Eating and exercising can complement each other if you combine them to reach the desired results. Moreover, maintaining a balanced diet and active lifestyle can positively affect both your physical and mental health as well as help you accomplish your resolutions with ease.
Here are a few tips on creating and sticking to a healthy eating and exercise plan without making any sacrifices.
“The best type of diet and exercise plan is one you can keep on, meaning it is broken up into achievable goals that keep you motivated. For example, if you say you want to lose 20 lbs, that seems daunting. If, however, you say you want to eat 150 fewer calories a day, that is easy. It is the equivalent of cutting out 3 cookies or a helping of potato chips or substituting tea with lemon for a grande latte.
The calories add up though to 1050 a week. That is about a pound and a half a month, especially when combined with exercise. After a few months, you will notice the weight loss and the enthusiasm will keep you going. By the end of the year, you will have reached your goal.”
Robert Herbst, Powerlifting Champion
Top 7 Tips to Stick to a Healthy Eating Plan
There are so many opinions, facts, researches, and tips out there that it might be hard to figure out what would work best for you when it comes to food. The thing is, there’s no magic one-fits-all healthy eating plan. Your daily diet will depend on your body, health, activity levels, and of course, food preferences.
We gathered some useful tips for you to take into consideration when planning your eating routine.
Eat What You Love
Life is all about enjoying it and doing what you love. The same is about food. If you hate kale, but your favourite influencer is saying everyone should eat, just don’t. We’re sure there are plenty of healthy foods out there you love eating and can try including into your diet more.
Often, it’s not about what you eat but how much you eat. So, if you have a craving for that tasty and fatty burger or a piece of cake, eat it. Just make sure you don’t eat five of them. Once you find the perfect balance in your daily calorie intake, you’ll see that you don’t have to sacrifice your favourite “guilty” foods to stay on the right track and achieve your goals.
Monitor Your Water Intake
Water is a crucial part of your fitness journey. Staying hydrated helps you think more clearly, perform better, and make sure your body has what it needs to function properly. Keeping track of your water intake can be one of the best habits you can acquire this year.
And if you want to achieve even better results, try substituting sugary drinks such as store-bought juices and pop with plain water. Once you get used to it, you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel on a day-to-day basis, and your body will definitely be thankful for that.
Avoid Processed and Packed Foods
You’ve probably heard this a hundred times, but we’ll remind you just one more time. Processed foods can be packed with unhealthy fats, sugars, sodium, preservatives, and many other hard-to-pronounce things you ideally don’t want to put inside your stomach.
Of course, your lifestyle might require you to buy packed goods from the store once in a while. Yet, preparing your meals at home and being in control of the quality of food you consume will help you develop healthier eating habits sooner. Plus, you don’t need to be a Michelin star restaurant chef to cook tasty dishes. The simpler the recipe, the more likely your body is to benefit from it.
We all know that snacking is more of a craving than a hungry call from our organism. And it might be hard to get rid of this habit completely. So, instead of forcing yourself to stop snacking, try switching to healthier options and ideally making them by yourself.
There are plenty of healthy snacks you can prepare in a few minutes, including hummus, protein bars, sugar-free candies, you name it. And it can be even more efficient if you prep a whole bunch of them at once to save yourself time during the workweek. Once you stop consuming pre-packed snacks, it’ll be much easier to maintain a healthy weight.
Control Your Portions
We’re what we eat. And how much you need to eat also depends on how much energy you spend during the day.
If you’re a hardcore fitness enthusiast who works out a few hours per day, seven times per week, a 1,200-calorie diet won’t provide you with enough energy to sustain your lifestyle. However, if you have moderate physical activity, a 1,200-1,500-calorie diet should help you lose weight safely and without making your body starve.
“You don’t have to weigh and measure every morsel of food, but you want to be aware of how much you are eating. For example, when pouring cereal, many people pour 3 cups into a bowl instead of the recommended 1 cup. And, eat mindfully and pay attention to hunger levels.”
Lisa Young, PhD, RDN, Author of Finally Full, Finally Slim & Adjunct Professor of Nutrition at NYU
Learn to listen to your body and stop eating once you feel full. Also, keep in mind that sometimes you might feel thirsty and not hungry. It’s your body, and no one knows how to understand its signals better than you.
