It is the new year and many people have deemed 2014 the year to clean up their act in regards to health and fitness. For today’s post I wanted to share my thoughts on setting priorities when it comes to eating healthy, workout and creating an all around healthy lifestyle.
How many times a week should I exercise in order to lose weight? This is a question Anna and I hear a lot. When it comes to weight loss people place so much focus on hitting the gym. Every year around this time the gym becomes over crowded with people trying to achieve their weight loss goals by adopting new fitness routines. However people are so busy focusing on working out and they forget about eating right.
In my life I have experienced the best result in regards to feeling great and hitting my ideal weight when I have been eating right, surrounding myself with other like-minded people and working out. I had periods in my life where I was running up to an hour a day, but was 10- 15 pounds overweight. During this period I was also in the service industry and surrounded by unhealthy food, drink and people. I was running in the mornings, lunching on restaurant food in the afternoons and drinking in the evenings. Trust that the morning run did not balance out the rest of the day’s bad behavior.
Have you ever eaten a whole pizza and made the justification of I deserve it because I went to the gym today?
This is the type of think that prevents us from hitting our fitness goals!
Think of the French, the French are adored and looked up to for their ability to eat great food and stay slim. I have been to France many times and let me tell you the French are not known for hitting the gym 7 days a week. The one thing they do have down is eating small amounts of food and eating real food. This example helps prove that fitness is not the be all end all when it comes to losing and maintaining a healthly weight.
When it comes to weight loss and getting fit it requires a lifestyle change. In my life I have seen the best results when I focus first on defining my purpose, than eating clean, than surrounding myself with healthy people and lastly ensuring I am being physically active.
Clear Purpose- First you need to have a clear purpose for why you want to loss weight and create a healthy lifestyle. Is your purpose to feel comfortable in your clothes or do you want to feel strong and fit when playing with your kids or do you have chronic illness in which you are trying to reduce the painful symptoms by creating a healthy lifestyle?
Clearly defining your purpose is important because it can act as a north star for when you feel lost or defeated. You will have weak moments where you say why I am I doing this? I want to eating fried foods! That’s when you go back to your purpose to remind yourself why you are making the choices you are.
Diet- Once you have a clear purpose as to why you want to live a healthy lifestyle, it’s time to start living that life! Next step stock the fridge and cupboards with good stuff! You don’t have to place yourself on a strict calorie counting diet, just follow basics. The first rule of thumb with healthy eating- eat real food! Cut out all processed junk. Secondly, add as many fruits and vegetables to your diet as possible. Thirdly eliminate or greatly reduce all animal products. Read more about healthy eating here – http://healthwealthandbaby.com/2013/12/31/30-day-plant-based-vegan-challenge-lose-10-pounds-cleanse-your-body-save-money/
Community- Next you have to have people around you that support and love you for what you are doing. Not everyone in your life might agree or want the same things but support you in what your doing. You have to set yourself up in a healthy environment with healthy people. Drinking buddies who get mad that you no longer want to get wasted and eat nachos, maybe they need to be pushed to the side for a while. Environment and surroundings is so important. If your hanging out with people who eat junk all the time, it’s hard to not fall back into those habits. One of the reasons Anna and I are so close is because we inspire each other to always be eating healthy, working out and striving for all around health and wellness. Plus as you can in the picture above it’s more fun to go for a hike or do anything active with a friend or sibling. Here is link to another article that speaks about the power of your friends- http://healthwealthandbaby.com/tag/power-posse/
Fitness- Lastly hitting the gym. By putting this last I do not want people to think it’s not important- it is! However in terms of weight loss it really is the last piece of the puzzle. And to answer the original question how many times should I work out in a week. Working out 4 days a week is a great too place to be. I strive to get the gym 4 days a week and I happy with that. I am also all about maximizing my time at the gym because I am so busy. I am constantly altering and adjusting my fitness routines to get the best bang for my buck. Like I said before I used to run a lot and I always carried a little extra weight. I eventually realized that heavy cardio is not a good fit for my body. One because it made me feel starving afterwards and I felt like I needed to eat the world’s supply of carbs to feel satisfied. Secondly, it was really hard on my body. I would get really sore knees and feet. I have adjusted now and do mostly weights and yoga as my main work routines, with a little cardio mixed in throughout the week. I have experienced amazing results with this change, but it things stall again I will adjust as necessary. If you’re not seeing results, switch it up. Don’t become compliance with your fitness routine because your results will suffer.