What I mean by that is this is not a "start and stop" type of thing. You can't just eat right, be healthy for a year and than stop thinking you'll reap the benefits forever. I've learned and realized that this is a lifestyle change and an ongoing process that I will be living by for the rest of my life. Do I want to lose more weight? Not necessarily, but I know that the more I continue on this path to optimum health, I'll probably shed a little bit of jiggle here and there. Knowledge is definitely power and I hope that by learning more about health, I can live by example and hopefully the people I love can learn a thing or too without having to feel like they're being pressured or nagged...I know I'd hate for someone to keep telling me, "NO! That's bad for you!" I want the people that I love to be around as long as possible.
My Top 10 Steps to Optimum Health
1. I cut down on junk food.
-If you're munching on things that come out of a box or have a shelf life of 1-3 years, you're not helping yourself. Start eating fresh food. Study up on how to cook your own meals; that way, YOU have 100% control of what you put in your body.
3. Portion Control
- It's okay to eat whatever you want, just don't over do it. Plain and simple. If you know you're going to want to have dessert, lessen your portions of the main course.
4. I've increased my fiber intake
-I shall post about the Oatmeal Diet soon! I also made subtle changes like switching from white to whole grain wheat bread. There are so many benefits from having more fiber, it's not even funny. The best thing about it especially for those who are looking to lose more fat, is that fiber makes you feel full LONGER.
- Our bodies were built for mobility. Whether it's walking, running, dancing, doing chores...anything! JUST MOVE! I try to do cardio for at leat 30 minutes, 3-4 days a week.
6. Strenth Train!
- I try to do some form of anaerobic training for at least 20-30 minutes per workout day. My favorites include, lifting weights (3-5lbs), lunges, squats, crunches, etc.
-I try to have at least 1 cheat day a week, 2 at the most. During these days, I will EAT DESSERT if I want to...maybe skip a workout and be lazy. You need days like this or else you will go insane and the chances of you going back to your old unhealthy ways increase!
-I drink lot's of water water water....before, during, after workouts and throughout the day. Nothing feels more refreshing than a tall glass of ice cold water. I actually like to carry around a water bottle that I refill now and then. It reminds me to keep drinking. There's nothing worse than harboring water weight. If you find yourself frustrated at a certain area of flab that just won't go away, there's a strong possibility that it's just water being stored by your cells. YOU may not be thirsty, but your body is and you don't even know it so just keep your water intake constant and your cells won't have to go into survival mode.
9. I've incorporated more protein into my diet to maximize my workouts whether it's to fuel or recover my muscles.
-I recommend finding a good quality protein powder to add to your dishes or to make delicious shakes for times when you want to have a quick meal, but don't have the time too. This is perfect for the everyday working gal! :)
10. Lastly, I keep myself from staying idle.
-The more lazy I get, the more I think about snacking, so my advice stay active and challenge yourself to new hobbies!
So all in all, I recommend just cleaning up that diet. Explore fresh options rather than boxed food. Stay physically active and I don't just mean by going to the gym. Make changes in your life that will allow you to accomplish this like walking faster, taking the stairs, parking a little farther, plan a day to just hang out and play with your kids. If you have a pet, play with him/her! Just get that heart pumping! Also, find activities to do that will distract you from mindlessly snacking!
I hope that this list can help anyone who stumbles upon my blog because sticking to these 10 steps has made such a huge difference not just physically for me, but even more so I FEEL the difference...and trust me, it feels good! :)