Let's Get Back to Basics - 4 Less Fussy Approaches to Healthy Living
paleo, vegan, keto, high-carb, low-fat, no dairy, no gluten, low sugar etc.
Anyone else utterly confused by all the diets out there?
You can’t see me, but I’m raising my hand waaay up in the air. Or, at least the 2011 version of me is. If you are starting a new diet or simply trying to eat more fruits and vegetables, I bet you’re feeling slightly nervous and a bit lost.
After all, a quick Google search will pull up one websites that encourage you to cut out fruit, carbs, fat, and all happiness in life and another that claims you should increase all those things to see results. Confused? Yep, same here.
When I started my weight loss journey, I had no clue what I should do. Today, after losing 30 lbs, I have learned how to navigate the waters of healthy eating and, as a result, weight loss. And, I’m giving you all the tricks that helped me stay afloat and maintain my sanity during the process.
My #1 tip is to understand the four basics to healthy living. Regardless of what diet or eating philosophy you ascribe to: get plenty of sleep, increase your water intake, move your body daily, and eat a colorful range of whole foods.
If you do these four things regularly, you’ll see results and an increase in your happiness. Sounds too simple to be true, right? But that’s what makes them so effective.
Let’s strip away the overly complicated rules surrounding healthy eating and take a closer look at the four foundational pillars to achieving great health and weight loss without stress and frustration.
Sleep is our most undervalued health-improving resource.
When we sleep, our body performs important maintenance: our internal organs rest and recover, tissues and muscles are repaired, our body is detoxified, new memories are stored, our immune system is strengthened, and hormones are released to help regulate appetite control, stress, growth and our metabolism. The more you sleep the better your body will perform both physically and mentally. You’ll make better lifestyle choices (cook meals at home vs. going out, going to the gym vs skipping a session) and your body will be capable of supporting you in reaching your goals.
Various athletes and celebrities (like Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera, and Lauren Conrad) utilize sleep as their ultimate weapon to stay on top of their game. In fact, Tom Brady credits his nightly rest as the fundamental reason for his long and successful career in football.
So, I challenge you to connect with your inner Queen Bey and go to bed a bit earlier tonight. Try going to bed 15 minutes earlier tonight and 30 minutes earlier next week. Strive for that 7-8-hour-a-night sweet spot and your skin, body, and mind will thank you.
I know, I know. You hear this constantly but it’s so important to drink enough water. Our body is made up of 60-70% water, which our cells, muscles, and tissues use to grow, reproduce, and survive. We can function without food for up to three weeks (Mahatma Gandhi went on a hunger strike to oppose British rule in India for 21 days) but we can only last about a week without agua (much less in warmer climates since the body dehydrated quicker when sweating).
Water also helps detoxify and clean out our systems. This is crucial we start a new way of eating since we want to rid the body of all that excess sugar, processed chemicals, and artificial flavors that have built up by flushing it out.
So, how much should you drink in a day? That depends of your activity level and the climate you live in. Generally, aim to drink half a gallon of water each day. I recommend always having a large glass of water next to you or a big water bottle to take with you on-the-go. If water is within reach, you’re more likely to drink. And yes, you’ll be peeing more but that’s a good thing! You’re cleaning out your system.
If you find water utterly boring, add some flavor to it with herbs, citrus, and berries. I love adding fresh mint and lime slices to my water, which helps me drink way more than when it’s plain.
MOVE YOUR BODY
You don’t have to be a slave to the treadmill or go to a gym everyday to work out. Being physically active means finding something you genuinely enjoy that gets your body moving.
If you like spending time outside, go for a walk with your dog around the neighborhood, take your kids to a local park, or even play with them in your own backyard. If you live in Florida like me and the humidity is too much, find a 20 minute yoga video on YouTube to do in your living room or stroll around the mall while catching up with friends.
I find that these options work for me because I don't have time nor desire to go workout at a traditional gym. The most important thing is to find something that you can enjoy regularly and easily fit into your schedule.
Regularly moving your body helps reduce anxiety, ignite your digestion, and help you get a better night’s sleep. And, if that helps Jennifer Lopez achieve her amazing complexion, sign me up!
EAT MORE COLORFUL WHOLE FOODS
This is the first tip I share with clients when we start working together. It’s an easy step to start off with since it helps guide them to make better decisions without adding the stress of following too many rules. Plus, they are always surprised when I tell them to eat more food instead of eliminate items from their lives.
A wide variety of colorful produce provides nutrients, phytochemicals, minerals, and vitamins that will make you feel amazing, give your hair/nails/skin an amazing glow, and nourish each of your cells! Feel the power of the rainbow!
So, the next time you’re in doubt about what to eat, look for the most colorful option that includes veggies, plant-based proteins and complex carbs (sweet potatoes, black beans, oatmeal, and quinoa - just to name a few examples).
Eat more whole foods (fresh food vs processed/fried/refined/genetically modified/artificially flavored etc) and you’ll quickly feeling lighter and better without feeling deprived.
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Improving your health, whether you want to lose weight or not, should be about creating a healthy lifestyle you truly enjoy. Because that’s what we want, right? A life that’s filled with joy where we feel strong, healthy, satisfied, and like we can indulge from time to time without guilt or deprivation.
Just remember, be gentle with yourself along the journey because it takes time to break bad habits and replace them with new health supporting ones. But with these four pillars as your go-tos, you'll always have guidance when you feel lost. You got this!
.... And of course you've got me! If you have any questions about how to implement these and feel absolutely amazing in your beautiful body, leave me a comment bellow or we can chat via email : firstname.lastname@example.org