Being healthy and exercising seems to be the top of the hit list on new years resolutions. Each and every year. People makes promises for a new them, dozens of new books hit the shelves on new diets, new tips, new products. Gym memberships are flogged like crazy with new people signing up by the truckload. Everyone wants to turn over a new leaf. It may seem like I am dissing the whole new year’s resolutions (I think I did that in my post about making resolutions to be more awesome this year) but I am not. It is great that people see it as an opportunity to get their butt into gear and lose weight or eat right or just start looking after themselves. I generally need a good old detox after the holiday period. I have generally consumed enough wine to fill at least 1 or 2 wine barrels and my poor body needs a good break. Perfect opportunity to have a break until it’s my birthday late January and I generally can’t help but enjoy myself again.
Point is, I like to look after my health all year round. I like to eat well, maintain my exercise and look after myself ALL the time, not just for a few weeks or months and then get bored. Life change requires a lot of commitment and if you are not in the habit of a healthy lifestyle it can be hard to stick to it. I should know. It took me a while to get on board but once you are in the swing of it (currently going strong 9 years now) you realise how great it makes you feel and how much better your body is at doing what you love. Plus when I eat the cheesy fries or drink the wine I don’t get the guilts.
So how do you stick to a healthy lifestyle all year round? Well, I am not Jillian Michaels or Michelle Bridges and I certainly don’t look like them either. So it’s possible you will tune out now. Sorry. But I do have some tips that over the many years that after losing weight have allowed me to actually stick to my weight and diet long term not just short term.
- Loads of Veggies and Salad – When I first wanted to lose weight I wanted to cut back eating but not stupid amounts. So for dinner, I cut back my meat/chicken portions and loaded my plates with steamed vegetables or salad. You can eat as much of this really as you want. I set my meat portions to about 150g and this kept me satisfied as I love my meat. A tiny bit of dressing and a little salt and pepper can help the veggies or salad if you are not a fan.
- Allow yourself a treat night – After talking about eating all the good stuff you do need to allow yourself a day of something indulgent. Personally, I can’t go all 7 days and keep that up long term, it won’t work. For me, we eat a takeaway meal on Saturday night. It doesn’t have to be absolutely loaded with saturated fat you can still keep it healthy but allowing yourself a treat makes it worthwhile. You deserve a treat for all your hard work. And in all seriousness, anyone I know who hasn’t done this doesn’t last. You can’t deprive yourself of some naughty stuff or you wonder what on earth you are doing it for. We opt for Lebanese where we get grilled meats and salad, Japanese or if we get pizza with the kids eat a couple of pieces and have a side salad.
- Wine and Soda Anyone? – If it were up to me I would have wine most of the weekend because I enjoy it and after a long week it sometimes feels nice to relax with a nice glass on Friday night. I decided as wine is heavy in calories and certainly doesn’t help in kick starting your metabolism, in fact, it makes it worse, so I cut my drinking back to Saturday night only. This meant that I still have something to look forward to and could enjoy some glasses but not consume all weekend. Of course, things come up and sometimes that doesn’t always happen but most of the time we have things planned on Saturday so this works nicely. If I am drinking wine I also try to mix it with soda. This slows down how much I drink plus helps rehydrate me at the same time.
- Group Fitness – One of my favourites. It is great for motivation, keeping you on track, plus it is a great way to meet some awesome people too and have a bit of chat while working out, if you can still breathe of course. But it also makes the time go quicker if you have some other pumped people who enjoy keeping fit. I am also big on changing it up so by doing a couple of group sessions a week it keeps things different and interesting each week. I found running 5 days a week was just something I could not continue doing. I hated it. Now I only run twice a week and I have far more motivation when I do run because I have variety. I have met some awesome ladies in the group program I do which does a mixture of boxing and HIIT. They are motivating, positive plus just down right fun ladies. We even have a coffee and a breakfast afterward if the kids aren’t in tow.
- Exercise at least 3 times a week – I aim for 4 to 5 days of exercise but if I am honest at least one of those is a half hearted effort. Either I am tired, the kids have stuff on or just life is busy. It’s hard. But I always figure that doing something is better than nothing at all. Even if you get out and run for 20 minutes or while the kids are in the bath do some squats and lunges. It’s something. But there are days that stuff comes up and that happens. You just have to do what fits in with your already hectic schedule.
- Strava and My Fitness Pal are your friend – Both of these apps are free and are fantastic resources. Strava tracks your exercise and my fitness pal lets you see what you are putting in your body over the course of the week. You can sync them both together so your exercise comes up in my fitness pal to allow for calories burnt. I find this app excellent for Australia and I am yet to find many foods that don’t come up in their index which is awesome. Some foods you think are fine, may surprise you! Check out Strava here and My Fitness Pal here
- Mix up your music playlists – And do it regularly. I find that fresh music really helps. have a couple of exercise playlists that you can keep changing it up. New music makes for inspiration and harder exercise I find!
You can also check out some of my healthy snacks when on the go that I compiled a while ago to keep you going that I compiled a while ago to keep you going!
So, these may not work for you but these are the things that worked for me long term in keeping a healthy lifestyle all year round. I hope some of these things work for you long term and for many years to come.