If you’ve been a couch potato, don’t expect to run a marathon with one week of training. If you’re out of shape, you probably have a lifetime of bad habits to overcome. You can develop simple healthy habits over several months. Before you know it, you’ll be fitter. Ease into fitness. Start by taking a walk. If you aren’t sure how far you can go, start slowly. Keep the first few walks shorter to test your endurance.
Cut out food with added sugar.
That’s hard, but you can do it. Make sure you have naturally sweet fruit available to fill in the gap. If that’s too much to handle, start even slower. Just give up sweet drinks. Don’t choose diet colas as a replacement. Studies show they may put inches on your middle. Drink unsweetened tea, black coffee, or water instead. Skip the fancy coffee drinks that are more like desserts than a beverage.
Add extra vegetables to your plate.
Eating healthy means eating more nutritious food. You can cut down on fattening food with few nutrients and increase the health benefits of a meal by filling your plate with vegetables. Start your meal with a big salad to help fill you and have two servings of vegetables. Don’t put sauces or butter on veggies and don’t count potatoes as a veggie. Choose whole grain bread. Whole grain bread contains the germ, endosperm, and the bran. The bran contains fiber that fills you and the germ contains all the nutrients. Refined grain contains only the endosperm, the starchy part with few nutrients.
Get adequate sleep.
You might think you’ll burn more calories if you’re up 24/7. That’s not necessarily true. If you’re tired you won’t move as fast or do as much, burning fewer calories throughout the day. You’ll also be hungrier since lack of sleep causes the body to produce less leptin—the hormone that makes you feel hungry—and more ghrelin—the hunger hormone. Create a sleep schedule to ensure you get quality sleep and stick with it, even on the weekend.
- Create a workout schedule and stick with it. Make your workout an appointment you need to keep. When you exercise at the same time consistently, it becomes a habit that’s hard to break.
- Stay hydrated and drink water before you sit down to eat. Mild hydration can slow you down, and drinking more water can boost your energy. Drinking water before a meal helps you eat less.
- Keep healthy snacks easily accessible. Snacks help prevent overeating at the next meal. Keep cubed melon, cut fresh veggies, or citrus slices ready. Make trail mix and pack it in portion-size plastic bags.
- Add more activity to your life besides exercise to boost calorie burning. Take the stairs and not the elevator. Find other ways to move more.
For more information, contact us today at Hawaii Fit Camp!