Living a healthy lifestyle should be a top priority for everyone.
The path towards improving and maintaining a high quality of life, is an ongoing journey of health and wellness.
The only problem is, there is so much information out there nowadays which is just completely false.
Mindset and Mental Attitude
Your mindset and your mental attitude are crucial for you to achieve your health and fitness goals.
The key three are patience, discipline and belief.
Let’s start with patience.
Oftentimes people are looking for a quick fix to solve their problems and losing weight is no exception.
You have to keep in mind though, that losing weight and being healthy are lifelong challenges. You may begin this program and expect results in a day or even in a week.
But be patient.
You may slip up and eat something you’re not supposed to, so be patient.
You may skip a workout or two.
Be patient with yourself.
Stick to the plan with consistency and you will accomplish your goals.
The next one, is discipline.
There will be times throughout your journey where you want to cheat or cut corners.
Perhaps you want to stay up all night binge watching your favorite shows on Netflix. When you should be getting a good night’s sleep, instead.
Or maybe you substitute that salad for a plate of fries, or you order that large soda. Instead of a tall glass of water.
It takes a great deal of discipline to stay on course and fight against our urges and temptations.
And finally we have belief. Because before we can move towards any goal, we need to believe in ourselves and that we can achieve it.
Now I know that sounds corny and cliche but it’s true.
In fact it’s nearly impossible to accomplish any goal if you don’t think that you can do it in the first place.
So those are the three. Patients, discipline and belief.
Change your mindset and change your life for the better.
“How long have I been out of shape overweight and or living an unhealthy lifestyle?”
Losing weight getting and staying in shape are all long term goals.
If you’re looking for a quick fix.
Be prepared for disappointment.
Many businesses are taking advantage of the emotional connection that you have to this quick fix.
They promise to solve your issues in a very short period of time.
The problem is there’s no such thing as a quick fix when it comes to your health
Taking a step back though it’s not surprising. We all have a desire to fix things quickly.
The instant gratification may be possible but the advanced technology has spoiled us into believing every problem can be solved with the snap of a finger or a swipe of your card
In order for you to take control of your health you have to get rid of this microwave mentality.
Know that this process is a long everyday journey.
Some moments are good and others are challenging.
Once you commit to being in the process for the long run though, there’s less pressure on timetables and more focus on results.
Beware of food labels
Fat free, low fat, sugar free, gluten free, all natural, organic. And the list goes on.
These are the labels put on foods that have consumers believe that they are making a healthy purchase.
Are these foods truly healthier options though? Or is it just another tactic by companies to get us to buy these “healthy” products?
Let’s look at products labeled low fat, and fat free.
First off, not all fat is created equally. Trans fats and saturated fats are the very bad fat that clogs your arteries and raises your cholesterol levels.
Trans fat needs to be avoided because it can ultimately lead to heart disease and certain cancers.
These are healthy for your heart and necessary for several body functions.
But there are also good fats, like omega 3s, and cheese, eggs, nuts some fish, and avocados.
So at the end of the day, foods that are low in fat or fat free aren’t necessarily healthier for you.
Is the fat is saturated or trans fat?
Always check the nutrition facts on the label of every product that you purchase. If it’s saturated fat it can be okay in moderation, if it is trans fat then avoid consuming those foods.
Next, there’s sugar free.
It is true that foods high in sugar are definitely not good for you. However, replacing sugar with an artificial sweetener may be even more harmful
Some of these “fake sugars” as I like to call them have been linked to a number of cancers, as well as ADHD, tooth decay, asthma, chronic fatigue, chronic cough, dizziness, hair loss, hypertension and so much more.
Basically the substitute for sugar may be worse than regular sugar.
Simply reduce your sugar intake and don’t try and replace sugar with artificial sweeteners. If you do want to replace sugars try doing it with a natural alternative like Stevia.
Next up on our labels list we have gluten free.
First off know that gluten is found in wheat and grains.
It’s what gives these foods a sticky or doughy texture.
Research shows that gluten is harmful to people that have a sensitivity to gluten, or gluten intolerance.
