Happy Friday All!
I hope you’ve had a fantastic week and are looking forward to an even better weekend!
Today’s post focuses on a few tips and tricks I’ve come up with to help you reach your goals, whether it’s to lose weight, become more fit or simply be healthier in 2013. I personally love reading posts about health and fitness and watching videos because I find them really interesting, but I also find that so many people are truly vague when it comes to the whole “how I did it” part of things. They say things like “I worked really hard” or ” I worked out every day” or ” I ate healthier” without explaining the specifics and I’m all about the specifics so here are some that have helped me in my own journey and I hope they help you too!
- Buy A 16-64 Oz. Water Canteen. This was something I unintentionally stumbled upon because I really had been wanting a more eco friendly way of getting my water quota for each day without drinking a million and one plastic water bottles, but ever since I got my aluminum water bottle (16 oz) from Target (you may have seen if you follow me @StorybookBeauty on Instagram), I find that it’s SO much easier to get my water in. I have a little rule for this canteen, though, and that is that it’s only for water and tea so in the morning, if it’s freezing, I’ll enjoy some unsweetened tea and then directly after drink water. It’s easier to keep track of the amount of water I need to drink as well because I know I need to have around 64 Oz or more per day so if I drink 4 of these, at least, I’m good. I know it seems like a really little thing, but water has a LOT to do with weight loss, fitness performance, and your overall health. For you beauty mavens, it also has a huge impact on your skin and fighting off free radical damage and consequent wrinkles!
- Drink More Green Juices & Smoothies. I am SO busy during the week and it can be tough to get all 5-7 servings of fruits and veggies in since I’m running around all the time, but drinking them in smoothies has helped me immensely in reaching this goal. It’s simply too cold, at the moment, to be eating salad every day and I don’t really want it when it’s cold – I’d prefer soup so this helps give me added nutrients during the day. If you want straight vitamins, make your own juices – it’s light and easily customizable for your needs, but won’t make you super full like a smoothie might. On the other hand, smoothies are great for getting in your greens and lots of fiber so you stay full, get your nutrients AND it will help you shed weight. If you’re new to green smoothies, I recommend adding spinach in to any fruit smoothie recipe – the color may put you off, but it will taste delicious when blended as spinach has very little taste when blended with fruits. Another easy one to get in is cucumbers because they are just refreshing and add more nutrient dense water to your smoothie with very little taste effect. It’s actually better to eat a cucumber if you feel tired (as opposed to coffee or an energy drink) because it has most of the nutrients you need for the day. Crazy, right? Once you get more accustomed to that, you can add others like kale, collard greens, broccoli, fennel, celery, etc. If you’re still not motivated to drink them, it might help to know that drinking smoothies like this makes your skin clearer, more hydrated, and glowing and helps stave off wrinkles!
- Exercise 30 Minutes a Day or More Doing Cardio. If you are maintaining your weight, 30 minutes a day of any kind of cardiovascular movement is fine. This means anything from bike riding, running, the treadmill, or elliptical to basketball, walking, or tennis. Just get moving. Even playing XBox Kinect can count, though it may not challenge you nearly as much as actual fitness would so keep that in mind. If you’re NOT trying to maintain, but want to lose weight, you need to be putting in 45 minutes to 1 hour of Cardio at least 3 times per week. I know this is debated a LOT and this is just my personal opinion – you know what is best for you and if not, please consult your physician first! – but I personally believe you need at least an hour to help burn off excess.
- Do 30 Minutes of Strength Training 2 Times Per Week. It’s really important to tone and muscle build to get a tight, toned physique and you get that by strength training. In the beginning, if you have a lot of weight to lose, cardio alone is fine, but after you’ve lost some weight, you’ll want to add in weight training to build your muscles up and also TONE them. This is to tighten your body and give you that defined look. If you’re a female and you’re worried about getting bulky, don’t be. It is IMPOSSIBLE for you to do so without steroids. As women, we don’t produce enough testosterone to get that type of body without the help of steroids.
