This is a slightly different post from me but it’s something I felt like writing as I’m very health-conscious and I’m often asked how to stay healthy and fit.
Just before I begin, I want my readers to know that I am in no way preaching, telling you what to eat/what not to eat or how to live your life. These are just little tips that might be useful if you’re looking to improve your health and fitness.
I am neither a health or fitness expert but I do like to read around the subjects and feel/look the best I can. None of these tips will be ground-breaking and they might be things you’ve heard before but they work for me and hopefully, they will for you too.
Please also note that I am naturally petite and always have been. I do not diet and I don’t exercise to stay slim. I simply eat well and keep fit to feel good about myself.
1. Don’t drink away your calorie intake. It’s such a waste. I don’t drink fizzy drinks at all – mainly because they taste so artificial. Plus, they’re so sugary; they make me feel sick. I stick to water, milk and herbal tea. I do like fruit juices and smoothies but I try not to drink them too often because they’re highly acidic which is not good for tooth enamel. I’m dubious of fruit squash because they have so many chemicals in them and they’re loaded with sweeteners. Sometimes, I drink regular tea with a splash of milk or black coffee – both without sugar.
2. Always eat breakfast. It provides the body and brain with fuel after an overnight fast and kick starts your metabolism. If I skip breakfast, I’m lethargic and grumpy all day – it’s just not worth the hunger meltdowns at 10am! I usually eat porridge or Weetabix with semi-skimmed milk or natural yoghurt with seeds and chopped fruit. On weekends, it has to be scrambled egg and smoked salmon on toast – delish!
3. Drink water. This tip always irritates me when I read it in magazines because we’ve all heard it a thousand times before but it really does work. Drinking water increases energy/relieves fatigue, flushes out toxins, improves skin complexion, boosts your immune system and so much more. When I feel like a change, I add fruits and herbs to make it a bit more interesting. Get some inspiration here. And I LOVE hot water with fresh lemon and ginger in the mornings.
4. Limit your alcohol intake. I rarely drink because I don’t particularly like the taste of alcohol. I’m quite a productive person so I can’t stand hangovers either – the thought of being bed-bound all day makes me wince! Having said that, if I do drink, I prefer to have 1 or 2 quality cocktails rather than loads of cheap and nasty drinks.
5. Opt for wholesome snacks. I tend to have a slump around 3pm everyday so snacks are essential to keep me going. My favourites are apple spread with a little peanut butter, a handful of almonds/seeds, and crudités with houmous or a slice of granary toast with marmite or honey if I have a sweet craving. Lightly salted popcorn is a tasty alternative to crisps – it’s high in fibre too.
6. Keep takeaways to a minimum. Even if 2 for Tuesdays at Domino’s Pizza is tempting. It is fine as a treat but for the price of a couple of their large pizzas, I would much prefer to put it towards a three course meal in a nice restaurant. That’s just me though!
7. Exercise. Personally, I like gyms because everyone’s there for the same reason and you have a range of equipment. I can understand why some people might feel self-conscious but there’s no need to be because everyone is too involved with their workouts to care what you are doing. I prefer to go in the morning at 7am before work because the way I see it, I have to get up early for work anyway, I can get it out of the way and I can get on with my day without feeling guilty. But of course, everyone’s different and not everyone works 9-5 – just exercise when you get the chance.
8. It’s all about moderation. Don’t beat yourself up over having a day off the gym or having a biscuit binge in front of Netflix. We all do it. Just make sure you eat well and stay active most of the time.