Being healthy and fit is so much more than being lean and weighing a certain number on the scale. In fact, I’d argue that being lean and weighing a certain number has very little to do with being healthy. Health and fitness is an inside job and the habits that healthy, fit people have are not only doable, but they’re actually enjoyable and can enhance your life so much more than just what we see on the outside.
1. They Eat Most Meals from Home. Restaurants use more butter, oil, sugar and salt than we would ever imagine using at home. When we make a habit of eating out, chances are good that we’re also increasing total fat, sodium and sugar intake without even realizing it. Make eating at a restaurant or ordering take-out a special occasion, not something to do just because it’s Friday.
2. They Don’t Diet. Eating according to a meal plan or diet plan tends to have the exact opposite effect that we hope for. Sure it might work in the short term because it feels controlled and there’s no guesswork, but eating on a schedule doesn’t always teach us how to make good choices when we’re off our normal routine. Most often when people who are following meal plans slip-up, they feel like huge failures, throw in the towel, eat all the foods they were restricted from and end up right where they left off when they started the diet in the first place. So what should we do instead? Read the next tip.
3. They Listen to Their Bodies. The office candy jar, the morning meeting with bagels and muffins, the weekly happy hours, the vending machine trips…our environment can strongly influence how and when we eat. Healthy, fit people are practiced in ignoring the convenience factor and base their eating decisions on whether they’re physically hungry or not hungry. Begin tapping into your internal hunger cues and question whether you’re even hungry before you begin eating agin.
4. They Mostly Eat Natural Foods. Eating foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats and whole grains versus eating fast food and prepared foods is a habit most healthy, fit people have developed. Incorporating fruits and veggies into snacks instead of a protein bar, eating lean protein, veggies and rice for dinner instead of a Lean Cuisine, or making a smoothie at home instead of going to the local juice bar where they use frozen yogurt, are all great ways to get more natural foods into your diet. Add fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet as snacks instead of processed snack options.
5. They Move Their Bodies Consistently. Exercise has been looked at as a weight loss tool for a really long time, but, news flash! That’s not the only reason to exercise! Working out can help reduce stress, improve sleep, make us happier, increase confidence, decrease risk for diseases and increase energy. You can workout at the gym, go for a walk outside, do a workout DVD at home, whatever floats your boat! Get your body moving 5 days a week for 20-60 minutes.
6. They Get Sufficient Shut Eye. There is a direct correlation between lack of sleep and poor eating habits. When we don’t sleep enough our food choices tend to be higher in carbs and fat because our body is looking for that energy boost that we didn’t get the night before. Aim for at least 8 hours of sleep.
7. They Manage Their Stress. Living in a high-stress stat can lead to weight gain. When we’re constantly stressed out, our body releases cortisol, which promotes fat storage. If you’re always feeling stressed, begin incorporating stress-relieving techniques into your daily lifestyle. Things like going for walks, breathing, shutting off all electronics by 8pm, yoga, meditation, etc.
8. They Indulge Guilt-Free. Healthy, fit people know that if they indulge a bit here and there, it’s no big deal because they lead a really healthy lifestyle overall. They can have a couple cookies, a glass of wine or some pizza, go on vacation and go out to eat more than normal, and be OK with that because they’ll get right back to their normal routine at their next meal or snack. Indulgences are nothing to feel bad about, they’re meant to be enjoyed! Allow yourself to indulge in your favorite foods and reassure yourself that at your next meal or snack you’ll get right back to your normal habits.
If you’re looking to improve your lifestyle to become more healthy and fit, take just one of these tools to start with and begin implementing them into your life. No major overhauls, no extremes, just one step at a time.
For more healthy eating tips, download my FREE #SimpleSaneSuccessful Fat Loss Guide by clicking the picture below. In this guide you’ll find tips on how to release food related guilt, how to incorporate treats into your lifestyle without negatively impacting your physique, a breakdown of each macronutritent and a food tracker to help you get started on your journey.