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We were all beginners at one point. I used to have no clue how to eat right, I believed a lot of things that weren’t true and it took a lot of trial and error to get where I am today.
I had believed that losing weight would be a lot quicker than it was.
Oh I just went to for a 30 minute walk, why do I still look the same?
Ok, I didn’t seriously believe that, but I was wishing I’d get quick results, ya know?
I’d go for a walk, pushing my baby in the stroller, come home and have a nice snack. Which consisted of a 100 calorie pack of cookies with a side of a large bowl of nothing to satisfy me until lunch.
I didn’t know how to eat. I just knew you had to eat less and eat healthy. And by healthy…? I ate normally, but less. A lot less, and I was hungry pretty much all the time. So my so called diet lasted about a month, if that. I don’t even remember how much weight I lost. I was just aggravated and wondering why it was so hard. Maybe I was just meant to be a bit fluffy, so I said deuces to dieting!
So if you’re a total beginner in this being healthy thing, that’s totally ok, because you’ve taken the first step already. Which is making the decision to get healthy.
But don’t let the anxiety of starting a weight loss journey intimidate you. It doesn’t have to be difficult! Once you get into the groove of things, a healthy lifestyle will become second nature!
Looking to get started but don’t know WHERE to start? Check out how to plan and prep for weight loss!
I hope this guide gives you some insight on how to start healthy living. After all, it’s not just about losing weight, it’s about a lifestyle change. If you live a healthy life, you will be happier and lengthen your lifespan. Plain and simple. Now, that should be motivation enough to get you going!
Eat more fruits and veggies
Add a veggie to every meal. Snack on carrot or celery sticks. Replace an unhealthy treat with a piece of fruit.
Even if you say you don’t know how to eat healthy… you know that fruits and vegetables are healthy, so eat them. Bonus! They’re full of fiber so they’ll fill you up wayyy more than a 100 calorie pack. Um, where was an article like this when I was starting to try to lose weight?!
If you’re not sure if you like something, try it! Or you can sneak veggies into meals. Add zucchini noodles to spaghetti. Add grated carrots to chili. Roast a big ol’ pan of chicken and veggies. Trust me on that last one, it’s the bomb.
One of my favorite way to get extra veggies in are green smoothies! They’re super yummy, and you can’t taste the spinach at all, I promise!
In this smoothie I have a whole banana, a handful of spinach, around a cup of vanilla unsweetened almond milk, and some ice. Trust me, you don’t need to add sweetener. The banana does a great job with that. You can also add some yogurt to make it extra creamy. I just throw it all in the Ninja, and it blends perfectly! Delicious and creamy every time, I love this blender. I’ve got this one but if you’re looking for something just a bit cheaper, here’s another option. 🙂
It’s so simple to create your own green smoothie, just play around with ingredients. Try adding different fruit. Another one of my favorites is strawberry. Or add different vegetables! Try kale or arugula, or even cucumbers!
And you don’t have to use fresh fruit either. I like to use frozen fruit because that way I don’t have to add too much ice.
So now there’s no excuse for you not to get extra veggies! Because these things are bangin’.
The majority of people who abandon their goals of losing weight do so because they get overwhelmed by trying to do too much too fast. Doing a complete overhaul of your lifestyle overnight is just setting yourself up to fail.
Yeah it’ll be fine and dandy for a hot minute, but the burnout will come. And you will quit. And say it’s just “too hard”.
I guarantee you that if you just make one small change, adapt to it and make it a permanent part of your day to day life, it will stick. It will be a habit.
I used to eat those packaged snack cakes every day. I would take one to work and have it with my lunch. Eventually, I replaced that snack cake with an apple or a box of raisins. And then, fruit with lunch became a new habit. I replaced a bad habit with a good one. That’s what you need to do as well.
Start with one thing you’re ready to let go of. Instead of eating fast food twice a week, make it once a week, and replace that second fast food day with a healthy home cooked meal. Eventually you’ll replace eating fast food once a week as well.
Instead of grabbing a muffin or cinnamon roll from the coffee shop every morning, why not an egg white breakfast sandwich or some yogurt?
Just make small changes in the beginning. Small changes are simple and you will stick with them, versus a complete 180 of the lifestyle you’re used to.
But what about exercise?
Aim for at least 10 minutes of exercise per day. Bare minimum.
Sure, more is great. But if you’re starting out and you’re just not used to doing anything active, that’s ok! You will work your way up to exercising longer and harder!
Start by taking a walk around the block. Or just march in place in the living room while watching TV. Incorporate more activity than you’re used to, and increase it little by little each day/week. Whichever works best for you!
