Looking good and being healthy is a hard balance to achieve. Many people can agree that you must be healthy if you look good. However, at the same time there are many people who go to unhealthy lengths to look good or lose weight.
The balance of being healthy and looking good takes patience, effort and dedication to your body. The process is not quick, but it is lasting.
Here is how you can look fantastic, but also be physically healthy.
Record books are a great way to keep track of what you are eating and how much you are exercising, on a daily basis. To start a record book you should first begin by putting in your current diet. This record book is for you, so do not be embarrassed by how much, or how little you may eat (this may not apply to you).
Once you have started that first diet, you should begin writing a realistic diet plan for yourself. You should only create a final plan that you can remain committed to. This plan should also include goals for how much weight you’d like to lose and the time period in which you hope to accomplish that.
An example of an unrealistic plan is me personally committing to eating beans and rice at night, plain tuna fish (without sauce) on a tortilla, and granola for breakfast (and eating this every day). I planned on doing that once and I can honestly tell you that I still have beans, rice, granola and canned tuna fish.
A realistic goal for me however, is always eating in my home (instead of eating out), eating a snack before I start cooking (so I don’t make too much, and end up eating too much) and sticking to low-sugar produce.
Make sure that you not only record your daily intake of food and exercise routines, but also check out your past entries as well. From there you can decide if you need to put more effort into your diet or if you can successfully keep up what you’re doing.
Don’t be impulsive
As I am writing this article, I am sitting at Starbucks and I am honestly very hungry. However, this morning I told myself that I would not eat out. I decided not to bring any cash with me to work so I literally cannot spend a dollar until I am home. Not only has this method prevented me from spending way too much for a sandwich – It has prevented me from eating unhealthy foods because I am starving and fast food restaurants are overly convenient.
When you leave your house (this doesn’t apply to EVERY situation obviously), try to keep your wallet at home. Even people with self control will find it easy to spend money on food when they are out of the house and hungry. However, leaving your wallet will force you to do what I am doing; racing home to make dinner as soon as this article is finished.
Comparison is embarrassin’
Have you ever compared yourself to someone else? I know I have. It is easy to stand next to an extremely overweight man and think of myself as somewhat skinny. At the same time, it is easy to look at my friends that are “jacked” and think about how I really need to go to the gym. For girls, this phenomenon is more prevalent, or at least vocalized.
If you are trying to look attractive, lose weight, or simply be healthy (or all of those & more) then you should try to avoid comparing yourself to others. Furthermore, you should try not to look in the mirror right after you have eaten. Even if you don’t eat that much, you may feel bloated. When you look in the mirror you will see yourself as being heavier than you actually look to others around you.
Don’t compare. You may find yourself embarrassed. You may find yourself giving up on your diet plan. Remember, this process is long, but lasting.
Anti-‘Salads are boring’
If you’re anything like me, you may have found yourself trying out the salad bar. I have tried that numerous times, but unfortunately I have found myself getting very bored of the options. Furthermore, I have not always seen much progress in my strive for looking good.
If you want to eat salads for a long amount of time, you either need to find a cheaper supermarket, or an expensive one with lots of delicious options. When purchasing produce, you should make an effort to go for variety (instead of quantity). If you have a lot of different types of salads you’ll find it harder to get bored of them, and you may stick with them longer!
Find a diet partner
Finding a diet partner is for people who can handle having someone else pushing them to stick to their diet. It is for people who can commit to a dieting plan with someone else without constantly comparing themselves to their partner.
The benefits of a diet partner are numerous, but the main ones include support (emotionally and materially), mutual encouragement and structure. It is naturally harder for the average person to ditch their diet plan when someone else is committed to that plan as well. It is also quite possible that a diet partner knows more about dieting than you do. Maybe you even have some ideas to offer them. A diet partner should be someone you are already comfortable with, or can at least understand and care for. This should be completely mutual.
Do it for the right reasons
You should not be going on a diet if you are hoping to lose a lot of weight in a very short amount of time. Sure, that MAY occur, but it is usually unhealthy rather than good for your physical body. The main reason to go on a diet is to “better yourself”. If you have the thinking “this diet will be my resolve” then you may want to speak to someone about your self esteem. A diet is not a solution. It is a way of life. It is a cut in current food intake, an increase in exercise, and the ability to have a stable mind. Once someone starts dieting, they should stop making cutbacks once they reach a healthy level. If you diet and never stop cutting back then you may have a problem and I encourage you to speak to a counselor.
Once you’ve read this, I encourage you to start creating a new, or an updated Record Book. I personally use ‘Excel’ which is a Microsoft product on my computer. However, using pencil and paper works just as well!
Stop putting it off and saying you’ll start later. For your next meal, I encourage you to slightly cut back your portion as long as that gives you the necessary nutrients to survive healthily.