“I’m unhappy with my body, but I love food. Help.”
My friend texted me this last week, and I figured a lot of people have probably said this before.
It’s a common misconception that to lose fat, weight, or whatever, you have to completely starve yourself, eat foods you hate, eat salads all day, and never be able to enjoy food you love if you want to change your body. Wrong.
Yes, you have to make some dietary changes in order to change your body, but nothing needs to be drastic. And of course you have to include exercise and sleep into your plan in order to see results, however, you need to make small changes a little at a time.
In fact, it’s better if you don’t do anything drastic, so you don’t mess with your metabolism. If you did, it won’t last, and you’ll end up gaining back the same amount, or even more weight than before. Slow and steady wins the race.
Making small changes go a long way. Here are some things to focus on if you are just starting out towards a healthier journey:
- Include exercise, a mix of cardio and weight training, a few times per week. Increase from there!
- Choose healthier options when making a meal.
- Have a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats to have a healthy and satiating meal.
- Fill your plate with vegetables, and make them taste good so you enjoy them.
- Cut down the amount of times you eat out. You can definitely still do so, but doing it less may be beneficial to you.
- Cut down on alcohol. Meaning, no binge drinking and getting wasted every night (for kids my age). Alcohol is empty calories, so just be mindful.
- Try to improve yourself each week. Make one small change and once that becomes a habit, include another. So on, and so forth.
- Watch your portions.
- Try to eat mostly whole, healthy foods. BUT, enjoy your favorite foods in moderation.
- No foods are completely off limits.
- Eat ENOUGH.
The last one is important. A lot of people who are just getting started with their journey think that they have to cut calories drastically, and workout more. That will just set you up for destruction. You want to keep your calories as high as possible while still seeing changes.
Just starting out, it’s important not to get too overwhelmed. You want to enjoy your journey, and make sure that this lifestyle is benefitting you, and not making you more stressed out. Once you get more into it and want to set some goals, then you can worry about things like counting calories, macros, etc.
Making small changes a little at a time WILL allow you to see results. And yes, this includes eating foods that you love. NOTHING happens overnight. You can’t expect to do one workout and eat some brussel sprouts and expect to have a 6 pack the next morning. Stay consistent, be patient, enjoy the journey.
Do you have any advice for people just starting out on their health and fitness journey?
What were some changes you made when you started out?