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10 Simple Tips to Eating Well, Get Exercising and Sticking to It All

Updated on August 22, 2016
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A holistic lifestyle focuses on treating your mind and body right. While many people might associate this to weight loss and dieting, I am really not going to use self-deprecation or body image to encourage you to slowly change your life. (Not talking about a 'slimmer you', rather a 'stronger you'. If being slender is one of the results, good on ya!) Our bodies are not trash, and as such, should not be treated like rubbish or a dumpster.

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5 Tips to Eating Clean

1. A Tiny Effort

All you need to do is to be more conscious of adding that extra bit of greens and fruits into your meals. If you have been eating most anything, then make the decision to bump up your whole-food intake. Ask for extra vegetables; ask for less salt, oil or sugar when you make an order. All these are small steps that amount to something, and it is a start!

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2. Healthy Cheats

Eating clean does not mean that you will no longer be able to have dessert. It only means that whenever possible, we choose the healthier option of what we would normally have. Miss the creamy delectable taste of a soft serve ice cream? Achieve the same buttery mouth-feel with frozen yogurt topped with fruits (natural sugars!) or nuts. Itching for some potato chips? Swap those for some veggie crisps instead.

There is always something for everyone (well, I am still trying to find that bacon substitute), it all boils down to how creative you get in the food dept. Clean food can be exciting and yummy too! Here is a recipe for a 2-ingredient ice cream, yes only 2. The point is to show you that it can, indeed be done.

Strawberry & Banana “Ice Cream”

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1½ strawberries

Method:

Freeze both bananas and strawberries till frozen, remove from fridge and blend together in a blender. That is literally it! The texture will come out more like a soft serve, so if you would like it firmer, just pour the mixture into a container and pop them back into the fridge for 15 mins – ½ an hour more! Easy peasy macaroni.

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3. Read Labels

A lot of us fall prey to marketing gimmicks that shout “HEALTHIER CHOICE”, “REDUCED SUGAR” or “LOW-FAT” — when a turn of the packaging shows otherwise. It is always good to know how to read nutrition labels, and what the information represents to educate yourself about what goes into you or your family's body.

► How to Read/Understanding Food Labels

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4. Shop for Food When Full

You might chuckle at this, but it is true! Doing your groceries on an empty stomach results in bad, bad decisions. You know how when someone says, “I’m so hungry I could eat just about everything”? This is absolutely true when it comes to deciding what to purchase at the grocers when you are running low on fuel. Also, have you notice how something tastes especially good when you are famished, but it normally does not? The secret ingredient is hunger.

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5. Plan Ahead

Make a shopping list before hitting the supermarket or grocers — and keep to that list! I know I am one of those people who are easily suckered by the Snacks Isle. Resist the temptation! What you need are all on the list, the rest are just wants. In the same vein, when you have time to sit down and compile a shopping list, you are likely to be more rational and list items that have been thought out — as opposed to impulse buys.

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5 Tips to Get Exercising

1. Start!

Yes, *blows whistle* start! Confucius said, It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop. The same can be said for starting, it does not matter how late in the game you are, as long as you start somewhere. Everybody did.

As a beginner, don’t be overambitious and attempt something your body is not accustomed to. If you’ve been leading a sedentary lifestyle, a sudden burst of strenuous exercises will not only mentally and physically exhaust you. You might get yourself hurt as well. Start small and gradually increase your workout intensity.

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2. Find Out What Works

CrossFit was popular and gyms (or "boxes" as they were called) started to establish themselves a couple years back, but it is not for everyone — especially not for the faint-hearted. Definitely hardcore and quite likely a stomach-churning routine for the physically challenged.

There is no point in following the latest trends in fitness, the most important thing is to find an exercise that suits you, keeps you interested and (although it might sometimes suck) stick with.

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3. The More The Merrier

If the time before your exercise is like a countdown to imminent doom, make a loved one feel the same too! I am kidding, but in all seriousness, sometimes you need a kick in the butt to get going, sometimes you are that kick. Drag a friend along, (heck, even a four-legged running buddy is fine) kick each other in the behinds and motivate one another to keep fit and stay healthy.

A workout buddy can be that push you need to keep calm and carry on.

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4. Variety

It can get mundane and frustrating when you are constantly going through the same old routines. It is the same for everything right? Even if you are a creature of habit at heart, the annoying thing is when your progress starts to plateau. Change up your plans and incorporate different exercises to keep things fresh and set new challenges to your body. If you do not have a personal trainer (that is, the majority of us), I would recommend following websites like Fitness Blender for ideas. A search in Google brings up tons of websites with free exercise plans and programs. Experiment!

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5. Enjoy

Yes, enjoy. Exercising is not the most pleasant thing to do, but if you change your mindset, it is not the worst too. Instead of treating it as a chore you need getting over and done with, revel in the post-workout high. Take it as a stress-busting program that helps you feel good and stay in shape. There's a saying that goes running is 90% mental and 10% physical, so to quote Napoleon Hill, "Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve."

Take pride that you have pushed yourself over the limit and damn, you made it!

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In general, eating clean and starting a workout routine is not a mountain the Average Joe/Jane cannot climb. It is about self-discipline and wanting to own a body in top form. A body that functions your age (or younger), a body that you are proud of having, a body you are comfortable in. ♥

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