Little Ways To Be HealthierTuesday, July 07, 2015
Image- Death To The Stock Photo
Around a year ago, I decided that I wanted to get healthier. I was shocked after going to a routine doctors appointment which required me to be weighed. I then went home and converted the kg's into stone and I was shocked to find out that I was almost a stone heavier than I thought I was. I know that weight isn't the be all and end all, but I hadn't been working out, I'd been eating everything and well this was the aftermath.
I felt unhealthy. My clothes felt tight. I felt self conscious. I looked around and realised that the only exercises I was doing was walking back and to from work. Which isn't bad but I needed to do more. I also looked at my diet. Sugary cereals, lunch meal deals, chocolate, and carb central for dinners. No wonder I'd put on weight.
It was my Holiday to Florida last year which gave me the initial motivation, but a year later, I've been eating a lot healthier and now am a frequent gym goer. Although, I am no way a Victoria's secret model but for the first time in a good 18 months, I feel confident about my body again. I tried on the things that i wore on that Florida holiday to find they were all big, and shorts which cut into my thighs were now baggy around them.
Not only that, but I feel healthier too. I feel like I have more energy (well I do still fight the urge to nap) I sleep better (despite wanting to nap) and I just feel cleaner. Does that make sense?
The thing is that starting to eat healthier and work out is hard. It's hard trying to ditch the good stuff and getting your bum into the gym/workout.
I won't lie that when I wake up in the mornings on gym days, I basically have to haul myself out of bed to go (as you can tell I like my sleep) and sometimes I eat crap. I'll eat a McDonald's, or chocolate, but it's no way near as often as it used to be. So I thought that I would share some tips that I have found useful when trying to be a bit healthier.
1. Get Motivated/Inspired:
Inspiration is a big thing for actually wanting to eat healthier/workout. I had my holiday last year to spur me on, and back late last year when I decided to give it a real proper go, I got inspired by the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show (not even joking) and feeling fed up of feeling crap about my body. I decided that this year, I wanted to be confident. I would pin pictures on a Pinterest board, with goals and tips and tricks to keep me going.
2. Find Out What Works For You:
Every summer for a few years, I was a big fan of the 30 day shred. I'd do it in my living room and it was great. However when we got Frankie, this didn't happen anymore and our bedroom didn't have enough floor space. I also found out that I'm not that motivated to work out at home anymore. So I joined a gym. I joined one that I can walk to, as I knew I wouldn't drive to one, and it's easy for me to get to meaning, I find it easier to go. I like going first thing in the morning to wake up, and then it's over and done with. I can get on with my day and feel energised. I try to go 3-4 times a week, sometimes, it's only twice, but I try to be strict with the 3-4 times, and I always give myself Sunday as a rest day/cheat day for eating. It gives me something to look forward to during the week.
3. Pack Your Own Lunch
When I was at work, I released I was spending £3+ a day on meal deals. Not only does it add up to a small fortune but sandwiches from shops are full of fat and usually contain more calories than a Big Mac. So I started taking my own lunch in. Not only was it cheaper but healthier too.
I am a big snacker. I love crisps, and I love chocolate. I was eating two packets of crisps and chocolate bars for lunch every day, at one point. So I decided that snacks were the main thing I needed to work on. I substituted crisps for celery and dip. Which I know is no comparison, but you can actually eat quite a lot of celery as it's so low in calories and picking a yummy dip such as hummus, or salsa makes it much more exciting.
Something I've also been enjoying snack wise, is baking chickpeas. I put some drained tinned chickpeas in the oven at about 200c for 20 minutes, throw on some fajita seasoning/paprika and then eat as a snack. They remind me of nuts and taste really good. Chickpeas are great for protein, iron and fibre.
When it came to chocolate, I knew that would be hard. I am still a sucker for chocolate, but I would pack two squares of dark chocolate for my lunch, and this will be my afternoon snack now. I always find I crave something sweet in the afternoon, and dark chocolate is slightly better for you, and also makes you feel quite full so totally satisfying those chocolate cravings. I want to get some cacao butter and powder and make my own chocolate soon.
5. Go Brown:
That may sound weird, but one difference I have found is swapping white carbs for wholewheat ones. Wholemeal pitta bread is a staple in my diet, brown rice and wholewheat pasta are all things, I eat a lot of. These are complex carbs and aren't all starchy such as regular pasta, bread and rice. I also always found that these carbs made me bloated whilst wholewheat is a good source of fibre. I also swap chips for sweet potato wedges/fries. Just as yummy, and much better for you. I add a little olive oil and paprika/fajita spice to them and bake them and they are yum!
6. Don't Go Cold Turkey:
The thing is we're human, so cutting out everything that's bad for you, is only going to end up with you wanting the bad stuff and possibly giving up being healthy. I let myself have treats, you have to! I have Sunday's as my guilt free day, though to be honest, if one night we want a takeaway/McDonald's it's okay too. It's not the weekly occurrence it once was but that doesn't mean I don't still indulge. I always find if I tell myself, I can't have treats, then I will want them even more.
I decided that I wanted to drink more water. I already drink water pretty much all the time anyways but I wanted to up my intake. Recently, I have been adding a couple of lemon slices to my water bottle which is a really fresh drink. I've been drinking loads of lemon water which is a great detox water. It's a great way of making yourself drink more water!
I do feel better for eating healthier, it doesn't mean I'm completely healthy and tbh, I probably could eat better but sometimes, you need chocolate and you need it now! I have noticed I've lost weight and most importantly, I feel better in myself. So let me know your favourite healthy snacks below as I love finding out new things to try!