Even the best laid plans of dieting and exercise can go awry"and usually that comes down to the unpredictability of life. No matter how good your intentions are each morning to avoid anything unhealthy and to hit the gym after work, you may find yourself chowing down on sweets at a colleague impromptu celebration, or skipping your workout for drinks with friends.
The time in between when you make the decision to lose weight and get healthy to the time when you actually start to see improvements in your body can be excruciatingly long, and many of us can get discouraged that all our hard work isn't paying off.
The most important thing to remember is that getting healthy is a lifelong commitment, not just something you find yourself doing over a weekend and abandoning once you lose a couple pounds. You've got to find positive habits that fit your lifestyle and schedule"for example, if you're at work twelve hours a day there's a good chance you won't feel like cooking all of your meals at home, and a goal like that may be unrealistic.
The good news is that everyone can absolutely find healthy lifestyle changes that fit their life"it just takes some time to actually implement them, and even longer to see results. It's absolutely worth it though, despite the hard work and tough choices. Here are some great tips you can use as backup plans to avoid unhealthy eating.
1) DITCH YOUR "ALL OR NOTHING' THINKING
We've all been here"we make a plan to be absolutely perfect in our diet and exercise, and the moment we slip up we dive for the powdered donuts and television. Skipping a workout or indulging in a less than healthy food doesn't mean you've fallen off the wagon, it just means you're human. After all, do you really want to be a person that lives their life in such a strict and regimented way?
You're bound to make mistakes, especially in the first few months after you decide to improve your life. When you find yourself giving into cravings, or letting laziness impact your decisions take some time to think about why it is you did what you did. Think about your diet and fitness goals. Are you eating enough? Are you allowing yourself time to relax and sleep? Are you letting yourself have "cheat days'?
Be kind to yourself! It's incredibly admirable that you're trying to get healthy"try being your own personal cheerleader instead of a drill sergeant.
2) DON'T REWARD YOURSELF WITH FOOD
On the topic of "cheat days' remember that unhealthy food shouldn't be used solely as a prize. It's a slippery slope and pretty soon you could find your rewards rending your efforts ineffective, like eating a chocolate bar in celebration after a trip to the gym.
One way to avoid doing this is by finding other more positive ways to reward yourself. Consider buying a new makeup item, getting a manicure or going out for a massage. Go shopping and grab some new awesome workout clothes. Get a haircut and rock your new look. These are all great ways to treat yourself without food.
3) STAND UP AGAINST NAYSAYERS
Something that you will probably run into while first announcing your plans for a healthier lifestyle are the inevitable naysayers. These are people who go out of their way to assure you that you don't need to work out, or try to get you to eat junk food with them so they don't feel bad about eating it by themselves.
Will power is the keyword here, and you've got to do what you can to resist them. The best thing you can do is to invite them into your health plans"that way you can join forces to work together. If they resist then the best thing you can do is smile and nod. You may not be able to change their mind, but they shouldn't be able to change yours either.
4) REDUCE THE RISK OF EXERCISE INJURY
One of the biggest mistakes a lot of people make when committing to their diet and fitness plans is doing too much too soon"and when it comes to exercise, that can mean risking an injury. The last thing you want to do is be stuck on the couch with a sprained ankle, dipping into comfort food to sooth your woes.
Prevention is the best way to avoid this situation entirely, so listen to your body and take ample time to recover after working off. If you do end up injuring yourself don't let it completely ruin your healthy aspirations. Take the time you need to heal, keep a lot of nutritious snacks within reach and learn from your mistakes.
5) DON'T LET YOUR VACATION DERAIL YOUR GOALS
You may not want your vacation to be entirely centered around your health plans, but it is important to keep things in perspective and prevent yourself completely getting off track. A good way to do this is to start the day with a healthy breakfast"that way at least you can start the day out right.
Consider swapping your usual gym workout for activities at your destination"it can be a lot of fun, and a lot more memorable than the treadmill at your hotel. If you're vacationing in the country consider swimming, hiking or canoeing. In a city you can often find yourself hitting your cardio goal simply by walking around all day, but you can also consider doing body weight exercises in your hotel room, using a guide or following a DVD.
Remember that your vacation is all about you, so you shouldn't feel guilty for straying a little from your ideal diet and fitness. You deserve a little time off, so make sure to rest up and have fun. Your goal should be to make good health a concrete part of your life, so no matter where you are you're going to be adhering to the principles behind healthy living.