I know there is this notion that in order to live a healthy lifestyle, you have to buy expensive food and eat grass and carrots all day long…. Yawn. Not true. There are some really simple things you can do if you want to live a healthy life, but you also want to stick to a budget. Yes, these things can be done on any budget too and that is the awesome thing.
First, I want you to identify what you struggle with the most. What areas do you want to improve? Do you want to eat healthier? Exercise more? Drink more water? Eat more fruits and veggies? What is the area that you want to improve. Write that down. Actually, it would be great if you had a little calendar or notebook to track your progress. If that isn’t realistic, write down your goal and place it somewhere you will look at it every single day. If you are working at eating better, put a note on the refrigerator so you will look at it every day.
Next, narrow it down to 1-2 things you can do that are manageable over the next 4 weeks. If that is drinking more water, then go for it. If you want to eat more fruits and veggies great. Write it down and make it a set in stone goal for the next 4 weeks.
Here is the thing about goals. They have to be SMART. I believe in SMART goals. (If you are thinking “ok what the heck is this chick talking about.”) Here’s what I mean.
SMART GOALS ARE:
If your goal does not meet this criteria, go back and rework it so it does. Like this: My goal is to drink 64 fluid ounces of water everyday for 4 weeks.” This is possible and specific and there is a timeline attached to it.
Or it could look like this: “I will eat one serving of vegetables at lunch and dinner each day for 4 weeks.” Again, this is SMART because it is achievable and realistic.
When you think in terms of living healthy, make it simple.
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Healthy Lifestyle Tips
I love talking about healthy living. I love to eat healthy and I love helping other people achieve their health goals. This post is all about simple healthy lifestyle tips that can be done at any budget.
- Drink more water. Water is essential for healthy bodies. Water helps to regulate body temperature, lubricate joints, get rid of wastes. (CDC Water and Nutrition). A healthy lifestyle requires that you get enough water. The goal is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day. That may seem like a lot, but water is an essential nutrient that your body needs.
- Avoid drinking sugary drinks. Replace the sugary drinks with water. If you need to have something a little sweet in your drink, you can try something called True Lemonade which is an all natural sweetener that tastes just like lemonade. It is very low calorie and tastes great. I don’t recommend that you replace your soda with True Lemon Lemonade. I think water is still the best choice, but if you need to wean yourself off pop, try this occasionally. You can also try using fruit in your water.
- Eat more fruits and veggies. Don’t overcomplicate this. As Nike says, “Just Do It.” Plan to eat your fruits and veggies every day. Check out this list of Cheap Clean Eating Snack Ideas if you need help planning snacks. You can get your own copy of the list by clicking here. Go for the fruit and veggies with more bang for their buck like apples, grapes, bananas, cauliflower, broccoli. You can also buy canned or frozen veggies as the fresh veggies may be more expensive. Make it a goal to eat one fruit every day with breakfast and one vegetable at lunch and dinner everyday. You can start there and then increase from there. I love the Organize Yourself Skinny eBook for this reason. Tammy talks about her weight loss and goes over the steps she took to lose weight and how she became incredibly organized to keep the weight off. She is a weight loss boss! You can check out what she did here to lose weight.
- Put what you love first. (Repeat after me. Oreos do not count as a fruit.) What fruits and veggies do you love? What healthy food variations do you absolutely love? Keep those in mind when you are planning your meals. Healthy food does not have to be boring. Make it interesting.
- It is ok to have what you love occasionally. Yes, you can have some of the food you love in moderation. Don’t eat the whole pack of Oreos, just 1 or 2. (Can you tell I love Oreos?) Seriously though, when you want a treat, you don’t need to justify it. What you need to do is think about the long term consequences of what will happen if you overeat the treats. What do you really want with your health? Keep those goals in mind EVERY SINGLE DAY. In order to achieve the healthy life you want, you have to make some changes and get rid of the things that aren’t helping you achieve your goals.