However for individuals that do not have these issues, a gluten free diet is not recommended or beneficial.
So this is something you need to find out about yourself., Are you okay with gluten foods, or are these foods that you need to cut out of your diet entirely?
Then we have all-natural and organic.
By definition all natural or 100 percent natural foods have little to no artificial ingredients, meaning there are few or no preservatives.
Organic foods are different because not only are they free of artificial ingredients but they are also free of antibiotics, pesticides and GMO.
Some all natural products are not much healthier than regular foods, especially considering the many health issues that stem from the genetically modified organisms.
The antibiotics and definitely the pesticides that could be present. These are far more the culprits that you need to watch out for.
Organic foods have much stricter labels and are healthier than both regular and all natural foods.
The only drawback is that organic products tend to be a bit more expensive than the other two.
The main point is for you to know what foods are best for your diet and avoid marketing traps they use on labels to influence your purchase. Especially when they are not healthier choices, like in the “sugar free” examples.
Super-fruit, magic elixirs?
If you’re familiar with the health and fitness products, you’ve definitely come across magic elixirs… these special “weight loss potions” are similar to weight loss pills, but the difference is that these drinks come from a magical super-fruit or super vegetable
This natural component is very attractive because it gives the product a sense of authenticity.
A lot of these products claimed to have miraculous qualities that prevent or even heal disease as well as a host of other benefits.
Determining whether or not these claims are accurate is quite challenging especially when the product is part of a network marketing business.
My advice in choosing these products is to proceed with caution.
Although some of these products actually work wonders, their success can be overshadowed by a company’s intention to simply make money.
Needless to say without proper research you’re taking a gamble with your money, time and ultimately, your health.
Truth of the matter is that you can be healthy without spending an arm and a leg with a mysterious magic tricks.
Having a well balanced nutritious diet can yield the positive results that you are looking for.
Weight Loss Pills
When it comes to diet and fitness both consumers and businesses, have placed a ton of value on pill
There are pills that claim to reduce your urge to eat by curbing your appetite.
There are pills that reduce your water weight.
There are pills that claim to boost your metabolism.
There are pills for about any and everything that you can think of.
My advice though: never buy another diet pill.
One of the main reasons why you should avoid these pills is because most of them simply do not work.
The hype claims by paid actors are often not valid and are simply bought and paid for.
These pills are popular for a season and then they go out of style.
Another reason to avoid these diet pills is because many have side effects that actually cause more problems than they solve
Some of these include high blood pressure, insomnia, hypertension, diarrhea, constipation, dry mouth, headache, chest pain, dizziness and so much more.
Why would anyone risk their health by taking these pills is beyond me.
The truth of the matter is that you can lose weight and be healthy without taking any pills whatsoever.
Commit to eating right, commit to exercising, get plenty of rest, drink a lot of water..
Continue with hard work and determination and You Will reach your health and fitness goals.
There are so many different diet plans out there and many often making big claims about fast weight loss results.
The research on each particular diet is ongoing, and often we just really don’t know what the best diet is.
So what seems to be popular one day may be proven to be unhealthy the next.
The best advice that I can give you is to eat simple, healthy and well balanced meals.
Any diet that requires you to eat protein, carbs or fat in a very limited fashion or in excess is not likely to be healthy.
For example, Protein
- Protein consists of amino acids that serve as building blocks for muscles bones skin tissue and blood
- It is also necessary as a source of energy for the proper function of your immune system.
- Not enough protein could cause problems within each of these primary functions however.
- Too much protein could cause kidney issues dehydration diarrhea and so much more.
This same logic holds true for too much or too little carbs and fats.
This is why a well balanced diet is fundamental to living a healthy lifestyle.
Balancing your diet is quite tricky though because age, athletic fitness, goals, gender and weight can all have an impact on the percentages of protein, carb and fat that you should eat.
In fact one of the most important factors in determining the appropriate ratio, is identifying which of the three body types best describes you best.
The Three Body Types
For example if you have a thin body type, you probably have a high metabolism and your body can tolerate high amounts of carbs.
