Being healthier can mean so many different things. Some of us struggle with weight issues, others with depression and anxiety or, worse, all three. There are so many resources out there that tell us how to fix those things, but they are often so overwhelming. In the past, I’ve written about depression a lot as it’s an ever present enemy, if you fight that particular enemy check out my 10 Smart Strategies to Overcome Depression.
After research and practice we’ve gathered up some secrets that you need to know to put in little effort and achieve your goals. They may not be fast, but they’ll be lasting and are absolutely obtainable. They are also things you know already, this one is just a reminder.
We’ll start with ‘healthier’.
‘Healthy’ can mean so many different things to everyone, depending on where you are in your life. For me, part of being healthier means I can move better and liking the way I look (read: not be disgusted at my reflection). Here are some of the secrets I’ve learned on that one and how I’m getting there, a little at a time. So, of course, that’s got a lot to do with weight loss. Physical healthiness will help with emotional healthiness.
Easy Weight Loss & Health Secrets
Secret #1: Be Aware. Yes, that sounds oversimplified but the thing is that it is actually that simple. There are so many books, posts, apps and so forth that help us be aware of what we are doing and eating. How does it actually work to help us lose weight? It’s simple really, we simply have to make an effort to think about things.
Baby Steps Always Have Stumbles.
- Food: If we are consciously thinking about the calories we are consuming, we are less likely to snack on that extra cookie or eat an extra helping of something. We’ll think about whether or not it’s actually worth it and become more likely to pass.
- Make it From Scratch! Whatever it is you are craving is going to be much healthier if you make it at home. You control the ingredients and can make things healthier that way: less salt, fat, additives, oils, etc. If you have a recipe and it makes way too much or too little, use this free free ingredient conversion tool to get just the right amounts for you.
- Activity: If you are like me, you’ve wondered more than once if it really mattered that you went for a walk or did whatever exercise it is that you love. The downright truth of the matter is that it absolutely matters. Your body was made to move, it helps us with circulation, weight, dopamine (that happiness thing), and so much more. Moving just a little extra does matter, so move. Even if it’s only a little.
- Note: If you are truly interested in knowing exactly how many calories something burns, check out this amazing free Calorie Burner Calculator. Input your body stats and the exercise details, and it will calculate calories burned exercising. If that motivates you, use it! For me, it’s a reward to have a specific number
Secret #2: Set an achievable goal. Don’t set the bar so high that you’ll get too frustrated to reach it. Not every day will be a success and that is totally okay. It’s not about doing everything perfectly, but rather everything working together to get to the right destination.
If we enjoy the course, we’ll reach the finish line.
- Weight Loss: If your goal is weight loss, then set a small number (i.e., 5-10 pounds). When you hit that, pat yourself on the back and start the next goal. If your ultimate goal is really big, this will help you stay on track. I’m the world’s worst at trying to go for super high numbers, then getting frustrated and giving up. That finish line will never be reached.
- Note: To figure out how to change your diet and how much exercise you’ll need to reach your goal, try this free weight loss calculator. My advice is put your ultimate goal in, then focus on your obtainable goal using those to reach each success along your journey.
- Movement: if your goal is to be able to move more, you can do that by adding a little movement each day. Personally, my knees and back kill me. So, one of my goals is to get past that. Though the knees require weight loss (working on that), the back seriously just needs better posture. Being aware of this has helped me work on it. There was a time where that’s just how I stood, straight. It wasn’t a conscious effort, I just did it. At some point, that slowly stopped so I’m working on getting it back.
Secret #3: Drink Water. I know, that’s so easy and so many people don’t like to drink water. However, drinking water will help with weight loss, movement (it helps keep joints hydrated and functioning better) and a general sense of ‘feel better’. I’m not adding points on that, feel free to argue in the comments, but bring some proven research, I’m stubborn! From personal experience, I lose weight faster when I drink water with lemon in it every day. No clue how that one works, but I’m cool with that. For a little bit of humor on that point:
Just keep swimming.
Secret #4: Get your friends and family involved! Odds are, if you are feeling this way they are too. Whether they admit it or not. However, even if they aren’t interested, they love you enough to play along. Make it a challenge if you have to (my husband is super competitive). We are more likely to meet our goals if we have others to encourage and motivate us.
Teammates inspire, motivate and encourage wins.
- Friend time! There are few things I enjoy more than hanging out with my best friends. You wouldn’t believe how cathartic a good walk a few times a week is! So, use that as your selling point! Let them know you are on this journey to feel better and ask them to join you for a walk or workout or whatever. Plus, when my bestie warns me I’m going overboard I’m far less likely feel upset than when, say, my husband says something.
- To get the kids involved (who probably do not need to lose weight), tell them you are trying to be healthier and you need their help. Boy, oh boy do kids love helping! You can even let them play fun (ad free) games to help them start learning about nutrition and health, in turn they’ll bring their excitement to the other aspects of their lives, ultimately helping you stay motivated to make healthy food choices.
These aren’t going to work every time, but every time it does work you are one step closer to your goal. You’ll get there.
What are your easy secrets for being healthier?