Lots of water.
Water cleanses your body and keeps your, ahem, “plumbing” working properly.
It keeps you feeling full, so you’re less likely to munch on snacks throughout the day.
Water all day errday kinda boring? Add fruit slices to your water for some extra flavor. Yumminess plus nutrients. Win.
Keep a water bottle with you at all times. Refill it often. I’ve been known to carry a gallon jug of water with me. Yeah, people were like “Uh tf you doin?” But who care’s what people think! Okay, you probably don’t want to carry around a jug of water, and you don’t have to. But just make sure you’re drinking a lot.
And you’ll definitely know, by the 800 bathroom trips per hour. I’ve had to reassure my coworkers that I was in fact NOT pregnant, just trying to stay hydrated.
Make healthy swaps.
Swap soda for flavored teas.
Trade in spaghetti noodles for zucchini noodles.
Use grass fed butter or coconut oil in place of margarine or vegetable oil.
Have some dark chocolate covered nuts instead of cookies.
Love mashed potatoes? Try mashed cauliflower.
When you love something, don’t eliminate it! You surely won’t want to be healthy if it means giving up your favorite foods. But you can trade them out for healthier versions! I honestly used to hate zucchini or squash. Now every time I make spaghetti, I make zoodles too.
Remember, one thing at a time! Don’t quit because things get too crazy and you just can’t anymore. Slowly but surely swap out foods. Then they’ll become your new “go-to”.
Have something sweet.
Please don’t torture yourself. If you want some chocolate, have a piece, then put the rest away. If you want some ice cream, have a scoop.
There’s no sense in depriving yourself of your favorites. If you do, things aren’t going to end well. This is usually how binging starts, which is not a good thing. It’s totally avoidable.
I’m definitely not saying you can have sweets whenever you want. But don’t make yourself miserable by saying you’re never eating them again. Moderation is key.
There are just some foods that are what’s called “trigger foods”. These foods are dangerous because once you start eating, you won’t stop until it’s gone. Do you have any trigger foods? If so, don’t keep them in the house.
I have my own trigger foods, and that is Sour Patch Kids candy. I always stare longingly at the gigantic bag that’s like $10 at the store, seriously who needs that much candy? *raises hand* I do I do!
No. I don’t. But I do love them. However, I never buy them to keep in the house. For one, they won’t last one night because I will eat them all. They’re the food that I will eat and eat until they’re gone.
“So you’re saying I can NEVER have my absolute favorite ever again?”
No way, far from it! I still eat Sour Patch Kids, but I get the small one serving bag at the front checkout line in the grocery store. I still get to eat my favorite candy, and not end up feeling like crap when I’m done.
So just do the same if you’re feeling like you’re not going to make it one more second without your most favorite snack ever. Get an individually packaged serving. Whether that’s a pack of candy, small bag of chips, or a cookie from that place in the mall.
You will stay sane by having this treat every once in a while, but don’t make it a habit by having it multiple times a week. Don’t end up where you first started. You’re going to have to have some self control here, but I KNOW you can do it.
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you mess up. I’ve “messed up” so many times I can’t even remember them all. I’ve caved, binged, and overindulged. Prob like 1000 times. I’m with ya, not perfect. This is a journey, and you learn as you go. You cannot map out success perfectly.
Just remember why you started. Why you want to get healthy and lose weight. Never lose sight of your reasoning, because that is your number one motivator. Pick yourself up, forget about it, and move on.
You probably will go off track and eat that cake at work. Because it’s someone’s birthday, it’s time to celebrate! But please don’t beat yourself up! No one is 100% perfect on their diet. And who wants to be?
Live a little! Have the cake.
Don’t be afraid to start!
There’s nothing wrong with being a beginner. Everyone has (or had!) a starting point. My starting point was almost ten years ago.
Yikes, it’s really been that long. I had no one to guide me, no one to give me advice, everything I learned about health and fitness was 100% self taught. Trial and error.
More than likely it’s going to be the same way for you, because you know yourself better than anyone else. You will learn what works best FOR YOU and what doesn’t work FOR YOU.
I had no clue what I was doing when I first started out trying to live a healthy life after my son was born. I knew I had to eat right and exercise.
You know too, but I think that where a lot of people get hung up is how to actually apply these changes to their lives.
Well, I’m going to let you in on a not so secret, secret. That is just doing it. Stop overthinking. Don’t just pin workouts or healthy recipes on Pinterest. Stop dreaming about losing weight. And start working towards that goal, even if it’s just baby steps. That’s how you form healthy habits that will stick with you for life.
What was the very first thing you did to work towards your health related goals?