It’s the beginning of a new year and many of us will be reevaluating our lifestyles and wanting to make healthy changes. But sometimes we can have a goal in mind but not know where to start.
When beginning a journey to health and fitness it’s important to start where you are and take baby steps towards your goal. This way you will establish habits that will stick for life rather than just a few months.
You don’t want to get bored, burn out or feel completely deprived before the end of the month!
Here’s a few baby steps to kickstart your fitness.
1. Make one change at a time
Rather than going cold turkey on all things unhealthy, take a long term approach to transforming your eating and fitness habits. You want to establish healthy habits for life and not torture yourself.
Instead change what you eat one meal at a time. Switch up your breakfast and after a week of eating healthy for breakfast start to change your lunch and add on a change of dinner habits the following week.
If you want to see what it’s like cutting off sugar completely cold turkey you can read my experience here, it ain’t pretty. To eliminate unhealthy foods completely start by reducing them to ease your cravings rather than causing your body to go through severe withdrawals.
2. Find an exercise that matches your abilities right now.
If you have never done a push up or any form of exercise starting with a Jillian Michaels DVD will be a sad defeat. Start with 10-15 minutes of pilates or yoga a day to get your body used to daily exercise or a couch to 5k running plan.
After two to four weeks of consistent exercise take it up a level. Add more time or an increased level of exercise to keep improving your fitness.
If you’ve recently had a baby or are still left with some of the after effects of pregnancy (i.e. a very compromised core and/or pelvic floor) then check out the the amazing Mutu System for a proven way to lose the mummy tummy. I’ve written a post here about the best place to start with fitness after baby and how the Mutu System helped me regain my core after pregnancy.
I personally never do more than 30mins of exercise a day simply because that’s all I have time for. But I make those 30mins count by doing something that really challenges me and I keep it consistent.
Working out first thing in the morning is a proven way to maximise your work out, but as a mum you sometimes have to fit it in whenever you can – nap time, after school drop off, after bed, or early morning – no excuses!
Be willing to try new things until you find something you love. But sometimes, you just have to learn to love it when it comes to shedding that excess weight.
3. Drink more water.
This may seem really obvious but when winter strikes we can forget to drink water and reach straight for the tea and coffee. Caffeine has a dehydrating effect so this includes tea, coffee and most fizzy drinks. For every cup of caffeine you need two cups of water.
It’s so important to drink at least 1.5L of water a day to keep up hydration and energy. You’re skin will become more clear, you’ll have more energy and alertness and you’ll be able to sleep better.
Also, anything other than water contains calories. You don’t want to sabotage all your hard efforts in changing your eating habits by drinking your calories.
One regular latte equals around 200 calories while one small glass of red wine is around 100 calories. Add in juices and any fizzy drinks and you’ve just consumed a whole meals worth of calories.
Stick to water and limit your caffeine intake to reduce the calories and improve hydration. Plus, when exercising proper hydration becomes crucial for an effective work out.
4. Focus on the beginning and end of your day.
This is where you can make small changes that have a BIG impact on your overall health. What we eat and drink at the beginning and end of our day determines our cravings and energy levels during the day.
I love waking up to a cup of tea or coffee but it leaves me very dehydrated and cranky. So now I start my day off with warm lemon water to rehydrate and detox in the morning and save my cup of coffee for about an hour after I’ve been awake.
Also, switch your breakfast from carbs to protein and you’ll be powering through till lunch. Almost every cereal, whether healthy or unhealthy will have some sort of sugar in it. This combination of carbohydrates and sugar is just a recipe for a quick rush of energy with an even faster plummet to lethargy, hunger, and more sugar cravings.
Switch to eggs with spinach or other veg, but if you can’t stomach it then porridge with a teaspoon of honey will keep energy levels up and hunger pangs at bay until lunch.
Likewise, in the evening don’t snack after dinner and don’t drink caffeine in the evening. Your body needs to go 12 hours without food at night to actually burn calories while you sleep, otherwise you can wake up sluggish and groggy.
Craving for your after dinner chocolate? Try honey and cinnamon tea instead. Drinking this half an hour before bed will satisfy your sugar cravings while balancing your blood sugar and can even be used for weight loss and much much more!
To make: use 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon to one teaspoon of honey with fresh boiled water.
Check out my Pinterest boards for more great ideas to kickstart your fitness!
Got any questions? Feel free to ask! What are your fitness goals this year?
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