Marlie Packer: My advice on sticking to healthier living
Spring is within touching distance now and I for one am glad to be making it out the other side. Once the joy of Christmas and New Year is gone and we’re into the depths of winter it can be really hard to keep to any resolutions you’ve set - particularly when it comes to being healthy and losing or maintaining your happy weight. I mean how hard is it to choose the gym over a Shepherd’s Pie and the Winter Olympics right now?
So here are some tips on how to keep on track and achieve your goals, whatever the weather and no matter how you feel.
First - make sure your goals are realistic and achievable - Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Realistic and achievable goals
A long term goal is great but along the way don’t forget to praise yourself for the smaller, short term, goals that you achieve. So if you’re trying to lose two stone, don’t think of it as two stone all at once, try to set a smaller target e.g. 2 pounds a week. This will help to ensure that you don’t lose heart and give up.
Also reward yourself for the hard work you put in but try make that something enjoyable, active and not food related.
Everybody thinks that losing weight is about doing exercise, which is a great way to speed up weight loss, but actually it's as important to think about the food you put in your body and the time of day it's consumed.
Here are a few tricks that work for me:
- Make time to have breakfast - eggs in the morning are always a good start.
- Instead of buying lunch at work, prepare your food on a Sunday evening for the week or three days. A three day food rota keeps your food preparation fresher. This will also help you save your hard earned cash.
- When it come to your evening meal try having smaller portion sizes and have more veg so that fills you up. Also think about using smaller plates.
- Hydration is key so try so try to drink 1.1/2- 2L a day but if you don’t drink much, start off with less and work your way up to that quantity.
- Coffee - I’m not a coffee drinker but it’s healthy to not drink it past 4pm so you sleep better that night or switch out the caffeine for the decaffeinated kind, same for our adored Great British cuppa.
- Exercise - if you are someone who exercises then keep doing what you are doing- increase time, distance or intensity or for better results do all three!
If you are someone who dislikes exercise - set yourself small challenges like, taking the stairs instead of the lift or walking instead of driving to the shop, go for an evening walk or find a fun alternative.
Exercise doesn't have to be confined to a gym, make it what you want to it be!
Small steps and realistic targets will keep you motivated - and remember, in the long run, small changes can make a big difference so get out there and do it!