8 Ways to kick start a healthy lifestyle

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Get off your mother’s couch!! Summer is almost here and if you are like the most of us we’d like to be able to hit the beach and show off our beach bods.  If you are looking for ways to get the ball rolling  here are 8 ways to get yourself motivated and in the healthy lifestyle zone.

1. Set Realistic Goals

Telling yourself you are going to be gracing the cover of that fitness mag in 6 weeks after not doing an iota of exercise for 5 years is just the beginning of the end. If you have been leading an unhealthy lifestyle for a long time, it is going to take a long time to see hard core results. Set weekly goals, reach them and you will stick with it until the end.

2. Water, Water, Water

Our bodies, organs and skin need are made up of a whopping 75% water. Even if you do not do any exercise, live in an igloo and haven’t sweated in 18 months, your body needs 2 liters of water to function at all. That is just 8 glasses of water a day. If you do any exercise or are outside in the sun, you will need to up that amount considerably. Water flushes out toxins, helps our digestive system work properly, keeps our skin looking gorgeous, and balances out our energy levels. Kick start your new lifestyle by keeping a bottle of water with you all day, in the car, in your bag, in the office. Even if you only get through one bottle to start with, it’s a good start.

3. Cut Back

Normally have two helpings of mashed potato? Make a new rule to have a small portion of everything – but one only and never go back for more. So you will be able to enjoy everything on the table, the mouth-watering gravy, buttered carrots and the delicious pudding, but in moderation.

4. Get Moving

Collapsing into the couch after work is a bad habit to get into. And the age old excuse of ‘I don’t’ have time’, doesn’t cut it anymore. Active people don’t have time either, but they make time. If you can make time to get to the happy hour or sports game, you can make time for exercise. There are so many videos and exercise programs you can download from the Internet free of charge or you can do a few hours of yoga from your bedroom at home. 30 minutes of sweat time, 3 times a week and you will be feeling fab in no time. Walk the dog; drag the family out into the fresh air – rain and shine – no excuses.

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5. Substitute

Always have salad dressing, cheese and butter? All you have to do is substitute for a low fat or fat free variety and you can still enjoy your meals. Coriander and lime dressing instead of honey and mustard, low fat feta cheese and extra light margarine spread will make a huge difference to your calorie intake at every meal.

6. Write Down Everything you Eat

We all think we eat healthily, but once you start writing down everything you eat during the day, you could be in for a surprise. No wonder you can’t shift those pounds – you are eating 12 slices of bread a day! Keep a food diary and record your emotions at the time, you will be surprised at how many emotional triggers send us reaching for the chocolate or doughnuts. Once you are clear about your eating patterns you can start changing them.

7.  Ditch the Junk Food

Clear your fridge and pantry of all the junk – banish the chips, cookies and candies. Replace them with healthy snacks like vegetable chips, rice cakes, salt free crackers, nuts, popcorn and dried fruit. Snacking is healthy, as long as it’s not loaded with calories. It will be hard at first but after 2 weeks you will never look back.

8. Double Up on Veg

Vegetables are an integral part of any healthy eating plan. They have lots of vitamins and minerals and natural healthy fiber which fill you up for longer. Have at least 3 portions a day, keep carrots, broccoli, cucumber and sugar snap peas in the fridge, and encourage your kids to eat them too. Resist the urge to drown veggies in cheesy or creamy sauces and instead use fresh herbs, lemon, black pepper and a sprinkling of nuts or feta to get your flavors.

Image: digitaljournal

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Gym Junkies

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