BEST Health Tips That Aren't Geared Towards Losing A Stupid Amount of Weight
A Non-Toxic Guide
As a personal trainer and fitness instructor, I find the universe that I work in to be pretty toxic sometimes. I've come to learn that weight really doesn't have much to do with health. When I went to personal training school we didn't even learn how to take a client's BMI (Body Mass Index) because it's honestly pretty useless. If someone's blood pressure, heartbeats per minute, and cholesterol are fine, along with healthy joints, it really doesn't matter how much you weigh. Okay...now that that mini-rant is over let's get into a few health tips that don't include doing crazy amounts of cardio, eating puny salads, or going on crazy diets.
1) Eat real food.
Nutrition is actually pretty simple when you look at it. This is always the first thing I say to my clients when we talk about nutrition. Now don't get me wrong, I love me some Flaming Hot Cheetos, (which, yes, I am eating right now as I write an article about nutrition) but I always remind my clients to not eat or drink any of this diet or low-fat crap. Aspartame is literal poison. And I hate to say it, but if you can get rid of soda, please do so. Seriously that crap is SO bad for you. If you like to cook, even if it's simple, buy as many organic ingredients as you can, and try to avoid things that are packaged and premade.
I know this sounds stupid, but some people need to get their heads out of the clouds. If a Big Mac is the only thing that you can eat for the next three hours, eat it! Unless you don't eat meat, but you get what I'm saying. If you have a puny little salad that really only has lettuce in it, but you also have a pizza. Please don't choose the salad, that not at all substantial. Just eat the pizza already. Don't make yourself sick by eating the entire thing, of course, but give your body what it craves and don't deprive yourself. Your metabolism with collapse and you will have absolutely no energy.
3) Go on walks.
Walking is probably the best form of exercise anyone can do. It's easy on the joints, you can do it for long periods of time, it engages a lot of muscles, it gets your heart pumping a little bit, and it's great for the soul. Honestly, I crave walking sometimes. There are very few things that I enjoy more than a good long walk.
4) Dear God, DON'T count calories.
Counting calories is literally such a waste of time. Clients will almost never stick to it, and they will almost always crave more food. Like I said before if you eat real food it doesn't matter how many calories you intake. Just don't make your stomach explode and you'll be fine. Also, don't count micros and macros, just don't do it. It's so stupid. Just eat your veggies, protein, fats, and all that, and you're all set.
Yoga is great. And I love to just zone out during a nice breezy vinyasa class. You don't have to be a contortionist to have healthy muscles. But the occasional, gentle stretch will make exercising, and moving in general, much easier.
6) Cut out sugar without it being painful.
Again, I know this seems really obvious, but let me explain something. Sugar gives your brain the same reaction as cocaine does. Seriously, it can be so addictive. And cutting out sugar completely is stupid, unrealistic, and boring. But throughout the day, think about the sugary things you put into your body and see what you can live without. If you have a Gatorade every day, try having it only once a week. If you drink coffee with sugar, try...well not doing that. (Black coffee is delicious in my opinion.) We consume so much sugar each day and if we can cut out a good chunk of it, I promise you will feel better and have a ton of more energy.
7) Eat less red meat.
Red meat can make your cholesterol go through the roof. White meat (as in chicken, turkey, and fish) have a lot more micronutrients in them. But if I'm being honest, I would highly recommend a vegetarian diet. There are some amazing brands for vegetarian food, and it is wayyyy better for the environment.
8) Hot and cold.
Bubble baths with lavender are great. Lavender helps lower stress and anxiety. The heat helps with the tension in the muscles, but if you want to take it a step further you can take a bubble bath, or use a heating pad, and before or after that use ice packs to treat sore or tight muscles. 20 minutes hot and 20 minutes cold. And you can go back and forth as many times as you want.
9) If you have a sweet tooth, try eating fruit first.
Let me just make this very clear; fruit does NOT make you fat. Not a single human being on this earth got fat off eating a bowl of apples. I don't know who came up with that, I just felt the need to point it out. Anyways, if you want just a little sweetness, have a few strawberries at first. If that doesn't satisfy you, then of course satisfy your cravings and have some ice cream or candy. Just don't go overboard and make your self sick by eating too much. If you crave something, you should eat it, just in proportion.
10) Drink water, but also electrolytes.
Electrolytes replenish the fluids in your body, therefore they prevent cramping when exercising. Drinks like coconut water and Pedialyte have a good source of electrolytes in them.
11) If you hate veggies, try veggie powder.
There are multiple brands that have many different products that give you the nutrients that you need for the day. A lot of people like myself struggle with eating a good amount of veggies, but when I eat veggie powder in the morning within a half an hour of waking up, I have so much more energy throughout the day and my digestive system doesn't have as many problems because it was the first thing I ate that day. Now let's be real...all of these brands will say that these powders "taste great". Yeah, no. None of them do. What do you expect? It's veggie powder! But they are doable, they won't make you gag, and they do the job! When you have your nutrients in the morning, you can eat cheesy pasta for the rest of the day and it won't matter. You already got your nutrients for the day!
12) Eat a little dark chocolate.
I'm not the biggest fan of dark chocolate, but a little piece every night or every other night is great for the heart. Let's try and keep that ticker ticking!
Thank you so much for reading and let me just finish by saying; Health is an outfit that looks different on everyone, therefore skinny doesn't always mean healthy. And being healthy isn't this insane accomplishment. Some people will do everything they can to be healthy and never will be. All we can do is be the best we can be. You are beautiful no matter what.