When you set out to make a shift in your lifestyle to a healthier one, you might be tempted to break out your wallet and spend a ton of money on weight loss, healthy eating, and exercise products that make promises about what they can do for you in a short period of time. If you’ve ever thought these words “I don’t have a large budget, but I want to lose weight, how can I do it?” and felt frustrated that there isn’t a solution out there, this week’s post is for you. Today we’ll be learning about the healthy living principles that won’t cost you a penny. These principles can be used to create a healthier lifestyle and to lose weight on your terms; all they’ll cost you is a little bit of time and commitment on your part.
Set Your Destination
First set SMART goals and corresponding rewards. SMART goals are like a compass that can help you focus on why you are doing what you are doing and of course what the goal is in the first place. Rewards are the icing on the cake for when you get to the finish line, the cake meaning reaching your goal of course. If you want to take this a step further, make your goal SuPeRSMART by adding in accountability and more; if you’re wondering what SuPeRSMART means, head over to the [TEAM] site to learn more.
Know Where You Are Today
Knowing your starting point is a good way to determine whether you have actually reached your goal when you evaluate yourself at the finish line. If your goal is something like tracking your food intake for a week, then this might not apply to you. But if your goal is related to losing weight or getting stronger, information about what you weigh at start and noting how many pushups you can do today can help you determine if you have gotten to your goal.
Manage Your Portions
Losing weight is all about energy balance i.e. eating less food than your body burns for energy. While improving the quality of your diet will improve how your body reacts to what you’re feeding yourself, the core of manipulating energy balance lies in eating less and exercising more. Eating less can be hard because it means that you don’t get to eat cake all the time (sorry), but by eating smaller portions you can still get to eat some of your favorite foods. This is especially so if they are butter and flour laden like my favorite foods. If your favorite foods constitutes of vegetables and whole grains though you are on the right track. You can put this principle into practice simply by choosing a smaller plate than you currently eat on. Think salad place vs. dinner plate and you’ll have your body feeling satisfied on less food even as you get lighter.
Incorporate Your Favorite Things
One of the issues that a lot of us have is that fad diets require that we forgo some or all of our favorite things like cakes, pizzas, and banga soup. Doing this can result a break down every so often, and overindulging in a way that sets you back after weeks hard work. To give you a personal example, there’ve been times when I’ve eaten a batch of brownies in one sitting after a long period of not having any. A single brownie won’t hurt, but a whole batch of brownies definitely will. So rather than focusing on perfection and setting yourself up for overindulging later, allow yourself some leeway in your diet for proper portions of your favorite things.
Eat When Hungry, Stop When Full
The primary reason you feed your body is to provide it with the fuel it needs help you achieve your life goals on a daily basis. Efficient fueling is the name of the game because your body will convert any excess fuel you give it to fat. Think of it this way, you won’t overfill your fuel tank, so why overfill your body?
I’ll be honest that this is one of the most difficult principles to put into action because some of us have been on diets for so long that we don’t even know what hungry or full feels like anymore. If this sounds like you, do what I do and learn what an appropriate portion size is so that you can serve yourself the right portions to begin with
Exercise should be part of every healthy living regimen. If you are trying to lose weight it helps you because you don’t have to cut as many calories out of your diet. If you are just trying to be healthy, cardiovascular and strength exercise is a great way to do that. Cardio helps immensely with your heart health and for us women strength training is particularly crucial because it helps reduce our risk of certain ailments like osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is weakens the bones and can increase the risk of fractures, it is more common among women than men and mostly among older women. You don’t have to spend money on an expensive gym membership to exercise effectively and there are many high quality YouTube and Instagram demonstration videos that you can use to build an effective routine. If working out at home is something you’re interested in, follow me on Instagram where I share progressions to common exercises like squats, lunges, pushups, and planks.
Over to You
Today I want you to take some time to put some of these principles into action (remember knowledge without action is pointless, so let’s get to it):
- Set goals and pick an appropriate non-food reward
- Know your starting point
- Eat prudently (exercise portion control, eat when hungry stop when full)
- Exercise Effectively
- And don’t forget to have fun (incorporate your favorite things)