First off I have to say that I am not a doctor. I am not a nutritionist. I'm not a personal trainer. So in short...I am not an expert. I AM a thirty year old mother of two who has (after years of trial and error) found a way to stay in shape without starving myself or spending all day on a treadmill. I started this blog to share what I have learned so far.
If your doctor, nutritionist, personal trainer, or some other expert has given you diet and exercise guidelines please FOLLOW them!
1. Start Small: If you aren't doing any kind of exercise right now, and you are new to even thinking about healthy eating then take it slow. Once you find the motivation to make changes in your life it's really easy to go all in and burn yourself out. I suggest starting with changing your eating habits. When you start to workout you will be hungry, and you'll want to have the whole healthy eating thing down so that you won't be starving and unsure of what to eat. After a week of getting used to eating a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner (with snacks in between) you should be ready to add in some exercise.
2. Make a Plan: Make a plan and stick with it! When I first started eating clean I made myself a menu for lunches and dinners for a week at a time. I also made sure that I had a variety of healthy snacks on hand. The first two weeks of eating clean are the hardest to get through, but it's just two weeks. You can do it! After that two weeks you may be surprised to find that you aren't craving things that aren't good for you. You might even find yourself craving healthy food ;)
3. Track Your Progress: I am a big believer in doing before and after photos and taking measurements. Sometimes it's hard to see just how much progress you've made because you see yourself in the mirror every day. Before and after pics are a great way to actually see how far you've come. I do NOT recommend stepping on the scale every week. As you lose fat you lose weight, but as you begin to exercise you will gain lean muscle. The scale might not budge at all while a measuring tape will show you how many inches you've lost.
4. Set Long Term AND Short Term Goals: Setting short term goals in a great way to keep you motivated (which will help you get to those long term goals as well). A short term goal could be eating clean for two entire weeks without a cheat meal, working out a certain number of days each week, or working up to being able to do more reps of a certain exercise. A long term goal could be something like fitting into a certain clothing size or running a 5K.
5. Don't Beat Yourself Up: If you end up eating something that you shouldn't, missing a workout, or not making progress as quickly as you'd like to IT'S OKAY! This isn't a diet with a time limit. This is your life. This is you eating healthy and getting strong. If you get off track try to figure out why it happened so that you can prevent it from happening again.