Diet and exercise go hand in hand when it comes to healthful weight loss. Many of us know this to be true yet have a difficult time incorporating both into our lives. We live busy hectic lives and sometimes eating properly is replaced by eating whatever we can find in a hurry. We know that taking the stairs or parking farther away from the store can be great ways to burn a few more calories on a daily basis, but with tight schedules, we may not be able to do this.
Coming up with good ideas for a diet exercise plan can be difficult, but I’m here to help! Here are some rules that will help you incorporate proper diet and exercise into your life and set you on a path to better health, energy and weight loss.
Rule Number One
- Plan ahead!
In order to eat properly throughout the day on a consistent basis, you need to get in the habit of planning ahead.
There’s nothing worse than setting out to make a healthful meal and realizing that you are missing one or two ingredients. So close, yet so far! To avoid this, make sure you plan your menu for the week and make a shopping list based on the menu. Try to plan for five days at a time which will allow you to keep fresh produce on hand at all times.
As well, keep a magnetic pad on the fridge with a pencil handy so that you may write things down as you run out. When you make the actual list, categorize each section of the store which will make shopping a breeze. Don’t you just hate having to go back and forth across that giant super center when you’ve missed something important on the list? Of course, I suppose this could be considered exercise.
Rule Number 2
- Surround yourself with healthy!
We all know that it’s a great idea to keep oodles of produce in the fridge for snacking, but tell me which you reach for: Veggies that need to be washed and cut up? Or will you grab that bag of chips in the pantry that just needs to be opened. There are two things to consider here. For one, make sure that the veggies are truly ready to be grabbed quickly and gobbled down. You can do this one of two ways: Buy prewashed, precut veggies OR prepare them and put them in a Ziploc as soon as you get home from the market. I like to keep a big bag of “rabbit mix” in the fridge that contains all my favorite veggies.
The other consideration is to make sure that you DON’T keep the more tempting snacks in the house. It’s so easy to grab for the types of food that taste really good to you. Unfortunately, these are foods that have probably forced you into looking for a diet exercise plan to begin with. When you make these things readily available in your home, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Instead, treat yourself to these items on occasion by buying an individual serving when the mood strikes you. If you have to make the effort to go purchase these things, you’re far less likely to indulge too often. As well, if you buy one serving rather than the large family sized amount, you’ll automatically limit yourself to a small amount.
Rule Number Three
- Brown bag it!
You know how it goes, right? You have every intention of eating healthfully at lunch time, but the meeting ran late, your boss is on a mission, and all of a sudden your hour long lunch has become 15 minutes. What do you eat? Whatever you can find and fast which is usually not a good choice unless of course, you planned ahead and brought a healthy lunch from home. Now, you can grab your sack lunch or your salad bag and get back to work! Sure beats the bag of Ho-Ho’s from the vending machine. Plus, you’ll have tons of energy to get that project done and wow your boss!
Rule Number Four
- Keep your gym bag packed or exercise area clean!
You’re tired, you really don’t want to stop off at the gym after work but you know you have to do it. Then, low and behold, you figure out you forgot your gym shoes! You’ve now found just the excuse to drive straight past the gym and head home to veg on the couch for the night. It’s tough enough to get going on a new exercise program, but if you don’t plan ahead, you’re making it impossible!
Keep your bag packed with all the necessities: clothes, towel, shoes and water bottle at the bare minimum. Make sure you keep this in your car or in a closet by the front door so you can grab it quickly. Repack it for the next day as soon as you get home from the gym. Your energy levels are high at that moment so why not? Besides, nobody likes to open up a bag after stinky shoes and socks have been sitting in it all night!
As well, for those of you who plan to work out from home, you need to keep an area in your house (corner of a room will do!) dedicated for your work out space. If you have to drag a bunch of stuff out or clear things away before you can even begin your work out, you are far less likely to do it. Make sure you keep the area clean and useful by keeping all the gear you need out and ready to use. Use baskets and other organizers to make it look nice and neat. Never, ever use your treadmill or elliptical as a clothes hanger! That’s a sure-fired way to start that great piece of equipment down the garage sale path! Oh! Don’t forget to keep your favorite tunes nearby for inspiration!
Good luck towards your diet exercise efforts!