Written by contributing blogger, Sonia Sahota.
With summer approaching, I have been trying out all sorts of diets and cleanses to become “beach body” ready. I found myself spending a ridiculous amount of money just to have bottled juice that consists of ginger, lemon, and green tea a few times a week. I finally realized how silly this was because for starters I can make these juices myself which is a cheaper method and second, I end up binge eating my favorite unhealthy treats since I am not feeding myself healthy portions. After months, of diet cleanses and binge eating, I noticed a pattern. The more I tried to eliminate my favorite foods, the more I felt deprivation, mood swings, and resentment. Once I ended my diet and went back to eating normally, I gained the weight I lost back. I was going through an unhealthy cycle that was hurting my body and didn’t exert the results I was hoping for. I was undoing all of my hard work in a day. Many friends have told me it was an unhealthy choice to diet with juice cleanses a few times a week due to the constant roller coaster of weight loss and weight gain. However, I did not listen because I thought I could be the exception.
I thought I was the exception who was able to diet and keep the weight off. Boy, was I wrong. After months, I learned two things that is currently helping me reach my fitness goal and manage a healthy lifestyle: balance and moderation. I am sure this sounds like pure common sense. But you will be surprised how many nutritionists say that this is what many people struggle with when trying to reach their fitness goals.
Let’s start with moderation. It basically means identifying strategies and habits that can be maintained for a long period of time without going to extremes. Moderation is incorporating all of a persons needs into a daily lifestyle which requires balance. Integrating moderation and balance can be difficult. Start slow.
Here are some helpful tips to keep your mind, body, and soul on track and on the right path to kick ass and reach your health and fitness goals.
1) Create meal plans. Prep meals one day each week to stay on track, this way you do not catch yourself eating multiple unhealthy snacks because you are too lazy to cook. This has been the #1 tip which has helped me maintain this long-term healthy lifestyle. Again, treating yourself is a good thing. However, you must balance and keep the 80/20 rule. 80% of your diet is healthy while 20% is allowing yourself to indulge. This eliminates binge eating and the feeling of resentment towards yourself and your set fitness goals.
2) Learn more. Spend a couple hours a week learning more about nutrition. It does not have to be tedious. It can be fun, too.There are so many fun applications you can download onto your phone, iPad or android. (such as I Heart Veggies HD) Read about the ingredients that you put into your body and the wonderful vitamins that can come from incorporating certain food groups into your daily routine.
3) Find your fitness routine. Find the workout or fitness program that works for you and your schedule. Whatever you do, do not settle! People can be lazy and end up settling for the elliptical at the gym and doing the same thing every time. Note – your body will get used to the work and become resistant to it after a period of time. If you are a morning person and love fresh air, go out for a long run before work to get your day started. If you like to sleep in and prefer to take a spin class in the evening – go for it! Some people prefer boxing to get their fitness workout for the day. If you like jamming out to music and working out to Insanity in the comfort of your home that works as well. Just take the time to experiment and mix up your fitness routines, and see what you enjoy most and what fits your schedule.
Just remember moderation and balance go hand in hand for a healthy lifestyle. We would love to know which methods help you stay on track.