Health & Fitness Tips
I should start this post by telling you I am not a health and fitness expert. I am passionate about these things, but I am far from perfect. Like many people, I have spent years of my life doing not so healthy things throughout my “health” journey. A few examples…
- Does anyone remember Atkins? It was all the craze in my late teens. I tried no carbs for like a day and a half in college and thought I might pass out. No thanks.
- In my twenties I tried eating the recommended calories that MyFitnessPal gave me on their app. I was starving. Combine that with running 7 miles/day and that’s a recipe for disaster.
- In my late twenties I tried to follow the general macro nutrition plan provided by a gym. Again… NOT. ENOUGH. CARBS.
Unfortunately, many women have tried some kind of diet at some point in their life. A few weeks ago I asked my Instagram friends to share the worst diet advice they’ve ever taken and “I could write a book” was the response that really summed it all up. Diet culture is real in this country.
In my thirties I have a much more balanced approach to diet and exercise, but it has taken me a lot of work to get there. I truly enjoy working out, but I know my body also needs rest. I love food… my life is not happy without pizza, wine and chocolate. I’m 100% sure I’d weigh less without it, but I DON’T CARE. It’s a big deal for me that I no longer associate feelings of guilt when I enjoy my favorite foods.
After making a lot of cringeworthy choices over the years, I’d love to share some tips for making sustainable changes…
- Start small. I mean this with both nutrition and a fitness routine. Don’t go from 0-100. You will quit in 3 weeks. If you are someone that never works out, start with 2-3 days/week and take it from there. You’ll likely fall in love with the way it makes you feel and you’ll keep going. You don’t have to commit to 5-6 days/week with the hardest workout possible. If you’re working on your diet, start by slowly cutting back on the things that are derailing you. Don’t do some crazy diet that you can’t stick with long term… the weight is just going to come back.
- Find a fitness routine you love– If you love it, you’ll keep doing it! But have some balance with this. Cardio is great, but weights are where the real change happens. I could ride my Peloton every day and never see the results I want- cardio makes you a smaller version of you, but weights will change the composition of your body.
- Chill out with the scale– This is so hard for a lot of women. I haven’t always had the healthiest relationship with the scale and for me it’s not something I choose to step on very often. If you must weigh yourself, I wouldn’t do it more than once/week. And if you feel like it’s defining how your day goes, you might want to take a break or even get rid of it. How your clothes fit and how you feel are much better indicators of progress.
- Check your social media– What we take in is up to us! If you are following accounts that make you feel bad about yourself or make you think you need to take extreme measures on your journey, that unfollow button is life changing.
- Be careful with general guidelines– Do not trust an online diet calculator to determine how much you should be eating. Personally, I think it’s crazy for anyone to eat less than 1500 calories a day. (And just to be clear, I eat way more than that). You have to fuel your body!!!! Weight loss is absolutely about burning more calories than you eat. But if you take it to the extreme, the second you start eating normal again you will gain it all back.
- Don’t obsess– If you have no idea how much you are actually consuming, it can be helpful to track your calories/macros for a short time period at the start of your journey or when you feel like you need to make some changes. But in the long run, obsessively tracking every morsel you eat is miserable.
- Check in with yourself– How do you feel during your workouts? Are you sluggish or full of energy? Are you hungry? This can help you figure out what you need to tweak to make sustainable health changes.
- Stop following the trends– There will always be some new diet coming out. Quick fixes aren’t going to give you long-lasting results.
Every person is on a unique journey with their health and fitness. Different things work for different people, but these are some general tips I hope you find helpful. Be sure to check in with yourself and make sure the lifestyle changes you are making are actually healthy & sustainable ones.