Freedom and adventure - woman happy, Grand Canyon

Let’s not wait until New Year’s Day to get swimwear ready. It’s tankini swimsuit time now and also the time to make a resolution to become a better YOU. Resolutions tend to fade toward April or May, and by the time October rolls around we’re eating whole pumpkin pies while watching the finale of Breaking Bad on repeat. Well guess what, the show is officially over and so is the time to sit around. Like a bad Tumblr quote, life is too short to not become the best possible version of yourself now, and guess what gals? It’s not as hard as you think.

Start to Simplify. Counting calories and measuring portion sizes can be draining and annoying. Why don’t we make it easy and think about what you’re putting into your body in terms of variation, freshness, and color. Now that doesn’t mean go guzzle a pack of Skittles pre-and-post workout and you’ll be set. Focus on finding foods and recipes which you can incorporate fresh ingredients as a substitution: i.e. kale chips rather than potato chips, switching from butter to olive oil, etc. Making these small steps to your diet will slowly lead to a habit you’ll be happy exercising.

Treat yo self. If you’ve ever watched Parks and Recreation on NBC (Netflix, Hulu, TiVo—get on it) then you know Aziz Ansari and his crazy character Tom Haverford. He and his cohort, Donna, came up with a phrase to complement their sometimes selfish egos and they encourage everyone to “Treat yo self!” A lot of the time during a diet if your willpower gets the best of you and you sneak that piece of birthday cake, or have mimosas on Sunday, you give up on your diet in entirety. Don’t get defeated! You’re allowed to treat yourself for all the hard work you put in. Keep in mind, sometimes having a treat to look forward to throughout the week will make your workouts and weekdays that much sweeter.

Eating smaller portions more often. One of my favorite quotes from The Devil Wears Prada is when Emily Blunt’s character declares, “and right before I feel like I’m going to faint, I eat a cube of cheese.” It’s funny because it’s ridiculous, and not at all what we mean! What we’re saying is try to eat small, frequent meals throughout the day rather than three big meals. Why, you ask? Because when we stretch into more than 3 hours without eating, our levels of cortisol (our stress hormone) rise. So when cortisol is too high, it signals to the body to start freaking out and go into starvation mode which ultimately triggers the body to start storing fat. Especially in the abdominal region. So keep it simple and cut your meal size in half and spread it out during those long days.

Keep in mind what food is for. In today’s society when it comes to food, one of the main factors in choosing what we put into our mouths is taste. But guess what? Our bodies don’t continue to perform at their peaks because that chocolate cake tasted like heaven on a silver platter being served by James Franco. Our bodies function because of what we put in and how it is broken down into fuel. The reason why sugars and complex carbs tend to err on the side of banishment is because our bodies have difficulty breaking them down and eventually store the excess as fat. Food is fuel, plain and simple.

Sticking to a Menu. Now, I know we are all busy. My friends in the fitness industry have the time to prep meals for the entire week because that is their lifestyle. So when I see on Instagram their eighteen containers packed with veggies, chicken and quinoa, I want to cry into a cupcake. However, a quick solution would be giving yourself less options for each meal. Form habits when it comes to your daily food intake at each meal and keep your options limited. Pack a lunch rather than order food. Keep breakfast to oatmeal and strawberries or a fruit smoothie. This way, with limited options, you won’t stray from your recent healthy eating venture.

We hope this was helpful and enough to boost your body and brain into action. Share your thoughts below!

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