Want to get fit and healthy but scared of committing? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. The truth is, most of us wish there was a miracle pill that would melt away those unwanted kilos and give us the body of our dreams; but just like anything worth having in life, you’ve got to put in the hard yards if you want to reap the rewards.
Check out these simple tips provided by nutritionist and GoodnessMe Box health editor, Melissa Fine for easy ways to turn your health around and commit to healthy habits once and for all.
Lock in your exercise
We’ve all heard that scheduling workouts a week in advance is key, but what about going as far as pre-booking or buying a class? Melissa says the best way to commit to a workout is to book your exercise classes in advance and pay upfront. “I’m much less likely to not exercise if I won’t get my money back for my pilates class,” she explains. “And I know that halfway through the class, I’ll be really glad I’m there.”
Find a workout you love
There’s nothing worse than feeling like a slave to your exercise routine, so to avoid this, inject some fun into your workouts by doing things you enjoy. “For my friends, it’s a run, kickboxing or spin; For me, it’s zumba…I look forward to it each week, not just because it’s great cardio, but because it feels like a party,” insists Melissa.
“The music and instructor are awesome and everyone gets really into it, without it being serious.”
Make your salad tasty
Turns out you can make friends with salad! Add different vegies such as grated carrot, sweet cherry tomatoes, leftover roast vegetables and quinoa or brown rice for multiple textures, flavours and colours, says Melissa.
Also, add some protein in the form of a BBQ chicken, smoked salmon or a boiled egg to mix it up. “Dress this with a tablespoon of pure tahini and a big squeeze of lemon juice and your salad will be transformed!”
Don’t keep it in the house
Out of sight out of mind, right? Melissa says that having your favourite dessert on hand means you’re more likely to make an unhealthy habit of having it every night after dinner. Instead, have some fruit or herbal tea and save that triple chocolate pudding for special occasions, or when you’re out to dinner. “It will taste better too if it’s a once-in-a-while thing,” insists Melissa.
Find fun, healthy substitutes
Nowadays, you can easily whip up a healthy alternative to those sugary, fatty foods you crave. “Things like banana ‘ice-cream’ – just frozen, blended banana flesh – makes a great ice cream substitute,” says Melissa, and if you’re more of a savoury person, try “baked potato or sweet potato wedges with a little sea salt” – it’s the perfect alternative to deep fried foods.
Get some zzz
It’s no secret that the amount of sleep we get impacts our health, but according to Melissa it can also influence eating patterns. “When I get less than seven or eight hours sleep, the number of coffees and snacks I have the following day tends to increase, as do my cravings for something sweet post lunch and dinner,” she reveals.
This is generally caused by our hormones, as “inadequate sleep can increase the level of our hunger hormone, ghrelin.”
Ditch the ‘all or nothing’ approach
How many times have you eaten a chocolate bar or piece of cake, only to convince yourself afterwards that you’ve ‘ruined’ your diet for the day? Being on a healthy eating plan doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go without – “a ‘perfect’ diet isn’t realistic,” urges Melissa. “It fails to consider life, or that wedding or party next weekend, which just isn’t as fun if you skimp on the cake, some buttery bread or a good glass of wine.”
Instead, opt for an 80:20 approach – “think real food like fresh produce, legumes, fish, meat and wholegrains 80 per cent of the time, and have some leeway for the remaining 20 per cent. It’s all about balance.”
Image via the Huffington Post