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- Find a way to be held accountable. Find some way to keep yourself accountable. I don’t care if you tell our pet hamster about your goals everyday, just tell somebody, something or write them down. The more focused you are on the goal, the more likely you are to actually achieve the goal. If you are good about keeping track of your daily water or food, great do that. If you are the type of person who cannot do this, don’t do it. Don’t overcomplicate this process.
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- Get moving. Less remote, more movement. Even if you decide to walk 5-10 minutes 2 times per day, that is awesome. What is manageable for you? What can you handle right now? Get moving right now. Don’t wait until tomorrow. Get up and start doing something right this minute. (Well, right after you read this;)
- Find a way to unwind. Take a few minutes to yourself everyday doing something you love to do that is all for you. You need this mentally and it will help keep you balanced.
- Figure out what makes you tick. This can be a tricky one, but think about what you need in order to be healthy or feel healthy. What is it that makes you feel your best? What foods do you love to eat that are healthy? What exercise do you love to do? What is it that you wish you had more time to do? We are all very unique and what works for me may not work for you and that is totally ok. Just think about what has worked for you in the past with living a healthier lifestyle and figure out why it worked. What didn’t work? Why? What was easy? What was hard? How can you change it so you are more successful this time around?
- Plan your meals. I harp on this all the time, but it is so true! In order for you to have a healthy lifestyle you have to plan young grasshopper! My favorite ways to plan are using the $5 Meal Plan and using the strategies that I read about in the Organize Yourself Skinny eBook. Hands down, these 2 things have helped me organize. I realized that I can’t do everything and meal planning seemed like such a chore to me. I would spend at least a couple hours doing it and we ate the same thing all the time. I love that I found the $5 Meal Plan because we have variety now and I don’t have to do the meal planning.
- Don’t do everything at once. Keep it real. Don’t overpromise and underdeliver on what is possible for you to achieve over the next 4 weeks. Do as much as you think is possible and keep your schedule in mind.
- Give yourself permission to let something go. Like I said, you can’t do everything and giving yourself the permission to let something go is kind of freeing. If there is no way you can fit in exercise the next 4 weeks, don’t. If you cannot find time to plan every single meal, that’s ok. Do your best and if you slip up, don’t give up. Realize that you are human and don’t beat yourself up.
When I went into labor with Joey, I weighed over 200 pounds. I gained over 40 pounds with that pregnancy and I thought the weight would just melt off…. Unfortunately, to my dismay, it doesn’t work like that. I had to work at getting the weight off. I did not realize how hard it was going to be. For the first time in my life, I realized what eating healthy was all about.
I realized that I couldn’t eat what I wanted and still expect to lose all the baby weight. In fact, I had to really work at figuring out what my body needed in order to lose the weight as what I usually did before, no longer worked. It was frustrating and wanted to give up so many times. I started reading and researching about health and nutrition and I realized some very important things.
Living healthy means you include fruits and veggies not because you know they are good for you, but because eating them will speed up your metabolism. I realized that for my body, I needed to eat several small meals per day. I can’t eat just 3 times per day or I feel very hungry at meals. I realized that eating this way improved my metabolism. I also realized that my snacks needed to be fruits or veggies because if I ate crackers or processed food, the scales did not go down. I needed the whole foods in order to speed up my metabolism. The same holds true for me today. If I eat too many Oreos or sweets, the scales go up. If I start eating well and eating fruits, veggies and protein consistently, that is when the weight comes off for me.
This was part of a trial and error process for me, but you can totally do the same thing. Keep in mind that you need a lot of patience if you are trying to lose weight. Within a year after having Joey, I lost 55 pounds. Yep, I lost more than the baby weight. I figured out some really important things in my life that I needed to be healthy and in the process I was able to help others figure out what they needed too. I started helping others learn about how their bodies function best and they started noticing a change as well.
If you are in the process of learning how to live a healthy life, don’t get discouraged. There are temptations everywhere and learning what those temptations are and how to deal with them will help you. Try to be as prepared as possible and really try to figure out what works for you. You can achieve your health goal, just be patient and kind to yourself. You got this!
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