In this post, we are going to continue talking about more challenges and obstacles when it comes to eating healthy, moving your body, and sticking to your newly acquired routines. Today we are focusing on exercise myths, rest, social gatherings, and stress-free healthy living. Shall we?
Exercise Myth 1
Can I work out a lot and eat whatever I want in order to lose weight?
Sure. It may work out for a while, and you will see some results in pounds and inches. The thing is…you can’t out exercise a poor diet. I have been a serious advocate for this statement because…Yes, I started going to the gym before I committed to eating healthy years ago. I had the same mindset – I didn’t want to feel restricted, all I wanted is to eat my sugar and Cheez-its, and run it all off afterward.
Well, it did not really work. I could not even run a mile. I was anemic, had terrible acne because my digestive system was a wreck, and mostly I was not happy with how I looked. As Mark Sisson says, LGN (or Look Good Naked) can be achieved mostly through proper nutrition and some exercise. Of course, if you want a six-pack or be able to deadlift 400 lbs, you will need to put in more effort. But in order to lose weight you mainly need the following:
- Increase your water intake. People are habitually dehydrated, and weight loss requires more water.
- Eliminate poisonous items from your nutrition such as: processed foods (Standard American Diet items such as chips, cookies, cakes, chocolate, grain-filled crackers, fake foods, etc), grains and gluten-filled items (pasta, bread, pizza, cookies, donuts and such), industrial oils (soybean, canola, vegetable oils), and of course, sugar. Just by eliminating sugar, grains, and bad oils, you will enable your body to restart all the processes needed to start burning fat more than storing it.
- Add plenty of green non-starchy veggies to your meals, eat a sufficient amount of protein, and healthy fats. Things to eat: beef, chicken, pork, seafood and shellfish, eggs, and all the veggies. Get your healthy fats guide here.
- Move daily at a slow pace – more on this here.
- Lift some weights or/and do bodyweight exercises at home.
Remember: chronic exercise leads to chronic inflammation, fatigue, and ineffective weight management. Also, it’s pretty hard to stay motivated, manage your hormones and feel good with a very intense and consistent exercise routine. “Work out on the days you want to feel good”, as Chalene Johnson would say. Choose smartly!
My family does not support my new healthy habits. HELP!
First of all, the goal to get healthy is YOURS. If it’s not truly yours, it will be pretty hard to stick to it. So truly, take a deep look into this first. Are you getting healthy for you?
If the answer is “yes”, there are a few ways to convey to your family and turn them into your supporters and cheerleaders.
- Explain how important it is to you to get healthier, fit in a certain dress, look great on vacation, or a photo shoot. This should do the trick to most significant others, but not always to helicopter moms and families who have extensive traditions tied to food (hi, mom, I love you anyway!).
- Invite your family members to your challenge – I’m sure most of them will come up with a goal to work on, whether it’s to get shredded or walk every day for 20 minutes.
- Make rules for the pantry and fridge if steps one and two don’t work. For example, keep the pantry clean for YOU and keep the items that don’t fit your plan in THEIR car, office, etc. Basically, to help you stay focused you need “out of sight, out of mind” kind of deal with those Doritos and gummy bears.
- If the family is insisting on your eating something that will sidetrack you, 1) politely refuse and explain why 2) have a tiny bit of it to satisfy their begging 3) bring your own dish resembling the things you know they will provide but healthify it. 4) Do not allow anyone, even the closest people to food shame you – it’s your right to choose what you eat. After all, it’s just food!
- If none of these work, I suggest you really focus on what’s important to you and keep going. Your body, your health, and your self-worth do not depend on anyone else. Remember that! <3
Vacation, travel, eating out, and holidays are killing any desire for me to continue eating healthy or exercise.
Ahh, those wonderful trips when breakfast is included, cruises with all-you-can-possibly-eat buffets, and even more alcohol. Disappointed you never seem to do well on those? Cheer up, buttercup. Not all is lost.
Things you need to succeed:
1) A good plan in place
2) Some information about what and where you are going to eat and
3) A positive attitude to help you succeed.
Choose if you are opting-in and committing to eating healthy 100% of the time, or you will let loose a bit. Usually aim for at least 80/20 (80 percent eating healthy, and 20 – somewhat relaxed), and remember: one cookie isn’t going to destroy your progress and give you 3 pounds of belly fat. NO! But if you order Italian the next day after the cookie, and drink too much champagne instead of water, and forget about eating any vegetables the day after…that’s what gets most people. A cookie is fine, if you are struggling with it, have it then get back on the horse!
Get this guide to help you always stay on track when you eat out!
Exercise Myth 2
Do I actually need rest days from my exercise routine?
Yes, ma’am. You do. Whatever exercise routine or program you choose, make sure you get plenty of rest and recovery time. Being constantly sore may give you a right to brag to friends and family, but after all, it’s your precious body you are beating down with chronic routines. If you are a cardio queen, I want you to hear me out: exercise is not going to burn the donuts you plan on eating. Sadly, mass media taught us “calorie in-calorie out” mindset where we calculate how many minutes on the treadmill will burn aforementioned donut. Not many. Also, a treadmill isn’t going to fix issues caused by chronic inflammation in your body from sugar or significant overuse. Don’t get too sad yet. Bear with me.
Make your routine fun. Run if you want. Do the weights. Play outside. Get into a fat burning mode with some heavy lifting stuff. Swim, bike, walk lots – those are the best cardio exercises for you. But whatever you choose to do, build the rest into your schedule. Randomly or scheduled, it’s up to you.
You will eat less, feel better, build muscle faster, and get sick less if you incorporate rest into your life.
Healthy habits are so stressful for me. Do you have any tips how to make healthy living stress- free?
- Have a solid plan, and right goals in place (this is how you can do it).
- Meditate and journal when you are too stressed. Get to the root of the issue, and work your way away from it by breaking things into important and unimportant pieces. For example, “I crave M&M’s but brought a salad for lunch. I crave candy because I am stressed because Jenny needs me to finish this write-up in two days. I also worry that I won’t lose weight on this new plan.”
Few things here – your stress is not always related to food. The root issue here is 1) trusting your plan is solid enough 2) dealing with stress at work, must happen separately from food 3) satisfying your cravings in a different way – eating a piece of cheese or having a glass of water – might help at least in your moment of weakness. Can you do these three ones at a time? Dealing with smaller challenges is easier, and that’s how you tackle the big ones!
- Get sufficient sleep. More often than not, it’s not the stress. It’s lack of sleep, preparation, or support. Get enough of sleep, exercise, and think through your food for the week – so these three items are out, and you only need to manage stress.
- There are so many ways to get some quiet time in – check out the post below for the best relaxation and sanity tips 🙂
What are your main challenges when it comes to healthy living, eating, and exercising?
To be continued….
Author: Anya Perry
Anya Perry battled boring diets, low energy, and declining health for over 10 years before she found what works. Now, she helps women achieve their dream state of health, fitness, and vitality… without the struggles, battles of miserable diets, and yo-yo results. She can’t live without coffee and challenges.