Being healthy doesn’t have to mean overhauling your entire lifestyle. For some of us, going to the gym six days a week is neither practical nor affordable, and the thought of eating salads is neither appetizing nor filling. We hear you. So here are 9 tips, tricks, and rules you probably haven’t considered for living a healthier life.
Protect your mental space.
Ladies, you know what I’m talking about. Everywhere we look, we are bombarded with headlines telling us to “Get skinny NOW!” and “Lose that extra belly fat!” It’s ridiculous, right? Our worth in society should not be measured by our appearance. So if something (or someone) in your life is always reminding you that you don’t meet its standards, get rid of it. (Seven years ago, I cancelled all my magazine subscriptions, and let me tell you life has never been better!)
If you hate going to the gym, then stop going.
You’ll save money, and you’ll be happier. Exercising should not feel like a punishment you inflict on yourself because you had pizza for dinner. Exercise should be your happy place, and it should make you feel good about yourself. If you hate exercising, then you probably haven’t found the right exercise for you. There are literally thousands of ways to get exercise––and most of them are not offered in gyms. Take a hip pop dance class, join a beer league volleyball team, play Pokemon Go. Find the activity you like doing, and do that.
Find your people.
Once you’ve found the activity you like doing, then stick it out long enough to make friends with other people who also enjoy it. Some people call this “finding your tribe,” and I call it finding your people. It’s the key to any exercising experience. The way you find your people is by showing up consistently. Whether you’re going to a yoga studio or rollerblading down the boardwalk, going on the same days at the same times will help you meet others who enjoy the same activity. If you find out you’re not a fan of the 9AM crowd, maybe see what the 6AM crowd has to offer.
Avoid watching commercials.
Commercials for food make you hungry. If you’re watching a show and a commercial comes on, find something else to occupy your eyes and ears (just don’t wander into the kitchen). If you have the luxury of being able to DVR your shows, do it. That way you can fast forward through the commercials. Watching shows on Hulu and Netflix also help cut down on the amount of food advertisements you’ll see.
Eat your calories, don’t drink them.
Hands down my favorite tip. I remember exactly where I was and who I was with when I first heard this tip. It was the game changer for me, and I hope it can be for you too. It wasn’t until someone said this to me, that I realized I was wasting precious pizza and chocolate eating calories on juice, lattes, and beer. I switched to water, and I never looked back.
Now, don’t think that this gives you an excuse to switch from regular to diet soda. Soda in any form should be avoided, and if you’ve never stopped drinking it, then try it for a month. I promise you, after a month of no soda, you’ll be able to taste the syrup in it and you’ll never drink it again. I did this in high school and it worked like a charm!
If it doesn’t go bad, don’t buy it.
Avoid the inner aisles at the grocery store! Think of your body as you do your car. You wouldn’t dump soda into your gas tank and expect the car to run, would you? Your body is the same way. Foods that have a shelf life of the apocalypse are generally filled with things that make the human body run less efficiently. It’s best to avoid these foods as much as possible.
Skip the sauce.
Adding sauce is just adding unnecessary calories to your food. This means say no to ketchup on your french fries, don’t put mayo on your sandwich, and don’t dip your pizza crust in ranch dressing.
If the dressing is opaque, don’t eat it.
As a general rule, avoid opaque dressings because they tend to have more fat and calories than clear dressings. If we’re talking about salad dressing, opaque usually means the dressing contains lots of buttermilk, mayo and sour cream like Ranch and Thousand Island dressings. If we’re talking about pasta, opaque usually means the butter and fatty milks you’d find in Alfredo and Vodka sauces. Avoiding opaque dressings will save you from consuming unnecessary calories, and force you to make a healthier choices such as balsamic vinaigrette.
Walk, don’t run.
Lazy girls, listen up. This is hot––hot––topic of debate in the exercise community, yet it’s true what I say: evidence suggests that, for some people, brisk walking can burn more body fat than running. Now, I’m not trying to start a debate here; my point is to let you know your speed walking is a legitimate and effective method of exercise. So next time you go grocery shopping or head out to run errands, park as far away from your destination as you reasonably can and walk. You’ll burn some fat just by walking a little extra (and probably have an easier time finding parking).
These are some of my tips to help get both your mind and body in healthier shape than it has been. Start with these simple changes, and you’ll be on your way to a healthy life overhaul!
Are there any other lazy girl tips you’d add to my list?