“Supplements are a great way to help and maintain a healthy lifestyle, especially if you exclude certain foods from your diet. It is essential for the many vegetarians, vegans, and others with limited diets to ensure they use supplements to maintain a fully rounded diet full of all the essential nutrients.”
Beth Shaw, Founder & CEO of YogaFit
At Gelpro Australia, we offer a wide range of gelatin and collagen protein online. Our product range includes premium protein powder of the highest quality as well as pure collagen powder. They can help you add more nutrients to your regular dishes as well as prepare tasty pre-workout and post-workout meals and drinks.
Invest in Really Good Seasonings
“My best tip to help you eat healthily and not sacrifice taste is to invest in really good seasonings. Make sure they don’t have a bunch of fillers and read the reviews, so you know what you’re actually getting. Some seasonings are great to add to veggies for an extra taste. Nutritional yeast is a flavorful addition to any pantry and has some research behind it, showing that it can lower cholesterol and protect the body from free radical damage.”
Jeff Parke, Owner of Top Fitness Magazine
How to Maintain a Consistent Workout Routine?
We all have different fitness aspirations, and sometimes it might be pretty daunting to fulfil them all. Yet, it’s not impossible if you approach your workout goals with the right mindset. Here are a few useful tips to keep in mind.
“The best exercise plan is one that you actually do. So start small, keep it simple. If you're having a hard time fitting in a workout, start by doing something that literally only takes 5 minutes a day. This could be a short walk, a few weightless squats, some push-ups, and sit-ups, or anything else that you want to try that gets your body moving. Once you've done that for a week or two, you've established a new habit. And now it's time to increase a little bit to 10 minutes, 15 minutes, and so on.
The mistake most people make is trying to do too much at the beginning, so they get frustrated and just give up. That's especially true of New Year's resolutions, where people get really excited at the beginning of the year but usually just revert to the status quo. It's better to do something simple that you'll actually keep doing than to take on a big challenge and then give up.”
Ben Tanner, Physician Assistant at Fasting Well
Combine Your Exercise and Diet Plans
If you want to see the results of your fitness efforts, both working out and eating properly will play a huge role in achieving your goals. A Healthy and nutrient-dense diet will help you maximize your physical performance and see positive results sooner. Plus, proper nutrition and exercising will help you maintain a healthy weight and improve your daily life quality.
According to the 2013 Stanford study, people who start exercising and introduce dietary changes at the same time are more likely to get better results as compared to those who start with either dietary change or workout individually.
Base It on Your Schedule
“Do you have flexitime kind of work? If you're a morning person, you could warm up and sweat after waking up. If you prefer a chill morning and would like to have a short bike ride, stroll or jog, why not. If you need to work at a specific time in the early time of the day, you could schedule it in the late afternoon or evening.
Remember to put workout sessions during times that you don't really have work; this is to be guilt-free! If you're not a hardcore, try stretching activities every before and after shifts, then move to more challenging drills on the weekend. You could download workout apps where you could modify based on your needs, level, and availability.”
Owen Drury, Remote Digital Editor at ODDigital
“The best exercise plan is also one that you will enjoy! Don't step in the gym if you hate it. Go kayaking, meet friends to play volleyball, or take a dance class. Sticking to a strict program that is not personalized to your preferences and goals will not be sustainable. The best exercise plan is different for everyone.”
Ashley Estanislao, Exercise Physiologist & Physical Therapist at The Movement Celebration
You don’t have to do CrossFit every day or count every single calorie to stay fit. As long as you are moving and providing your body with some physical activity, you’re already on the right track. There are so many activities you can choose from to stay active, so don’t burden yourself with only gym workouts.
New Year’s resolutions shouldn’t make you feel scared, guilty, or stressed. It’s your life, after all. And you’re the one setting up your goals. So, if you don’t want to burn out too fast and lose enthusiasm, make sure your plans and aspirations are realistic enough to accomplish.
It takes time to establish and polish your healthy eating habits and a regular exercise plan. Yet, introducing changes one step at a time will help you move towards your end goal steadily and monitor your progress correctly. A few little changes to your daily lifestyle might have a tremendous impact on your health, fitness, and weight loss goals. So, remember that even small things matter.
Once you start focusing on the journey and enjoying it, you'll find it much easier to successfully stick to your healthy eating and exercise plan and achieve your New Year's resolutions.