I recently dropped a significant amount of weight & have been working on lifting weights, something I’ve been talking about a lot with friends & some of you who have emailed asking: What are you doing Carolina? My response? Building healthier habits! With weight loss or definition, like with everything in life, it’s all about all the little changes adding up — you can really make a difference one habit at a time.
Sometimes when we have a big goal in mind (whether it’s weight loss, toning or a race, for example), it’s often daunting to think of the end result: it seems so unattainable & far away. But if you focus on little things, little shifts, those become more attainable, become small victories that encourage you to keep going & really add up as you stay consistent over time. Below are some of the healthier habits I’ve picked up lately. Before I go into them it must be said: I’m not a nutritionist or a fitness professional by any means, I’m just someone who enjoys living a healthy lifestyle…& loves sharing my adventures with you. That said, these habits combined with a healthy diet & exercise, have really worked for me:
- Get 8 hours of sleep. This has been the hardest habit for me to build because I’m a night owl; I have a hard time going to bed early. Though I’m still not getting 8 hours of sleep 7 days a week I am doing so at least 5 days & I’ve noticed a huge difference! Not only do I have more energy throughout the day, but I’m feeling great & am able to focus more on day to day tasks & workouts. There are also studies that correlate lack of sleep with weight gain, so do yourself a favor & get plenty of snoozes.
- Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning. After reading Bob Harper’s Skinny Rules I’ve picked up this habit & it’s a great one to put into practice: start off the day by nourishing your body. Before I go to bed I place a glass of water on my night stand so it’s ready for me first thing in the morning. A glass of water will get your day started right!
- Protein at every meal. Protein is really important, especially if you’re trying to create definition in your body. Protein also helps you stay full longer, leaving you satisfied & making you snack less between meals. As a vegetarian getting lots of protein is no problem, there are so many great meatless protein sources to chose from that are delicious & hearty. Try to incorporate protein in your breakfast, lunch & dinner.
- Take your vitamins! Making sure your body has the right nutrients is so important. In an ideal world we would get all vitamins from our food but most of us don’t observe 100% balanced diets. I’ve noticed a big difference in the way I feel since I started taking a multi-vitamin. Plus, it can help your weight loss goals if that’s what you’re working towards.
- Eat your veggies! Not only are they good for you, but you can eat a lot of them & never have to count calories (I understand calorie counting works for some, I’m just not a fan). The more varied assortment of vegetables you eat, the more nutrients your body benefits from. Help your body be properly nourished!
- Be consistent with your workouts. Doing exercise just a couple of days a week isn’t really going to make a drastic change in your body or the way you feel. In order to really reap the benefits of an active lifestyle you should aim to exercise 4 – 5 times a week. Pick a workout you enjoy, this is the key to squeezing it in — if you hate it, you won’t be motivated to do it!
- Jump back on the wagon. In the past, whenever I had a slip up & ate poorly or skipped a few workouts I felt like I could throw away that whole day or that whole week & that’s far from the truth! We can’t be perfect all the time, if you have a bad meal or day that’s fine, allow yourself grace…but jump back on the wagon. Don’t sabotage yourself, don’t throw all your hard work away; jump right back on & pick up your healthier habits. You’ll get back to the swing of things!
These habits are straight forward & most of us know what we need to do, we just have a hard time sticking to them. They say it takes 21 days to build a habit, so for the first 3 weeks set reminders for yourself. I scheduled an alarm each morning to take my vitamin, & one at night to remind me to place a glass of water on my bedside table. Do what works for you: write things down, schedule them, tell your friends to keep you accountable — it’s all about making habits relatable to you.
My favorite yoga teacher always says “focus on what you want to happen” before we attempt a hard pose, these are words to live by! Focus on what you want to happen, put in the work & watch it happen. You can do anything you set your mind to, believe it. Live it. Enjoy it!
What are your healthier habits?