10 Tips on how to start Your Healthy Journey!
First of all don’t start any crazy, extreme crash diets. Approach it in a more realistic and gentle way. Here are some tips:
1. Small portions: Make your portions smaller and eat 4 to 6 meals a day, 3 bigger ones, and 1 to 3 little snacks.
2. Go natural: Make better choices when it comes to food, let go of the processed foods and junk food. Eat natural, whole foods, it will make you feel better, gives you energy to workout and will keep you full and satisfied.
3. Protein: Increase your protein intake. Go for the lean protein sources such as chicken, turkey, lean beef, fish, eggs, beans, chickpeas…
4. Carbs: Cut down on processed, refined carbohydrates and sugary foods such as bread, pasta, cookies, cakes, candy etc. These foods contribute to bloating but also eating refined carbs leads to insulin trouble like the rollercoaster of highs and lows which cause cravings and make weight loss very difficult. Instead go for complex sources of carbs that contain longer chains of sugar molecules, so it takes more time for your body to break them down. For example: quinoa, oats, brown rice, buckwheat, sweet potato and vegetables.
5. Fat: Fat doesn’t make your fat, eating too much makes you fat. It’s very important to eat food rich in “good” unsaturated fat. That combined with lean protein will keep you full and satisfied longer. Here are some healthy fats sources: avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, natural nuts, hummus and fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines, which are great omega-3 sources.
6. Snacks: If you are tempted to snack a lot in between meals then go for low calorie snacks like cherry tomatoes, cucumber and carrot with hummus dip, a handful of natural almonds, apple, a handful of berries or a green vegetable smoothie. Be careful with fruits, even though they are a great source of energy and vitamins, eating too many of them might cause you to consume too much fruit sugars. Stick with 2 pieces a day.
7. Get smart: Making little changes can make a big difference. Here are some tips to cut down on calories the smart way. Prepare your meats or fish on a grill or in the oven instead of cooking it in large amounts of oil. Steam or grill your vegetables. Instead of creamy dressings use a little olive oil and wine vinegar in your salad. Make oven baked sweet potato fries instead of potato’s or regular fries.
When eating out ask for the sauce on the side instead of poured over your dish. Skip the breadbasket. Skip alcohol.
8. Water: Drink lots of water, you can squeeze some fresh lemon juice in it. Start your day with a big glass of warm water with lemon.
9. Training: You already know that if you dream of that tight bikini body, you will have to move! Full Body strength training will get you the best results. It doesn’t matter if you choose to workout at home or at the gym, just make sure that you make your muscles work. Challenge yourself, seek your limits then push yourself even further over them. Try exercises that will challenge multiple muscle groups at the same time such as: plank (different variations), squats, burpees, push ups, lunges, rows etc. Combine strength training with cardio, HIIT (high intensity interval training) is more effective than hours on the treadmill. Keep it shorter but more powerful. For example jumping row or sprint, go like this: 40 sec all out and slow down for 20 sec, and keep going like this for 15 to 20 min.
Prepare! Plan your trainings, don’t improvise! Prepare your workout before. Choose the exercises and the type of cardio you are going to do and stick to the plan, otherwise you will just wander around not knowing what to do and your training wont be as effective or you will simply give up.
10. Positive thinking: Last but not least, change your mindset! Motivation starts in your head. Don’t think “I have to train” think “I want to train”! Same when it comes to food, no: “I can’t eat that”, think: “I don’t want to eat that” (talking about junk food). We don’t like the things we have to do and want to eat the things we can’t eat so change the way you think about it. See your healthy lifestyle as something positive, think of it as you are doing something good for yourself because you deserve it! Also visualize the body you want to achieve, see yourself looking the way you feel on the inside, it will motivate you to live healthy. Just remember one thing! Don’t ever loose yourself in ego driven goals! Do it for you and do it the healthy way! Be the best version of yourself because you deserve it!