Monday, January 6, 2014

Getting Healthy in the New Year

You know how I know that it's the first week of the New Year? It's when you go to the grocery store and all the veggies are gone because everyone has resolved to 'eat healthy' in 2014.

I, too, am ridiculously guilty of using the holidays as an excuse to have a few (hundred) extra calories per day, and now - as a result - I'm wearing leggings a little too often because I'm scared of trying to pull up my skinny jeans!

All this being said, today I'm kicking it back into high-gear and making it a goal to get back in shape by the spring. I've got some fun weddings, parties and trips coming up (including a a bachelorette in fabulous Las Vegas) and we all know that leggings aren't proper attire for any of these occasions.

I figured that I'd share some of my favorite (easy) ways to start to get healthy in the New Year. Obviously I'm no health expert, but these are things that work for me - an average, realistic person - and perhaps they'll inspire you too!

Feel free to share your favorite secrets to get fit in the comments section... I'd love to hear them!

1. Keep a food diary. 

This is my number one tip for losing weight. When you're writing down exactly what you're eating and keeping track of the calories you consuming it makes a world of a difference. It's a lot harder to not acknowledge that pack of Oreos you ate earlier in the day when you write it down!

My favorite way to do this is by using an app called Lose It. It's incredibly easy. Basically, you tell the app how much weight you'd like to lose, how many pounds you'd like to drop a week, and then it calculates how many calories you can consume per day. You can also enter how many calories you've burned working out in a day and it factors this into your daily calorie intake. In the past I've lost more than 10 pounds using the app, so this recommendation comes from experience!

2. Get your friends involved! 

I'm a huge fan of friendly competition and believe that it's a GREAT way to motivate yourself and others to get in shape. For example, today a group of my friends and I started the eight-week Six Sisters Challenge. Rather than buying into the competition for $25, the winner gets a potluck dinner (healthy, of course!) cooked for them by the 'losers.' We did this challenge before my wedding last year as well and it was a huge success!

3. Set a goal!

As a kid and all through high school, I was always participating in one or more team sports. My favorite thing about playing a sport - besides the teammates that end up becoming great friends - was always being in great shape without even realizing I was working out. I attribute this to the fact that when you play a sport you're constantly training for an important milestone, aiming to do your best at your next game or match, all while having fun at the same time.

As a 'grown up' (ha!) I find that training for an important 'milestone' is still the best way to get myself in shape. A couple of years ago I started to run. Having never really been a fan of long distance running, I decided to try and turn one mile into 13 and signed up for my first half marathon. After using Hal Higdon's novice training program, I was able to complete the race in great time without stopping to walk once!

I've now signed up for what will be my third half marathon in April and can't wait to get going again!

Anthony and I after completing the Baltimore half marathon
4. Reward yourself! 

Let's be serious... even though we're adults, bribery is just as effective now as it was when we were kids. If I tell myself, 'Liz, if you workout x amount of times this week you can treat yourself to a pedicure,' or 'Liz, if you eat healthy Monday through Friday this week you can splurge and go out to dinner Saturday night,' you can be hella sure that I'll be a lot more motivated to accomplish my goals!

How about we call it 'rewarding our progress' instead of bribery? Sounds less terrible and makes me feel less guilty.

5. Find healthy food that you like. 

You're not going to eat healthy unless you like what you're eating. Personally, that's how my diets fall by the wayside. I say I'll start some diet fad - like going vegan, YUCK - and it'll be short-lived because I don't enjoy what I'm eating.

Recently Anthony and I bought this juicer from Williams Sonoma. We know we can't be healthy all the time, but by subbing out an unhealthy snack for a juice or by adding it to an already healthy meal we're making progress!

To get started, try this green juice from the blog, Lauren's Latest... It's DELICIOUS!

1 comment:

  1. I forced myself to learn a handful of recipes last year for healthy dinners that still taste good and take 30 minutes or less to cook. Here's a super abbreviated version of a dinner that takes literally ten minutes to make (I made it last night) and looks way fancier than it is when it's on your plate:

    Tilapia & Couscous
    - Season tilapia filet with paprika, pepper and sea salt - saute...until it's done and whatnot
    - Make some whole wheat couscous
    - When couscous is done, add freshly chopped dill, chopped cucumber, crumbled feta and lemon juice
    - Serve tilapia over couscous