Change is overwhelming, especially when you are new to fitness. You have many old habits that don’t fit your new fitness lifestyle, but it’s okay. Many people struggle with eating healthy and working out because they never learned how to create good habits. A lot of people may assume that creating healthy habits is difficult, but it’s actually not. I am going to teach you a simple process to a permanent lifestyle change. The process contains five simple steps that are sure to get you headed down the right fitness path towards your long-term goals and huge results.
Step 1: It’s All About the Water!
The first and ONLY thing you want to change is your water intake. Start by drinking four (4) 20 oz bottles of water per day. After two (2) weeks remove any juice and alcohol during the weekdays—if you are drinking it—and add one (1) more bottle of water. Two weeks later, once you feel you are handling this change consistently, only drink juice and alcohol on Saturdays and focus on getting in six (6) bottles of water per day! Now you are drinking about one gallon of water per day! You can completely change your water habits in 30 days. Now that you’ve mastered your water intake, you can move to the next step.
Step 2: Sleep and Sleep Good!
You should try to get at least six to eight hours of sleep every night. If you make sleep a priority, you can change this habit within weeks! Start out by getting at least 5 1/2 hours of sleep per night. After one to two weeks, start going to bed 30 minutes earlier. You can make this simple change by turning off you TV and shutting your phone down 30 minutes earlier than usual. Now you’re getting six hours of sleep per night. In another week, start prepping your clothes and breakfast at night as well. This will allow you to sleep for an extra 30 minutes in the morning, which means you’re now getting 6 ½ hours of sleep per night! Now that you’re well rested, you can move on to step three!
Step 3: Diet Means Eating Right—Not, Not Eating at All!
You should be eating breakfast every single day even when you don’t feel hungry. The earlier you start eating the sooner your metabolism starts working to initiate the fat burning process. You want to consume food within 30 minutes of waking up to successfully get your metabolism running properly. Start off by eating breakfast consistently for 4-5 days per week.
After achieving that goal, move up to eating breakfast consistently for seven days a week. Once you’ve become acclimated to eating an early, daily breakfast, you are ready to add in a healthy snack between breakfast and lunch. Try eating this snack 2 ½ to 3 hours after you’ve eaten your breakfast, and then eat lunch 2 ½ to 3 hours after your snack. Make sure you eat lunch consistently no matter how busy you get during the day. Do this consistently for a week, and then add in a second snack 2 /1 to 3 hours after lunch or right before the end of your workday. Lastly, eat dinner and repeat this process 5-6 days per week. Now that you’ve created strong diet habits, you’re ready to exercise!
Step 4: Exercise—Learn to Love the Burn!
It’s important that you gradually ease yourself into a workout routine. Start by working out three days per week for at least 30 minutes each day. Once you can do that consistently for a week, add in another day. You can also increase the amount of time you are training in the gym as well. Training 3-5 times per week is essential to making general lifestyle changes and maintaining a healthy heart. I encourage you to take the time to learn your body type and to base the way you train on your genetic makeup. This will ensure that you get the most out of your workouts and maximize your results! Now that you’re feeling the burn and loving it, you’re ready for the fifth and final step!
Step 5: Managing Your Stress Levels!
Mental health is just as important as your diet and physical health. You must give your mind time to relax and unwind because it works nonstop all day every day. But you must take time to stop. While at work, be sure you are utilizing your lunch and break times. If you have a day off, try not to do work on that day. When you aren’t at work or in the gym, lounge around the house and take a load off. You can also play your favorite video game, read your favorite book, or play your favorite sport. Whatever it is, be sure you’re allowing some time in your daily schedule for a mental break. If you can’t think of anything relaxing to do, discover a new hobby or go for a walk outside. Learning something new is always fun and exciting, and the fresh air will always refresh and relax you. Managing your stress, and keeping it low, will not only assist you with reaching your goals, but it will also leave you feeling great!
Okay, now that you have the five fundamental steps to starting your fitness journey, you are ready to begin! Remember to take it one step at a time and not to expect instant results. Reward yourself for your slow and steady progress and remember to stick to it! I believe in you!