5 Healthy Habits to Develop Now to Feel Confident at Any Size This Summer (And Year-Round!)
As we all emerge from hibernation and start dressing in fewer layers, we begin to look down at our “winter bodies” and start to question our eating habits. We get in this frantic panic mode and start researching “best diet to lose weight in 4 weeks.”
Let's face it, we all want to look and feel confident this summer while we prance around in our bikinis by the water; and after this longgg, brutal winter, we should feel free and comfortable in our skin when it finally touches the hot sun. It’s the best feeling ever, and we should enjoy every second of it without any shame or judgment!
But how do you plan to get there?
Going down the road of restrictive dieting and constant food stress can lead you down a dark, undesirable eating pattern and make it difficult to enjoy life with food. It’s time to acknowledge it’s an unhealthy way to live your life.
This year, I want to challenge you to shift your mindset away from the perfect body and aim for a healthy body.
Find motivation that is rooted in health.
Set your intentions on a solid foundation and it’ll never crumble underneath you.
DO IT FOR YOU!
Don’t do it to for IG-worthy pictures, to fit into those jeans that you wore when you were 18, or to seek vengeance on someone who body-shamed you. At the end of the day, who really cares?
Be bigger than that!
That picture will quickly fade down your feed, those jeans are keeping you in the past (time to throw them away!), and don’t give a damn about what an a**hole said when they were broken inside. BOY, BYE!
Do it for YOURSELF! Do it to feel confident in your skin, to feel energized and full of life, to fully love yourself so that you’re able to love others just the same.
Stop focusing on superficial motivation and dig for something deeper that’s mentally healthy and sustainable. There’s no such thing as the perfect body. It’s toxic to believe that, and it's even more toxic to try and achieve it. It doesn’t exist! We’ll always be imperfect. It’s a fact. There’s no reason to hide it. Embrace it! Embrace your flaws and grow from them.
A six pack won’t bring you happiness. (And they definitely don’t always mean that someone is healthy.) A life full of love and inner peace brings you happiness. If you get abs along the way, awesome! If you don’t, take a selfie anyway and love your body just the same. Beauty, happiness, and health all start from the inside, which is why it’s important to develop habits to keep our insides healthy.
Nutrition knowledge is power.
Being mindful of the foods and activities your body needs to maintain a healthy lifestyle is important to ensure you’re equipped in making the best decisions for yourself.
Here are five healthy tips to incorporate into your life to feel confident at any size this summer (and year-round)!!
1. Eat protein + fiber
This nutrient combo will promote satiety a lot faster. I always hear my clients complain “I’m always hungry even after I just ate” which is a big clue to me. They aren't eating the right foods to keep them satisfied until their next meal and they aren't listening to their body. Getting in the habit of adding protein and fiber to your meals will help prevent overeating. Always eat mindfully and check in with yourself while you eat to stay in tune with your body’s signal of fullness.
Protein foods: chicken, fish, eggs, beans, lentils, quinoa, nuts and seeds
Fiber foods: whole grains, beans, brown rice, raw fruits and vegetables
2. Eat more plants
This goes hand-in-hand with the above tip since most plant foods are high in fiber. Plants are packed with power-boosting nutrients that ensure optimal health at a low-calorie cost. Keep in mind - you don’t need to go vegetarian or vegan to incorporate more vegetables into your diet. In fact, you don’t need to label your diet at all to eat more plants. But, if you’re a ‘diet label snob’ then call yourself a plant-based eater, which means the majority of your meals contain vegetables, fruits, and whole grains as a staple on each plate.
3. Do a HIIT class
It’s time to hit the gym and work up a sweat with HIIT, or high-intensity interval training. HIIT includes quick and intense bursts of activity. It’s one of the best workouts you can do to build healthy muscles and strengthen your cardiovascular system at the same time. HIIT revs up your metabolism during, and even after you’re done, with your workout; this means that even an hour after you've left the gym your body is still burning energy. It’s also one of the best ways to build confidence in your physical and mental strength. Even if you’re new to HIIT and struggling throughout the class, you’re guaranteed to feel strong and badass when you finish. It’s important to start where you are currently in your physical ability. Maybe that means only one HIIT class every other week. But a good goal to work up to is aiming for 30-45 minute classes, twice a week. No more than that! Recovery days are just as important as training days. Include yoga or deep stretches in your workout routine to ensure your muscles are recovering properly.
4. Lift heavy things
If you’re too intimidated to try a HIIT class, start by lifting weights. Resistance type exercise builds strong bones and muscle mass. Muscle mass in the body is more metabolically active than fat tissue, meaning the more muscle you have, the faster your body converts food to energy, rather than storing it away as fat tissue (our body’s favorite storage unit). The shape of our body doesn't matter, but what contributes to your shape does. It’s better to have more muscle mass than fat mass. So doing any activity that lowers fat mass and builds muscle mass is beneficial in maintaining a healthy body.
5. Detox your feed from #bikinidiets and #bodygoals
It’s time to spring clean your social media. Unfollow any accounts that make you insecure about your own body, that trigger unhealthy and restrictive eating patterns, or that just flat out make you doubt your self-worth. Any “bikini diet” that promotes major food restrictions is a fraud. Delete. Any “#bodygoals” that fuel an unrealistic idea of how your body should look is a lie. Delete. Follow accounts that inspire you to be your most true, authentic self and that motivate you to not only do better but to be better.
Habits take time to develop. Be patient and compassionate with yourself. But most importantly, be CONSISTENT! It doesn't mean every single day has to be perfect. But it means you keep putting one foot forward, even if some days you take a couple of steps back.
I use the word ‘summer’ for a catchy title, but really, these are habits that you want to incorporate into your routine on a daily basis throughout the year.
A healthy lifestyle doesn’t have an endpoint. It’s an ongoing journey.
And I’m here to join you in your health journey, feeding you insights on what healthy actually is, as well as simple tools to keep you moving forward.