At Train With Danny, our top-rated Los Angeles personal trainer and health enthusiast knows the journey to becoming healthy and fit does not start with aspirations of losing weight — although we understand that is often the catalyst for making changes.
When someone takes the universal approach of, “I want to lose (this much) weight” they often choose a number that is not realistic, which immediately sets the person up for failure.
The best approach to improve your diet and fitness is understanding your current lifestyle and learning simple tricks to transform your wellness, so you can make lasting changes that lead to a healthier you.
Here is how you can get started.
Assess Your Current Diet and Fitness Routine
Before you can begin setting new health and fitness goals, you must understand what you are currently doing, and how it is helping you — or holding you back — from reaching your wellness potential.
Last month we talked about the importance of starting a journal to outline your food intake, simply by writing down what you consume throughout the day, including meals, snacks, and beverages. You can do this with a pen and a pad, or using a food-tracking app. This is a perfect way to understand what your current diet looks like, so you can slowly begin making changes.
Whether your goal is to manage your weight, boost your energy levels, or reduce your risk for disease, the formula for success is consuming a diet high in nutrients and low in processed, fatty, and sugary foods and drinks.
Next, outline your current fitness routine. If you do not have one, do not beat yourself up about it. You are reading this to start something positive!
Consider your daily movements, like walking your dog, riding your bike, or the number of times you go up and down the stairs each day, to consider exactly how much peripheral exercise you are getting.
If you have a current routine, outline how it works, including the days and exercises you participate in, so you have a good jumping off point for improvements.
Now you can consider upgrading your diet and fitness levels to reflect real change.
Set Healthy and Attainable Diet and Fitness Goals
The worst way to get started on your health journey is crash dieting that restricts you from certain foods or beverages cold turkey.
Start small by looking at your food journal and determining where you can make changes that allow you to swap a bagel with cream cheese for fruit or swapping soda for water.
Keep in mind, the bigger the changes, the harder they are going to be to stick to.
Do not set yourself up to fail. Instead, make small changes that you can stick with, and you will feel the difference in your diet quicker than you think.
From a fitness standpoint, use the same ideology. You cannot go from not working out at all to participating in long workouts designed for athletes.
Start slowly by taking walks in your neighborhood or on a treadmill at the gym. Begin participating in beginner strength training classes that allow you to stretch your muscles slowly, so you do not hurt yourself and, subsequently, give up.
Find exercises you enjoy and start moving!
Healthy Tips to Get Started in a Positive Health and Fitness Direction
Health and fitness are about more than the way you look. They improve the way you feel, your ability to focus, your psychological state, and your overall quality of life.
Try these tips for getting started on your fitness journey:
- Drink more water to stay hydrated
- Stock your refrigerator and pantry with healthier foods and snack items by reading the nutrition labels on foods before you buy them, so you can begin to learn what you are putting inside your body
- Keep your food portions in check, so you are getting protein, veggies, and fruits in equal servings for a balanced diet
- Plan which days you will work out, so you can create a schedule that helps you commit to the process
- Get more sleep to fuel your days
- Do not compare your diet and exercise routine to anyone else’s, as this is your journey
Finally, if you feel empowered by your diet and exercise program after the first month, keep it going! However, if you get bored with the foods or workouts you have chosen, try something new. If running on a treadmill is not keeping you focused, consider strength training.
If you are eating too many salads, and they are tempting you to stray to fattier foods, look for high-protein alternatives that give you a much-needed change of pace, instead of opting for foods that are going to put you back where you started.
Continually reassessing your health and wellness goals can create a diet and exercise program that works for you. On this journey, you are the only person that matters.