Counting is not always the bottom line
- Sure, increasing weight, reps, distance, and time feels good and can feed your competitive streak. But counting and competition is not everything. Healthy people know that you have to listen to your body and sometimes put down the stopwatch or the counter. You might be pushing yourself towards injury, mental stress, and an unhealthy/obsessive attitude.
- There are times when counting calories or points or servings is important, but you also need to ask yourself where the food came from and if it’s nutritious. At eXtreme Fitness Camps, our food options include an array of farm-to-table vegetables and fruits. Healthy, nutrient-rich foods will keep hunger at bay, help maintain stable blood sugar levels, minimize cravings, and help your brain signal when you are full
Don’t let yourself get bored
- Many of us get in a fitness slump and become bored with whatever class, gym routine, or circuit we may be doing. Do not be afraid of changing it up. Ask your teacher, personal trainer, or gym neighbor for recommendations. There are also many online fitness podcasts and blogs that can give you ideas for how to change up your workout.
- Do not be afraid of flavors or techniques. Take a trip down the herb isle. When you are at the farmer’s market ask the vendor how they like to cook their wares. Don’t get into the mindset that “healthy” equals “tasteless.” Spices are your friend, and they are used in many different cuisines. Many of us have fall back recipes, try shaking yours up with a new vegetable, spice or even style fusion.
- Pack your gym bag the night before, know alternatives for when you get stuck in a meeting or in traffic, if you workout outside get quality rain gear, sunscreen, insulation so that you do not have the excuse that things were not exactly as you expected.
- Even more important than shopping for healthy foods: actually eating them. When you get home from the store or farmer’s market, bounty of fruits and veggies in tow, wash/chop/prep them right away and store them nicely. It’s all about convenience—if they’re ready for you, you’ll grab them in a pinch. If not? It’s chips and dip time. You can also do this with other foods, like making a batch of quinoa for the week or roasting a bunch of veggies to throw together for quick lunches. Make sure you prep those snacks and pack them too. If you have healthy snacks on hand you are less likely to go for that bag of fried chips or the donut in the break room.
Drop the guilt
Food and fitness wise…just drop it. We all skip workouts, eat an extra cookie, and slip into berating ourselves for not being “the healthiest we can be.” Let it go and then move on. Enough said. If you actually feel physically awful after overeating or working out after a long break let it be a learning lesson and again, move forward.
Try everything at least once
- By cross training and varying our workouts we are less likely to get into fitness slumps and weight loss plateaus. Try the different classes at the gym, go to random workshops, get out and play. Your mind and body will thank you for the change. Perhaps you will be a little sore but you will be invigorated from learning something new.
- Eat a rainbow of foods. By making sure you consume whole fruits and vegetables in all colors you will be more likely to consume recommended amounts of macro and micro nutrients.
80/20 is a good life ratio
- Make sure you give yourself rest days and rest during workouts. Also, remember that while workouts that burn you out can feel awesome they are not always sustainable in the long run, that is why we have recovery days.
- You can think of it two ways,
- One: eat healthy 80% of the time and save 20% for splurges. Healthy eating is about pleasure not perfection. However, what does that really look like? That might mean having a 150-calorie treat daily, or saving it all up for a big meal out on the weekend. Make it work for you rather than stressing out about percentages. (see habit regarding counting above)
- Two: Stop eating when you’re 80% full. That means slowing down and checking in periodically throughout the meal about what your body is saying. Thinking 80/20 as you eat can help slow you down and be more mindful. Being in tune with your body prevents overeating.
Do you feel like kicking off your healthy lifestyle? Check out our fitness camps and maybe see you soon at eXtreme Fitness!