Thursday, August 12, 2010

All or Nothing?

I've found that when it comes to fitness, a lot of people think that they have to take the "All or Nothing" approach. They either diet and exercise like a fiend or sit on the couch eating cookie dough. For most, there is very little in-between. Unfortunately, when you live your life this way, simply living healthy gets lost and your life becomes a constant up and down of of yo-yo dieting and self defeating actions.
If you can identify with this way of thinking, I challenge you to change your mindset. Start to realize that fitness is lifestyle. It's something that you need to incorporate daily and once you do, you won't even have to think twice about it. Healthy will just be how you life your life.
Start by changing things day-by-day. Give yourself diet or exercise goal (or both) each week . Think of a small change you can make without going bonkers and completely falling off the 'living healthy' wagon.

Read on for some small changes you can make on a weekly basis to modify your not-so-healthy lifestyle and perhaps give yourself more energy, tone up, and feel great. Remember, you don't need to do all of these at once. These are just suggestions! Take your time and get used to each change day-by-day and week-by-week.

  • Cut down or cut out desserts. For me, this can be difficult. I usually need a little bit of chocolate each day. Ice Cream every day? That I don't need. I can save that for the weekends or special occasions.
  • Cut down or cut out alcohol. If you read my blog, you know this is something I have been doing lately. Recent studies show that consuming a little bit of alcohol each day (1 to 2 glasses) can be good for you and perhaps can even cut down sugar cravings. However, most people don't have just 1 or 2 drinks at a time, especially when being social. This is why I usually save my alcohol indulgences for the weekends. If you're going save your drinking for the weekend as well, try not to go overboard when you allow yourself the indulgence!
  • Substitute Veggies as a side to any meal. French fries or other starchy/fried items seem to be common sides in most American restaurants these days. To save calories, add fiber, and help you fill up, vegetables are a great option as a side dish. If you are dining out, remember to ask for them to be prepared steamed and without butter. Otherwise, you might as well just order the fries! If you are making them at home, you can also cook them in 1 teaspoon of olive oil to add good fats to your meal.
  • Cut out soda. There is so much added sugar, calories, and sodium in sodas. Kick the yucky stuff and keep the bubbles by switching to sparkling or seltzer water. I like getting the flavored kind so that I feel like I'm drinking something with substance while getting the water I need. When choosing a seltzer water, make sure it doesn't have any added sodium as that can be a common culprit in certain sparkling waters.
  • Cut out some bread. You probably already know that you should always go whole grain instead of white with your bread (I like ezekiel bread the best), but you don't need a ton of it. Maybe make your sandwich open faced or have just one piece of toast with your eggs in the morning instead of two. Also, cut out the bread basket when you're dining out and save the calories for something more delicious!
  • Add an extra 5 or 10 minutes to your workout. If you're used to doing 30 minutes on your cardio machine of choice, bump it up to 35 or 40. If you've got the time, why not work a little harder and challenge yourself to go a bit longer?
  • Try a new workout. Your body always wants to take the path of least resistance. The only way to get the most out of your time at the gym is to constantly change up your routine so that your muscles are always guessing and providing you with results. Do something new that excites you and makes you want to do more than jump on a cardio machine. Try yoga, kickboxing, pilates, lifting weights, see a trainer! Do something different!
  • Take the stairs.
  • Walk to work.
  • Bike to work.
  • Jog home from work. If your office is within jogging distance and you have a place to stash your clothes or carry them in a backpack home, get your cardio in by skipping the gym and run outside!
  • Sign up for a race in your area. A great way to change up your routine is to sign up and train for a 5k, 10k, half-marathon, marathon, triathlon, biathlon, etc. It will challenge you in ways you haven't experienced before. Always follow a training program and feel free to email me with any questions on how to get started.
There you have it. Little changes you can make each week. Try one at a time and Be Well!

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