- Buy A Pedometer. This may or may not work for you, depending on your lifestyle and where you live. For me, it didn’t work that well because I live in a bad neighborhood where I don’t walk outside much and I drive everywhere I go during the day because I work about 30 minutes from my house. That being said, if you live in an area with a good bus line, train, or you can walk to and from work or around your neighborhood, this might be really great for you. It basically counts your steps for you while you wear it. Most need to be worn on your pants pocket or shirt lapel to work properly, but they sell some more expensive ones that you can put in your shoes (like the one by Nike). If you want a cheap one, it’ll only cost you like $5 or so. The more expensive ones can get in the $100 range. Just choose one that will work for you. 5,000 – 10,000 steps a day is a good, attainable goal and will ensure you walk a couple of miles a day without putting too much effort in.
- Plan EVERYTHING in Detail. You may or may not need to do this. Personally, I am much more successful when I plan it all out. For my food, I’ve planned out the entire menu for the week for my breakfast, lunch and snacks. I looked up clean eating recipes and picked my favorites out. I wrote the recipes down and then I wrote up a grocery list. I did most of my prepping on the day that I bought my groceries and cooked the first 2 days of meals on the same day to make my week a little easier. I stored things in either tupperwares or mason jars and it’s worked out really well. Since I planned it all out, I didn’t have to think about what was for lunch or breakfast and I have not been hungry all week because of it. For breakfast, I’ve had mostly smoothies or juices, but you can eat what you like. I recommend throwing in some smoothies or juices to get your greens quota in, but it’s up to you. You can add in greens and veggies also by adding them to omelets, eating salads, veggie soups, etc. Just make sure you eat what you like and planning will make your life easier.
- Less Grain & Meat, More Green. I know, for a lot of people, it can be difficult to do this if you’re used to eating meals that are mostly all meat and grain, but it’s really important to get 5 servings of vegetables a day in so I recommend focusing your meals around your vegetables instead of your meat or grain.
- Laugh Often. So many people work to get in shape and be fit, but they seldom think about the emotional bit and I think it has so much to do with succeeding versus failing. I once learned in a Psychology class that 80% of personality is perception and how we view things so if we see the glass as half full, it is. I think laughing helps a lot with optimism and seeing the world and your life in a positive life so remember to laugh a bit daily, even if that means watching stand up comedy or hanging with your friends – just do it. You need it as a human being to stay sane.
- Get a Good Motivating Playlist. This one is not really “necessary,” but it’s something that has really helped my motivation in terms of how hard I work out at the gym and how hard I try during exercises because music has an emotional effect on us. Fast music = move fast while slow music will inevitably make you want to go slower so you match the tempo. So, I have a super upbeat and motivating playlist of songs that I really love and find really inspiring. You can see that playlist in the post I wrote yesterday – here.
- Don’t Give Up – Consistency is KEY. I have tried so many times to lose weight throughout my life – I think that’s true for most people, especially if you’re female. The problem is that once I would get started, I would give up at the first sign of trouble. Or I would get lazy and give up. Either way, I never stayed consistent enough to see results. The biggest thing you need when trying to lose weight, get more toned and fit, or just be more healthy in general is to be consistent. You will see more benefit if you work out 15-30 minutes a day for 30 days than if you worked out for 2 hours for 2 days. That’s just the truth of it so whatever you need to do to stay focused and on track, do it. Don’t give up! I saw this quote on Pinterest and it was “I’m giving up on giving up.” I really like it and it’s something I tell myself when I want to quit halfway through my workout because I’m tired or discouraged. It works for me!
- Remember – You ARE Enough & You Deserve This. Last of all, but not least, remember that you are enough and you DO deserve this! I know it sounds like a fitness commercial or something, but seriously, you ARE enough. Love yourself right now. Tell yourself that you are enough and make peace. It does not serve you in any way to hate yourself or put yourself down in life – all it does is make life harder to deal with and burn out your happiness. You can totally do anything you put your mind to and you deserve all the best in life so don’t be afraid to try your best and seek it out – it’s totally worth it. I know, I sound like the “because you’re worth it too!” commercial, but it’s the truth so there!
I hope this was helpful and wish you a great, rejuvenating weekend!
If you have any questions regarding any of this, feel free to leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you out. If you prefer it to be private, you can also email me at StorybookApothecary@gmail.com.
Have a Lovely Weekend!