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3 Steps to Building a Sustainable Healthy Lifestyle

Written by: Liz Jones, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

It is no secret what it takes to build a healthy lifestyle - exercise, healthy eating, avoid smoking and excess alcohol, sleeping well, and all the things that go with it. But yet, many people miss doing what is best for their bodies.


Have you ever followed a fad diet? Or attended some exercise bootcamp?


They tend to be pitched towards women, in order to help them get great results. Which, they do.


You can’t fault them for getting results. But how many keep those results?


It gets so time-consuming preparing fresh meals every time you want to eat. And we all know how expensive it can be to constantly buy fresh organic food, as well as the costs of a gym membership, workout clothes, the right trainers, that spa treatment or massage. Everything takes time or costs something.


For a few weeks, you can do it. But unless you frame your lifestyle to include everything, then it always feels like you are making time for it, or splashing out on it.


Well, it doesn’t need to feel this way.


In fact, there are 3 things you can do that will help you to make the changes necessary to reach your goals in a healthy and sustainable way.


Firstly, it is time to get crystal clear about what you want to achieve. Just saying "I want to lose weight" or "I want to eat better" or "I want to be fitter" won't cut it; you won't stick to it as there is no clear definition of what 'IT' is you want to achieve.


And remember, it doesn’t just end there.


Think about it. If you want to lose weight for your wedding, then you have a focus and likely a target weight. But you need something beyond this. Such as, wanting to maintain a healthy body for a future family, or to build your married life maintaining healthy habits like no take-aways or alcohol during the week.


When you know exactly what you want to do and why, that is when you can set out the how. If you try to do it in reverse, then you can come unstuck or quit when things get challenging.


Next, plan ahead.


Research has shown that those who plan when they are going to exercise are over 90% more likely to do it, compared to around 50% of those who don’t plan. Have you ever just gone to the gym with no idea what you are going to do, done something, and left after hardly doing anything? I know I have.


And this is not just when it comes to training. It also applies to your eating.


I am sure you are aware that bulk buying is cheaper, you just need to look at the offer lines to see this. However, there is a tendency to go towards more convenient options that cost a little bit more but will save us time. After all, time is money, is it not!?


Here is the contradiction. Yes, it can be a better option if you are on the go to opt for pre-made or pre-packaged items. But, when you are at home, you can save time and money through planning and pre-preparing meals.


For example, if you buy courgettes, peppers, onions, you can then spend 30-minutes to cut them up and pop them into food storage tubs. You now have fresh vegetables ready to add to pasta, stir-fries, salads – anything! So, rather than buying on the go, your pre-preparation allows you to save time cooking and eat healthy meals.


This leads to the third thing – time management.


Time is the most precious thing you have to give and spend. Who wants to waste time spending hours cooking every single day? Or having an hours’ workout turning into a 2-hour affair?


One weekly activity that works well is meal preparation on a Sunday for the week ahead. Then your fridge has food tubs with cut-up vegetables (and meat if that suits you) ready to cook.


What you can also do is part-cook vegetables then put them into freezer bags. Once they’re cool, pop them into a freezer and they’re ready to finish cooking whenever you need them.


And this extends over the week. Just think, you buy some chicken in the store (say 6 pieces) and instead of cooking it as you want it, you cook it all up in some nice spices and flavors. Then you have two pieces at dinner, two go ready for a salad for lunch tomorrow, and the last two you use tomorrow evening in a stew or pasta dish.


This time management also extends to your activity levels so that it never ends up being pushed to the side, or something you find yourself squeezing in.


Rushed workouts or multi-tasking whilst doing a workout tends to lead to poor results.


If you schedule in when you are going to a workout, joining a class, training with a trainer or partner, going for a run, or whatever it is you are doing, then you will be more committed to it.


In short, the 3 things that will help you make the consistent changes you want are:

  1. Get clear about what you want to achieve

  2. Plan ahead

  3. Manage your time

Follow Liz on Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter and visit her website for more info.


 

Liz Jones, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine Liz Jones is a Wellness Coach, Yoga Teacher, and Fitness Professional with over 10 years of experience, with numerous qualifications and recognized accreditations. Having worked in a wide range of environments, Liz has helped professionals, celebrities, and business leaders from around the world to transform their lives and become addicted to living that healthy lifestyle. Liz is the Founder of Mind Body House, where the aim is to help others to 'Live the healthy lifestyle they love.' She is the host of the "Ladies Go Live" talk show and podcast, aiming to connect the value of great wellbeing and your professional success.

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