the whole meal prep thing with chicken, rice, sweet potato, etc and it just wasn’t sustainable for me. I became extremely bored with it and resented it pretty quickly. This resulted in me eating poorly again because by eating that food I felt like I was giving up good food. Eating healthy does not mean sacrificing yummy tasting food that is also healthy for you!
- Everything in moderation- My final tip is simply everything in moderation. I’ve tried to be completely carb-free, dairy free, soy free, etc and for me personally that just isn’t realistic. I’m a college student who enjoys to go out with friends and have a drink or two. I enjoy wine nights with my girls and eating a slice of pizza or a sweet treat here or there. I just try to hit the gym a little extra harder if I know I’m going to go out with friends or I’ll try and stay carb free for a few days if I indulge myself with some pasta or pizza! With that said, I have become a lot better at ordering healthy things on a menu regardless of where I’m at and that is definitely a good habit to ease yourself into. A few months ago I would NEVER go to an Italian restaurant and not get pasta, but now I’m totally fine getting chicken or salmon or even a salad!
If you’re struggling with getting in a habit and eating healthy a little saying that always kept me on track (and still does) is “Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels.” I love that quote and think it’s so true! I hope you guys enjoyed this blog post and got a little something out of it!