When it comes to creating healthy habits, it’s all about counting calories and spending half of your life in the gym, right?
Although exercising and eating healthy is extremely important, you don’t have to let it consume your life in order to live a well balanced, healthy lifestyle.
Here's the deal:
Balance is key. For most people, extreme diets and workouts are not sustainable. Opting for sensible lifestyle changes will help set you up for success and enable you to create healthy habits that stick.
Here are 7 healthy habits every woman should practice to make sure they’re feeling energized, fit, and fabulous.
1. Plan ahead
Plan for a week of success. Keep a planner and write down which healthy meals you want to cook, what exercises you want to focus on, and any other things you want to accomplish during the week. It's easy to forget your goals when you have a million other things going on in your head. Writing them down will help you organize your thoughts and refer back to them when needed.
Tip: Meal prep is great for those who want to eat healthy but don't have the time to cook every day!
2. Count ingredients, not calories
So many people will check a nutritional label for calories when they should be checking the ingredients list instead. As long as you are putting real foods in your body, counting calories doesn't matter!
Tip: Pack your fridge and gym bag with snacks that contain little to no ingredients. Aim for food with 5 ingredients or less—the fewer the better!
3. Drink more water
We've all been told "you need to drink more water." But do we really understand why? Water is essential for proper circulation, digestion, healthy skin, and so much more. You should be drinking half of your body weight in ounces every day. So if your 150 pounds, you should drink 75 ounces. If you're exercising, you’re going to want to drink more. Try to have an extra 8 oz for every hour of exercise.
Tip: Not a fan of water? Try infusing it with fruit for more natural flavor!
4. Eat breakfast
Breakfast provides the body and brain with fuel after an overnight fast. Eating a nutritional breakfast not only revs up your metabolism, but also gives you energy to reach your daily goals. People who skip breakfast are more likely to eat high sugar and fatty snacks before lunch.
Tip: Not that hungry in the morning? Try a breakfast smoothie or piece of fruit!
5. Exercise from home
Life gets busy and sometimes the gym just isn't going to happen. Time to get creative! Exercising from home can be super quick and efficient. A 15 minute HIIT session will get your heart racing and sweat rolling in no time!
Tip: Use household items if you don't have weights.
6. Take before and after pictures
Ditch the scale and take progress photos instead. Healthy is so much more than a number. For most people, the number on a scale can be discouraging and doesn't always justify your hard work. What really matters is how you look and feel!
Tip: Sometimes it's hard to see your physical changes. Keep clothing from the beginning of your journey so you can see how far you've come!
7. Listen to your body
I can't begin to tell you how important it is to listen to your body. Get familiar with yourself and know when your body is telling you to rest or which nutrients it needs. Remember, when your body is hungry, it craves nutrients, not calories. The more you fuel your body with real, whole foods throughout the day, the less likely you will reach for unhealthy snacks.
Tip: If you're craving something sweet, try opting for some fresh, frozen or unsweetened dried fruit instead.