I heard a woman complaining to her friend the other day. She works out 5-10 hours a week at the gym, but hasn’t seen any real, long lasting changes. Her friend complained that she’s frustrated too! She feels like she loses and gains back the same 10 pounds every year.
They are not alone. There are many people spending 5-10 hours a week at the gym who complain that they never see the benefit of their workout. What are they doing wrong?
While physical exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, it needs to go hand in hand with eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, and getting enough sleep. That doesn’t mean you can’t ever have a piece of pie after dinner, enjoy a glass of wine, or stay up late. However, it’s important to find the proper balance to fit your lifestyle and health goals.
If your goal is to ‘maintain’ your weight and level of fitness, you may find that daily moderate exercise and your current eating habits work for you. However, if you want to make a ‘change’ in how you look and feel, it may be time to make some adjustments.
Drink More Water
Believe it or not, most people are dehydrated. It’s easy to remember to drink more water on a hot summer day, but your body still needs water the rest of the year.
Why is water important? Water helps you feel full. If your goal is to eat less, try drinking a glass of water before every meal and snack. It’s also important to remember that your body is 60% water. Your body need water to function properly – think muscles, brain, skin, circulatory system, digestive system, and even a natural detoxification. So keep that water bottle handy and drink up!
Get Plenty of Sleep
Try to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Some people claim that they can function fine with less sleep. However, studies have shown that a good night’s sleep is essential for good health. What are the benefits of a good night sleep? Improved memory, creativity, attention, energy, less stress, and less late night munchies.
Help your body fall asleep faster by establishing a regular bedtime, keeping the bedroom free of computers and cell phones, and practicing deep breathing exercises.
Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet
It sounds so easy, but many people are overwhelmed by the idea of eating healthy. It doesn’t have to be difficult and you don’t have to be an experienced chef. Home cooked meals tend to be healthier than takeout or restaurants since you control the ingredients, sugar, salt, fat, and portion size.
Chicken, beef, seafood can be quick and easy with just a few of your favorite spices. Add a side of healthy grains such as wild or brown rice, quinoa, farro (these are found in most grocery stores). You may find that even your pickiest eater loves these mild tasting grains. A quick salad or steamed vegetables can make any meal complete in just a few minutes.
Are You Ready To Change?
Changes don’t have to be extreme or overpowering. Decide what changes you’d like to make, start slow and make gradual changes or improvements that fit your lifestyle. We all start at a different place and have a different destination, so there is no need to compare yourself to anyone else. Make the changes that work for you and remember there is help and support available for you whenever you need it.
Beverly Entin is the owner of Entin Health Coaching Group, LLC specializing in health coaching solutions for children, adults, and families designed to fit your life. I’m also a proud graduate of Spencer Institutes’ Personal Fitness Chef program. Find out more about my services and follow my blogs at http://blog.entinhealth.com