In Maine, we are coming off of our Spring Break week. My family hunkered down at home this year but I know many of my friends were able to get away and enjoy warmer climates or visit family farther away.
Whether you stayed home or ventured off, I feel like coming back from a vacation (or even a staycation!) provides a good opportunity to give yourself a fresh start with your diet and exercise. I know when I travel, I give myself a little grace to indulge in more treats and skip workouts in favor of enjoying as much as I can of wherever I am and whomever I’m with.
But I always come home ready to get back into the routine of healthy eating and regular exercise. If you are looking for a fresh start, or perhaps just feeling the desire to renew some new year’s commitments that have been neglected, I want to encourage you to use today as your fresh start day! Below are a few tips for getting yourself back on track and setting yourself up for success:
- Keep a Food Journal – Food journals are a great way to motivate you toward making clean and healthy food choices and to keep yourself accountable. I know when I’ve tried to lose weight I have found it so helpful to use online food diaries like My Fitness Pal to help me track my food (and water) in take. But just putting pen to paper works too. It’s a simple way to force you to consider your food choices and also to help you see where you may be missing out in your diet (be it fruits, veggies, protein, fiber, etc…)
- Have a Water Bottle handy at all times – Drink, drink, drink!!! So often, we mistake thirst for hunger. If you keep a water bottle with you, it’s a constant reminder to hydrate. Sometimes, when I think I’m hungry I’ll down an entire bottle and wait 10 minutes to see how I feel before I run to the pantry. I bought this particularly water bottle last fall that helps me by tracking the number of times I refill the bottle. And of course, I love my monogrammed Swell bottle for when I’m feeling fancy 😉 My trainer told me once when your exercising and looking to lose weight it’s a good goal to drink about a gallon of water a day!
- Phone a friend – No really, call up a friend! Having accountability is so helpful when you are trying to create or re-establish healthy habits. Ask for support, be it meeting you at the gym or for a walk, or as a weekly check in on your nutrition goals. Chances are you have a friend going through the same thing and will happily partner with you on your journey. I find it especially encouraging to work out with someone when the motivation is low. The time flies and I have benefitted from both the exercise and the fellowship. It’s always a win.
- Establish a Goal – Now, my husband would argue with me that goals are superfluous when it comes to healthy living but I just have to say that I totally disagree! I personally think that goals, especially short-term ones are helpful in keeping you on track and motivating you to stay the course, especially when you feel like the end result you are going for is so far away. If you are hoping to run a 1/2 marathon, sign up for a 5K to get you going. If you are trying to lose 20 pounds, give yourself a small reward after the first 5 pounds are gone. Hitting small goals gives you a sense of accomplishment that will spur you on to the next goal!
- Mix things Up – Finally, don’t be afraid to mix things up. Especially if you feel like you’ve hit a wall in your progress. If you have already been making great food choices and the scale isn’t moving, try Intermittent Fasting. If you normally run for exercise, try swimming or a group exercise class. Sometimes, just mixing things up a bit can be what you need to get over the hump.
Obviously, I’m not sharing anything groundbreaking here, but I hope it encourages you if you are looking to get back on track. Tomorrow, I’ll share one of my favorite recipes I rely on when I’m trying to eat as clean and healthy as I can!