Your everyday choices play a large part in your health and well-being. So, in lieu of looking to drop those extra pounds in anticipation of your next vacation, school reunion, "hot date," or what have you, what if you were able to consistently maintain a healthy, slim appearance, and feel exceptional every day of your life?
Forget those crazy diet fads. Forget counting calories. Forget depriving yourself of delicious foods. Rather, indulge in food, frolic in fun, and focus on caring for yourself, and the svelte you will emerge to help you reach your highest potential. With this in mind, here are 10 lifestyle tips to help you develop daily routines for optimal health.
1. Prep for the Week
End the mealtime madness and set yourself up for success. Simply stated, prepare your meals and snacks ahead of time. By preparing healthy foods at home to eat throughout the week, you make healthy food selections a no-brainer.
Select your least busy day of the week, set aside an hour or two, and grocery shop with a plan. You can also choose your favorite recipes and tweak them to create healthier versions. E.g., If you enjoy mashed potatoes slopped in butter, prepare some creamy cauliflower "mashed potatoes" saturated in freshly ground black pepper and garlic. The leftovers can be kept in the fridge, serving as a tasty hummus later in the week.
2. Curb Late-Night Snacking
As a general rule, don't eat three hours before you go to bed. You'll wake up less bloated and more energetic. If you need to occasionally satisfy cravings, eat one of the healthy snacks sitting in the fridge that you prepared ahead of time. Perhaps that garlic n' pepper hummus, accompanied by some wedges of fennel, will suffice?
3. Become a Foodie
Become the foodie that you're meant to be and avoid processed foods as much as you can. This may initially be difficult for some, but once you undertake "clean eating" (at least, for the most part), you'll drop any unnecessary lbs more easily than you'd expect. You'll be able to slim down without forfeiting flavor in any way, shape or form. Well, maybe forfeiting shape and form . . . into their more slender versions.
4. Surround Yourself with Beauty
When you surround yourself with beauty (indoors or outdoors), you'll feel beautiful yourself. Carefully selecting what and whom you come into contact with adds to your well-being. You'll soon realize that beauty is bountiful and found in fresh, colorful foods, the company of friends, elegant ambience, and scenic vistas, to name but a few.
5. Only Do Workouts That You Enjoy
Don't follow trends. Do what you like to do. If you prefer yoga, practice it. If you like weightlifting, pump that iron. If you enjoy belly dancing, then hip shimmy into the wee hours of the morning. Don't stay active just to track your "progress," rather experience the vitality of life flow through you as you put your strong, slimmed-down body into motion.
6. Drink H2O
Hydrating is key. Drinking water cleanses your body, boosts your metabolism, and acts as an appetite suppressant. Also, drinking more water helps your body to stop retaining water, so you can easily drop those extra pounds of water weight.
7. Celebrate Your Success
Self-sabotage tends to come up when you feel like you're not progressing. So, celebrate your successes! Perhaps set aside small, manageable daily goals and let yourself celebrate the small victories. By feeling good and positive about your accomplishments, you'll stay motivated to treat your body well.
8. Prioritize a Good Night's Sleep
Halle Berry knows that shut-eye is critical for keeping her body in svelte condition. Berry sleeps at least eight hours each night and credits her healthy, glowing skin (and slim body) to that time of rest. "I love to sleep," said Berry, "when I'm rested, I'm at my best." And the time is now for you to be at your best too!
9. Eat for Satisfaction
Avoid emotional eating. We all have our emotional triggers, so select healthy outlets to vent and process your emotions. Daily rituals can serve as small outlets that help you to feel grounded and productive: herbal tea sessions with friends; aromatic hot stone massages; at-home beauty facials; Netflix marathons. Whatever your healthy outlet is, decompressing will keep you centered and slim.
10. Have Fun
Don't underestimate the health benefits of laughter and joyful play. Fun and relaxation are keys to staying slim. Creating light-hearted memories with family, friends and other loved ones can keep you happy and healthy.