Happy November! Can you believe how fast this fall is going? It feels like the months are flying by and 2018 will be here sooner than we know it. Generally, November and December are the months that it gets a little darker, a little colder, the sweets and baked goods start to make their way in, and that drive you once had in the new year, spring and summer are long gone.
Sound familiar? I know that in the past, these were the months that my healthy habits went out the window and indulgence would always take over. I am here to tell you it doesn’t have to be that way! You can keep up your healthy habits now through the fall and winter months, then in January instead of jumping on the #NewYearNewYou movement, you will be well on your wellness journey (like the pro we know you are!) Here are some tips and tricks to keep you feeling great this month (and longer!)
- The buddy system – This is not a new motivational tactic in the world of fitness, but it is one of the absolute best ways to hold yourself accountable. Even if you are far away from your “gym buddy” a simple call, snap, or message of your plans can keep you both from skipping a workout!
- Start small – I don’t know about you, but I am a person who likes instant results/gratification. Unfortunately, nothing about fitness or weight loss is instant. This is why it is important to set smaller achievable goals that you can attain faster to give yourself that extra boost. Maybe you want to lose 30 pounds or more? Great! That is a fantastic goal – but it will not happen overnight and some days you might get discouraged so break that goal down into smaller increments and celebrate your small victories to stay motivated.
- Sign up and commit – Signing up for a new fitness class, a half marathon, a bike race, a fitness challenge, trying a new specialty class (hot yoga and pound are fun!) If you have signed up for something, you are more likely to show up for it and complete it.
- Let the world know – Posting on social media can be a great way to stay motivated. It will connect you with others who might be on the same fitness journey and it will keep you accountable if you post about your workout or snap a photo of the healthy meal you just made.
- Track your progress – Taking weekly or monthly photos to track your progress can be very helpful to go back and look at when you are needing a little extra reminder of why you started in the first place. I know I have times when I feel like it would be so much easier to just stop, but having photos to look back on and see the progress of my hard work keeps me going!
- Try a new recipe each week – There are so many excellent foods to try, and finding something new to cook each week can make your healthy eating journey more exciting as well as help you find things you might really like that you haven’t tried before. Soup has been my big love lately and I am experimenting with different vegetable-based soups. Read my post on soup recipes here.
- Keep a journal – It can be really helpful to track your food and see what exactly you are eating each day. It will give you some real insight into areas that you are doing great, and possibly some areas that need improvement. You can also track your workouts so that you can progress your routine and make it tougher as you get used to them. My Fitness Pal is a great way to track your food!
- Keep healthy food handy – Convenience is king in this busy world we live in. Buying and preparing healthy snacks and meals can keep you from grazing on less healthy options. Having fresh fruit, sliced vegetables, and hummus around can help you from reaching for those easy not so healthy convenience foods.
- Out of sight out of mind – we are only human and saying to simply not buy tempting foods is not very realistic. At our house, we have an indulgence drawer tucked away with some treats, but often times we totally forget about that drawer since there are so many healthy delicious options in more handy locations in the kitchen.
- Plan ahead when eating out – If you know you are going to be going out, try these simple tips: 1. Look at the menu ahead of time. If you look online at the menu, you can make healthy choices and will be less tempted by the unhealthy choices when you are super hungry and ordering. 2. Adjust your food intake earlier in the day to accommodate for the meal you are going out for. If you know that you are going to have a drink, or want to indulge in a dessert that is totally fine, maybe have fewer carbs in the morning, or order a coffee without cream and added sugar to keep your day balanced. 3. If you know you are going out and are going to miss your 6:30 workout, wake up an hour earlier and go for a jog (or walk) or do a quick interval session before you get ready to go out for the night.
- Don’t let a set back sabotage your whole week – weight loss and eating healthy can be difficult, especially when it is a long-term goal and you are first starting out. If you have a night out and eat more than planned, miss a workout, or have a few more drinks than you had planned for, it is important to realize why it happened and not beat yourself up about it. In the grand scheme of life, one single night (or day) is not going to sabotage your hard work, so accept that it happened, and move forward getting back on track the next meal you have.
- Reward hard work – It is important to celebrate your wins. Choose healthy positive ways to celebrate your progress, this will keep you working hard.
- Get creative in the kitchen – Researching recipes and substituting ingredients to create your own healthy foods can be a really fun way to try new things. Also planning out your meals on the weekends will make it easier to stick to a healthy meal plan during the week. Writing out a meal plan and grocery list can be really helpful so you don’t forget any ingredients in the recipes you are going to try! If you need a grocery list and meal planner printable check out this one!
- Make meals at home – Cooking your own food is the easiest way to know exactly what ingredients and portions you are having. I highly recommend that you try cooking at least 75% or more of your meals at home per week.
- Remember why you started – You have probably heard the saying “find your why” before. I did not really understand what this meant fully until I committed 110% to my health. Your why can be big or small, but remembering why you are committed to a healthy lifestyle can remind you why you want to do this in the first place.
I hope these tips help you this season in staying on your way to a healthy life! If you have any questions for me please leave a comment. I would love to hear what your favorite tips and tricks to stay healthy are.
Until next time, stay well and be kind.