Okay, now that I have your attention…how many of you have already broken your New Year’s Resolutions? More than likely, you resolved to lose weight by eating more healthfully and exercising. This sounds simple enough. Why are these goals so elusive?
Most of us abandon our attempts at a healthy lifestyle due to two factors – time and money. But healthy living does not have to be time-consuming or expensive. Here are some simple strategies to help you live healthfully and affordably:
1. Look for foods in their most natural state, with the fewest ingredients and with ingredients with the fewest syllables.
2. Try to eat five to nine servings per day of fruits and vegetables. With soups, salads and stir-fry, you can easily consume two or three servings in one meal. Keep a bowl of fruit in the most visible spot in your kitchen, ready for snacking.
3. Eat a rainbow of colors - but not M&Ms or Skittles! Think nutrient-rich carrots, bell peppers, broccoli, squash, raspberries, strawberries, etc. The more colors, the better.
4. If fresh produce is cost-prohibitive, try frozen. Check out the ingredients on a bag of frozen blueberries, there is just one – blueberries. With frozen fruit and vegetables, you will have less waste and the food will be more readily available.
5. Buy the better cuts of meat if possible - they are more satisfying. Again, try to get the meat in its most natural state, preferably with no hormones or antibiotics. Grass-fed meat products are even better. Lean meats and seafood are delicious prepared simply with olive oil and seasonings.
6. You can find inexpensive healthy food items through Angel Food Ministries http://www.angelfoodministries.com. You can purchase $60 worth of food for $30 and you do not need to provide proof of income to participate.
7. Redefine fast food. If time constraints are an issue and if you have the budget, consider a meal assembly service. Try to keep healthy, convenient staples available to minimize the temptation of a drive-through dinner. I have thwarted a number of fast-food binges with frozen organic entrees, and several donut binges with Vitalicious muffins.
8. If you cannot afford a gym membership, you can find free or inexpensive options through your local parks and recreation program or your YMCA. I work out in a parks and recreations facility with treadmills, exercise bikes and a full line of nautilus equipment and free weights – all free.
9. Exercise does not have to be time-consuming. You can get the most out of your workouts by working multiple muscle groups. You can get more information on compound movements by visiting http://www.the2larsons.com/videos.php?vid=SPG66.
10. If you are having trouble gaining enthusiasm and momentum, consider an exercise group or buddy. Not only will have you accountability, but you will also have a great support system.
Good luck! See you at the beach!
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