So you’ve decided to hop on the health train? Great! Following a healthy lifestyle has several benefits including more energy, feelings of accomplishment, increased feelings of confidence, and a reduced chance of developing health issues as you grow older.
Before you make a lifestyle change, I want you to be thoroughly prepared. So let’s see what actions you can take to start a healthy lifestyle.
How to Commit to a Healthy Lifestyle
Do Your Research
Research is crucial before starting any health plan/routine. With so many options available, how could you possibly know which one is right for you?
Take some time to go over different ways of eating to see what each way consists of and consider the pros and cons of each. I’ll give you a quick overview of some of the most popular ways of eating below:
- Paleo: This is how early humans ate (according to science!). No grains, no processed food, no legumes, and no dairy.
- Low Carb: For the most part, the low carb diet is similar to the paleo diet except you can have dairy, and you are allowed processed foods.
- Keto: This is a stricter version of the low carb diet. You are not allowed any processed foods and you have to pay close attention to all the ingredients in your food. And you have to limit your fruits.
- Vegetarian: What can or can’t be eaten while following a vegetarian diet will differ depending on what type of vegetarian you are. Some individuals will still eat fish, eggs, and dairy products while abstaining from red and white meat while others will abstain from eating any meat or dairy products except eggs.
- Vegan: This way of eating does not allow any meats or any by-products of animals (milk, cheese, ice cream).
Now that you know some popular ways of eating, read on to see how to figure out which one will work for you.
Choose a Way of Eating
When it comes to choosing a way of eating, you need to think long-term. This will play an important role in how successful you will be on your journey.
If you can’t stick to it long-term, it will not work for you. Once you resume your old, unhealthy eating habits, you are more than likely to gain back the weight you have loss.
Also, any aches or inflammation you had prior to the lifestyle change could return.
Why I Chose Low Carb
The main reason why I decided to go low carb was because 1.) it allowed me to eat the foods I love 2.) grains cause inflammation for me, and 3.) I needed to lose weight.
I knew that I had to choose a way of eating that allowed me to eat meat. Especially ground beef, since burgers are my favorite! But not only can I have meat, I can also have dairy.
With this way of eating, I still get to eat things I love while keeping my gut health in check and my inflammation low. When examining the other options, I knew those would be too strict for me.
I wanted to eat healthily, but I also wanted to follow something that would be realistic for me.
What way of eating is the most realistic for you? Which way will provide you the most health benefits and still allow you to eat all the things you love?
Make a Plan
Now that you have chosen your way of eating, it’s time to make a plan. Your plan will include:
- Meal Planning – This will consist of having some idea of what you will eat on a daily basis. You can write this out in a meal planner and cook on a day-by-day basis or you can step up your game and cook one or two days a week to meal prep for the week. .
When planning your meals, don’t forget your cheat meals. Not a cheat day, but a cheat meal. You want to indulge occasionally, but don’t go overboard.
- Grocery Shopping – If you plan your meals out ahead of time, grocery shopping should be a breeze. You will only purchase items you will be eating for the week or the next two weeks (dependent upon the lifestyle you choose).
This will also save you some money! Trust me – I’m that person that has gone in the store and put everything I didn’t need into my shopping cart.
- Working Out – A healthy lifestyle is incomplete without physical activity. I find walking to be very boring, so my workouts usually consist of HIIT routines, strength training exercises, and dance routines that I find on YouTube.
Find exercises that are entertaining to you and try to work out at least 3 days a week.
Try It Out
Now that you know what you’ll be eating and have chosen your method of exercise, it’s time to put your healthy lifestyle to the test.
I want you to eat and workout according to your plan for a whole month.
Track Your Progress
Please track your journey! Make note of how you feel after making these changes. Take before and after pictures.
Keep a journal to document what you ate and how you felt afterward. This is a good way to find out if you need to eliminate foods that cause stomach/body aches or inflammation.
I would suggest weighing yourself once before you begin and again after 1 month. Your weight will fluctuate and I don’t want you to feel discouraged by the scale because it doesn’t tell the whole story.
It’s possible to be losing fat and gaining muscle, but the scale won’t reflect that. Rely on your pictures and the way your clothes fit to determine whether or not this new lifestyle is working for you.
And there you have it! I hope these ideas help you start your health journey.
Remember to take it day by day. You are making changes that you plan to stick to so becoming adapted to a new way of eating may take some time.
Wishing you the best of luck!