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My Secret to Staying Fit

If you’re like the majority of the people in the world, being healthy is important (on some level). Despite this, so many people have a great deal of difficulty doing so, often due to lack of information or to the overwhelming number of temptations we are presented with on a daily basis. Now let me first say that there is no one secret way to be healthy, but after much trial and error, I have had success with a few different techniques.

Read on for my secret to staying fit & healthy.

(Excuse the mess, I'm a busy young lady)

(Excuse the mess, I’m a busy young lady)

1. Gather information.
This is important. The more knowledge you have, the smarter you will be to be when it comes to making decisions about your health and fitness. You’ll be much less likely to fall for weight-loss “gimmicks” because you’ll be armed with the information that easily and quite often debunks the outlandish claims made by a lot of these fad diet pills, shakes, smoothies, and ab crunchers. You’ll also know what it’s going to take for YOU to be healthy. For example, I know my weight, my body fat %, my muscle mass, my BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), and my Caloric Maintenance Level. With this information, you’ll be able to determine the best plan for your road to better health.

2. Get a fitness routine.
Many reasons that people avoid exercise is yes, due to laziness, but it is also largely due to uncertainty. People often don’t know what exercises are best for them, which are most effective, or even what exercises they might actually enjoy. The focus is often on what they hate about working out. You’ve got to change your mindset and focus on what you love. Do some experimenting, do research, take a fitness class, get a trainer – do what ever you feel is best for you to learn the best fitness routine for YOU.

3. Set Goals.
You’re far more likely to see success if you know what you’re striving for. You’re also more likely to stick to your routine each time you achieve a goal. It acts like a mini push or motivation to keep going. People often say “I want to lose weight/ get in shape”, then they join a gym (often after New Years), work out for a month or two, and then quit. You have to set goals. Saying you want to lose 30 lbs is not enough. So you want to lose 30 lbs, well typically people lose fat at a rate of .5 – 2 lbs per week. The more overweight you are, the faster the weight will come off. With that being said, to lose 30 lbs (of fat), it will take approximately 4 MONTHS (at least) or up to 1 YEAR and 3 MONTHS. So, quitting your routine after 2 months isn’t going to cut it. You’ll also be able to use your weekly fat loss rate to ensure you’re staying on track. Suddenly you go from seeing yourself losing 1 pound per week to having lost almost 10 pounds in 2 months! What a huge motivator!

4. Get more protein.
The general rule is: consume 1 gram of protein for every pound you weigh. So, for me I should be eating 123 grams of protein per day (sounds like a lot, I know) BUT it’s DOABLE! Most people get nowhere near what they need with all of that processed junk food out there.
(Note: 1g of protein = 4 calories. Be sure to factor this into your caloric intake for the day. Example: 123g of protein = 492 calories. That means the rest of your calories should come from carbohydrates and fat.)

5. SLEEP.
Sleep is so much more important than people think. Get your 8 hours, period. My generation loves using the terminology “Team no sleep” I cringe when I hear this. It somehow seems to imply that those who forgo sleep in pursuit of professional endevours are in some way superior to those who “succumb” to a decent nights rest. The reality is, those who make a decent nights sleep a priority know how important it is your health. Those who sleep more and lead a healthy lifestyle can critically think and process information far better than someone who is sleep deprived and are also less likely to get sick or have mood disorders. Now if you ask me, someone who’s brain is half asleep because they have not slept or is constantly sick and/or moody and irritable is not someone who is superior by any means. Not to mention when your sleep deprived, you are more likely to overeat junk because your body is looking for quick energy. Get your sleep.

6. DRINK…water.
All other health benefits aside, water is so important when it comes to regulating your cravings. Forget about some super pill thats going to keep your cravings at bay. A huge part of the equation is WATER (and sleep). So drink up.

7. Monitor your snacking.
No matter how hard you work out, if you pack all those calories back on through snacking, your are essentially undoing all of the hard work you just did. Snack healthy, but snack smart and most importantly, don’t go over your caloric intake requirements for the day.

What are you doing to stay fit?

~ Letisha

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