Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Where to Begin with Creating Healthy Habits + HUMP Day Blog Hop!

More often than not, I am that person that a lot of people go to for advice and information. Not boasting or bragging here, but seriously I was always and still am that friend. You know that one friend you have that usually knows the answer or can point you in the right direction for a particular thing, or more than one in my case. That's just how I am. I love helping people and I just do it, no questions asked. So you get the picture- I don't like the term and I personally don't think of myself as a "know-it-all" because I'm not, really, I just like to look at it as...Using my resources more efficiently than others ;)

So when I got into fitness and health, you all know if you read my journey (if not click here), that I am kinda like a sponge. I try to absorb everything I can about a subject I am passionate about; and that is just what I did when I got into lifting a year ago and learned that I loved it so much. 

Get it? A sponge ;)

So needless to say I have thought about this specific post, more than once, and even have things already put together that I will use to pull from. I have been asked multiple times from friends and family members about different things I have learned about fitness and health; from starting out, to different steps in the process, ultimately put together to get to where I am today. And I plan to continue to learn and grow from here.

I will give fair warning, just like I tell everyone when it comes to this type thing, I am NOT a seasoned pro or trained professional. What I write is purely from my own research, experience, help from my trainer, etc. I am happy to share any information I have with you that I have learned along the way, but know that every person is different and will require customized plans for their specific goals and needs. 
Note: I am not a certified personal trainer or a nutritionist. Anything posted to this site is purely from my own personal experience and knowledge gained while on my fitness journey. I do not post information on this page with the intent to give advice for any one individual, as everyone will be different and see different results in his/her own journey. Always consult your physician before making a change to your diet or exercise routine.

With that being said, everyone can get healthy and live a healthy lifestyle. So, let's talk about a question...And this may require a few posts to give you more detail along the way...People ask all the time, myself included because I was once there asking the same questions, "How do I get started?" or "what can I do to start making healthier choices?"

The "what can I do" can get pretty complex if you want my opinion. But it can be simple too. So let's start with the basics. There are a few things you can do to start creating healthier habits, that mostly everything else will tie back to. 

Here are a few rules of thumb if you will:
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water - aim for 8 8oz glasses a day, at least
  • Clean up your diet. Don't go on a diet :) This means try to eat more whole, unprocessed foods and drinks.
  •  Eat smaller portions, more often. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and small 'meals' in between. Eating more often will speed up your metabolism, and make sure it is constantly working. This will also help keep your energy levels higher throughout the day and keep hunger at bay.
  • Avoid simple sugars and refined foods. Things like sugar, candy, sweets, soft drinks, white flour, etc. 
  •  Limit your alcohol consumption. Drinking Alcohol actually stops other metabolic processes, and switches to metabolizing that alcohol out of your body (from Fitness Rx for Women Magazine). In short, alcohol intake temporarily stops you from burning fat and building muscle. :(
  • Eat to live not live to eat. We can expand more here later :) Basics: Eat more healthy, whole foods and enough calories, but not too many calories. Even too much healthy food can be a bad thing.
  • Shop the perimeter of the grocery store. Most of your natural, un-processed foods like fresh meats, fruits, and veggies, will be on the perimeter of the grocery store.
  •  Be creative. Don't be afraid to try new things or switch things up. It doesn't have to be boring to be good for you and healthy eating can be "good" eating.  We all love good food!
  • Eat things you like. You are more likely to stick to something if you like doing it, right? I know I would not continue eating the (mostly) clean if I did not like what I ate.
  • Get plenty of rest. Go to bed earlier, make sure to get quality sleep.
  • Recover. Take time to make sure you are staying well, and if you need time off then take time to let your body heal.
  • Get active. If this means going for a short walk on lunch, or simply getting up a few more times during the day to walk around the office or neighborhood (if you work from home).
  • Keep it simple. Start with small changes at first. Don't overwhelm yourself with trying to adjust everything at once (unless your crazy like I was ;) ).
There is a lot that you can do to live healthier and it doesn't have to happen overnight. It took me a long time to realize that I could not change everything all at once. Change takes time. The unhealthy habits didn't just "happen" overnight. It will take time and consistency to create the healthy habits. 
I also had to find balance for myself and my family. It can be really overwhelming diving head-first into creating a healthier lifestyle, and for some, change is scary.Take it one step at a time, find out what works for you and what doesn't, and know that not everyone will be able to do everything the same way and see the same changes. Make sure to strive for keeping balance in your life with the people you cherish and other activities/things you love and enjoy doing. 

Take it one day at a time, and don't be afraid to ask for help from others! I hope these tips are as helpful to you as I found them when I was beginning my journey. Once you get the basics in place and as a part of your routine, you'll be set! 

I plan on continuing this little "mini-series" if you will, and get into other things like meal prepping, grocery lists or what to buy, maybe how to shop on a budget, and other things like that that seem to peak people's curiosity. 

I would love for you to comment below with what you want to hear more about!

The Hump Day Blog Hop

 And, what better day than HUMP day to bring on lots of other awesome blogs for you to check out with the HUMP Day Blog Hop featuring our host Liz over at Fitness Blondie and co-host Tricia from Tricia's (Mostly) Healthy Lifestyle!
 I found Tricia's blog not too long ago through the Hump Day Blog Hop and hope you will enjoy her blog as much as I have! Head on over and show them some love and find new blogs to check out!

 Have a great rest of the Hump day!

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