So you could safely consume 50% carbs, 25% fats, and 25% protein in your diet.
Now if you had a muscular body type, your metabolism would be average so you could eat about 40% carbs, 30% fats and 30% protein
But if you had a wide or larger frame body type, your metabolism would be significantly slower than the other two.
So the ratio would shift to 30% carbs, 35% fats and 35% protein.
So as you can see despite so many claims there is no cookie cutter, one-size-fits-all nutrition plan.
Because it varies from one individual to the next.
Consider all of the factors before deciding on your diet and nutrition plan.
And remember, knowing your body type is crucial to determining the unique food ratio that is healthy for you.
There are so many diet fads out there, it’s hard to trust which ones work and which ones don’t.
For example, the idea of eating five to six small meals a day became an incredibly popular trait.
And so people everywhere started to adopt this method.
The basic premise of this plan was that eating regularly keeps your metabolism working at high speed, which is somewhat true
It also regulates your blood sugar which is somewhat true and assists in preventing overeating during your larger meals of breakfast lunch and dinner
And there is some truth to that.
To me it sounded both simple and effective but did it actually work.
Unfortunately research shows that eating five to six small meals a day did not help women lose weight
I’m not saying it’s not a healthy alternative to your three meals, but it won’t make you lose more weight.
Turns out the frequency in which you eat is not as important as what foods you are eating and the amount of calories you are consuming
Like I said this doesn’t mean that eating five to six meals a day is bad for you.
It does have its benefits.
As I mentioned earlier regardless whether you choose the standard three meals a day, or five to six small meals, make sure that you’re eating the right amount of calories and that your meals are well balanced and nutritious.
I want to start off by saying that a gym membership in itself is not a bad thing
Many of the state of the art facilities have an incredible amount of resources that you could benefit from
I mean there’s swimming, there’s cycling spin classes, aerobic groups, basketball and that’s just to name a few
My only advice is that you know what you’re getting yourself into, before you sign up.
Many people sign up for gym memberships without a plan on when they’re going and what type of workouts they’re going to complete
Just going into the gym and working out on machines that you don’t know how to use, is a waste of precious time and money
In addition serious injury can occur when using the equipment that you’re familiar with.
The real question is that you need to be asking yourself before you get a gym membership are:
What days and times am I going to commit to working out?
Do I have a detailed plan for when I enter the gym?
How am I going to keep track of my progress so that I know when I reach my goals?
These are just a few of the basics that you have to have covered in order to avoid wasting time and money, that you just simply can’t afford
You don’t actually need a gym membership to get in shape. You can work out at home or even workout outside, which is great because of the extra sunshine!
So while a gym can be a good investment in your health and fitness, think first before you signup.
How many people do you think signup for a gym around January 1st each year and then never show up?
So be sure you make a plan before joining a gym.
Hiring a Personal Trainer
As a personal trainer myself, I know the importance of helping my clients reach their health and fitness goals
Before you book a session with any type of trainer, here’s what you need to consider.
First, time is money. That holds true for both the client and the trainer.
This means that you have to get the most out of each session.
You need to clearly communicate your goals before the first session.
Many clients like the idea of having a trainer but obstacles such as availability and commitment can get in the way of accomplishing their goals
Oftentimes the lack of results can be blamed on the trainer and not the client.
Regardless of the inconsistencies present, also know your trainer.
Do your research to see if a particular trainer is right for you.
Get references and read reviews.
Not all trainers are created equally and sometimes you don’t necessarily get what you pay for.
Make sure you realize that your trainer is not a magician.
If you’ve been overweight, out of shape and unhealthy for months or even years, you can’t expect a trainer to turn your life around
That must come from you.
So if you’re looking for a trainer as a way to get from point A to Point B you are not the captain of that ship, so prepare to be very disappointed
But if you would like a personal trainer to assist you in reaching your fitness goals, then that can be incredibly beneficial.
Just do your due diligence before you make a very expensive decision.
Isolation vs Whole Body Movements
Do you want slim abs? How about no more arm fat? Tighten your thighs?
