This week we are talking about balance. We are going to discuss how to find balance, how to achieve it and most importantly how to maintain it and keep it going. This is something that we pride ourselves on at Fitness360. We want everyone to feel good and live well, with the feeling of balance and freedom , not just the all or nothing approach.
Firstly, you need to find balance between what you enjoy and what is going to help you achieve the results you are looking for. Let’s just take this little example for a ride – let’s say someone is wanting to improve their cardiovascular health and fitness, so the first thing they try and do is try going for a run, even when they know that they absolutely hate running. So after the first few sessions they give up and quit as they find it too hard and not enjoyable. This is the perfect example of doing something that is not enjoyable and maintainable to try and achieve your health and fitness goals to only end up giving up and not getting to where you wanted to.
Now let’s dive into a little more detail. We have all heard the saying that ‘you can’t out exercise a bad diet’ and well…… unfortunately it has some hard truth to it. Nutritional balance is going to be one of the key contributing factors to achieving your health and fitness goals.
Don’t skips meals
In the quest to lose weight or create a healthy lifestyle, don’t skip your meals. Not only will you deprive your body of much-needed nutrients throughout each day, it will also leave you ‘hangry’. You know the feeling of anger or rage from being when you’re hungry. Skipping meals also tends to make you overeat on your next meal. Instead replace your regular meals with more proteins and vegetables and less sugar helping to keep you feeling full and well-nourished until your next meal.
Eat a variety of foods
Ensure you are giving your body the nutrients it needs. To achieve this, you should aim to eat a variety of different foods that include a variety of macro and micro-nutrients to help meet your individual energy and nutritional needs. This includes carbohydrates, fats and proteins but also the vitamins and minerals that come from a range of different food sources.
Eat mindfully and flexibly
By mindfully eating you are aware of the amounts, sources and energy density of the foods you are consuming. It really helps to have an idea of what your body needs for your individual activity levels. Being flexible with your eating habits means that you can allow yourself to enjoy the foods you are having and not get bogged down to one particular way of eating. For example, being able to still go out and enjoy a meal with a friend or an event and not create the fear or anxiety around eating in different environments which may be less controlled then your home.
Replace fizzy or sugary drinks with water
Soft Drink alone can increase weight by 5kg every year if consuming it on a daily basis at a consistent rate. Sounds like a lot, right? Well let’s flip that to soft drink can also aid in a loss of 5kgs per year if replaced with water. Our body really does need that fresh and pure water in its system to help it run optimally. So, in conjunction with hydration and having the occasional soft drink as a treat, you begin to feel and see a big difference over time.
Again, it helps to be aware of how much your body needs for your activity levels and to have an understanding of the portion size that will in the end help you to find, achieve and maintain a balanced lifestyle and healthy weight. But all in all, keeping an eye on your portion sizes is going to have an impact on your consumption. You might like to refer to the healthy eating pyramid below for a visual representation of your daily intake needs.
Copyright © 2008. For more information about The Healthy Eating Pyramid, please see The Nutrition Source, Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, www.thenutritionsource.org, and and Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy, by Walter C. Willett, M.D., and Patrick J. Skerrett (2005), Free Press/Simon & Schuster Inc.”
Give in sometimes
You are only human and just like everything in life there will be times of temptation. It’s important to practice a little self-compassion and allow yourself to give in. This helps make the journey a little more enjoyable and in turn, helps you to see results because it becomes something that you can maintain and create consistency around, as well as being able to enjoy the process because you aren’t completely restricting yourself 100% of the time.
Schedule in your exercise – scheduling in your exercise/physical activity and allow yourself enough rest and recovery time between your sessions will help you create consistency but also allow you to commit 100% during the session therefore getting the most out of it enjoyment and progress wise. If your body does not recover adequately you will then hinder your results by not letting the body repair itself, ready for extra growth and movement. Recovery is just as important as your workouts.
Find something that you enjoy and can sustain – If you want to increase your fitness whether that be cardiovascular or strength, you need to ensure that you choose a type of workout or movement that you enjoy. This will ensure that you will be more motivated to attend or complete your workout/exercise/daily movement without dreading it. This will keep your mind and body healthy as your work towards your goals.
Living a healthy lifestyle does include exercise/movement and nutrition, but it also includes doing the things that you love daily.
Start living your best life by putting in some focus to finding your balance. Once you find balance in your health, you will start to feel your best self. You will need to work at it, and you will most likely hit some speed bumps along the way but your own health needs to be your number one priority and motivator to get you through.
Find, achieve, maintain.