These are all good goals. The only problem is when we start to obsess over one part of our body that we want to improve, and as a result isolate that muscle group in our training
To clarify there’s nothing wrong with wanting to improve specific parts of the body, but isolation or over focusing can be dangerous.
When you perform an isolated exercise there is significant stress placed on that muscle that is just not natural
This pressure is transferred to the joints and can lead to injury.
In addition, stress should be gained in balance in order to relieve pressure on one particular body part.
Here’s an example:
You have a leg injury that causes you to need crutches, you start to put a lot of pressure on your healthy leg when you want to relieve pressure from your injured leg
Over time the extra stress placed on the healthy leg starts to cause problems that can lead to strains and injuries
In other words, the body completes resistance movements in groups of muscles.
When one muscle is not being used the other muscles has to pick up the slack, then it can be too much pressure and lead to injury.
Think about a walk in the park.
Think about standing in line at a store.
Think about picking up your kids and play placing them in their car seat.
All of these actions involve multiple body parts.
Once again when you isolate a single muscle group, you’re bound to cause problems in related parts of the body.
While working large muscle groups together will get you the results you desire and keep your overall strength in balanc
You can still go back and trim your belly, tighten your glutes with exercise that involved multiple muscle groups
Just avoid isolating a single muscle exercise and get more out of your workouts with complete body training.
Committing to Exercising Regularly
If you’ve read up to here then good. This is a positive step in the right direction
If you’re starting as a beginner to fitness or if you’re starting over so to speak: Be careful not to overtrain.
Overtraining is when you work your body to the point in which exercise becomes counterproductive.
There are two common ways in which people overtraining.
The first is too much cardio.
Yes you heard correctly.
You can actually do too much cardio, overworking muscles to extreme fatigue can result in serious injuries.
Cardio is great to have in your workout plan for your heart, but keep it in moderation.
Causing the heart to work too hard — for too long — is just not healthy.
The second is lifting too much weight.
Getting that sculpted physique can have you in the gym lifting too much too soon.
The body that you want to create takes time and serious injury can occur if you put too much stress on your joints and muscles.
Your body has to be eased into the intense pressure of heavy weights.
So be yourself.
When you body is strong enough to handle more weight, then you can increase the amount you lift. Not before.
Living a healthy lifestyle is an everyday challenge.
Some moments will be great but at times the going does get tough.
During difficult times it’s easy to lose hope.
Money is tight and it seems there’s not enough time to work out or even cook a decent meal.
But don’t lose hope and never give up.
Learning how to plan well is going to be the key to living a healthy lifestyle.
Find a consistent time to exercise during the week. Choose a day to plan your meals for the week and try prepping your food in advance if possible
Organizing your priorities with details takes a lot of ground work, but it’s necessary in order for you to take control of your life
For every shortcoming or obstacle in your path to a healthy lifestyle there is also a solution.
Check with your trainer or nutritionist for advice on achieving your goals, have a trusted friend or family member act as an accountability partner
Share your journey with others and celebrate every milestone along the way, regardless of how insignificant it may seem.
Always remember being healthy is a lifelong journey, and as with any goal stay committed and determined.
Never lose hope
On your path towards a healthier lifestyle.
You’re bound to come across obstacles and pitfalls that could potentially lead you to becoming sidetracked.
That’s one of the primary purposes of this article, to serve as a valuable resource that will help prevent you from becoming detoured on your health and wellness journey.
Your time is too precious to spend traveling down the wrong path.
Your hard earned money shouldn’t be wasted on expensive products and services that simply don’t work.
Knowing what to expect and how to deal with these challenges will keep you on the straight and narrow.
Thank you once again for allowing me to accompany you on this very personal journey. I hope I have provided you with some beneficial advice as you move forward.
I love sharing my experience and knowledge so feel free to comment with your questions and concerns, and even your constructive criticism.
I’m committed to creating healthy resources so if there’s a topic related to health and fitness that you’re eager to learn more about, please let me know in the comments so I can get to work immediately
That being said I wish you the best on your journey towards a healthier lifestyle.