A new year is starting and we are all excited about our resolutions, aren’t we?
I get asked a lot, how do I stay healthy and “fit” (considering I gained 2 kg in my last trip to Mexico…oops) while eating all the time in restaurants, cooking delicious and not so light food and not doing rigorous sport.
Well, for a long time I was all into the dieting, doing pilates and trying to do a lot of cardio and stuff, just to realise I was not loosing any weight and even getting heavier and heavier. When I finished school (4 years ago) and started working, I lost 6 kgs in less than a year without any significant effort! I was really surprised (and happy of course) and ever since I have not gained any of these kilos.
I gathered 10 tips I noticed in my daily life, and a very special one in case you need extra help 🙂 I hope you enjoy it and reach your weight and body goals this 2016!
1.- Join a healthy lifestyle program
I met Caitlin in Zurich at the Best of Swiss Gasto Awards, she is a Food Blogger based in Zurich and comes from sunny California! Caitlin is the founder of teaspoonliving.com, and in her blog she shares amazing recipes, tips and healthy habits including yoga travel and lifestyle. We talked for hours about healthy lifestyle and the perks of being food bloggers. We both had so many things in common, on how to stay healthy and have a normal eating life at the same time.
In her blog/website She has 2 programs to start 2016 in a super healthy way! One is the Real Food First and the other one is Winter Meal Plan (only 49 CHF! for a full month). Subscribe before Jan 11th!!!
In her program pack she offers: 4 weekly meal plans, tips and healthy habits to follow, personal email support with weekly check-in, and for Swiss locals she offers 1:1 phone coaching too, and much much more.
***Join Caitlin into a healthy 2016 ***
2.- Start with the right step in the morning
Drinking a glass of warm lemon water helps boost your system, it hydrates it and it help digestion too. It is the perfect way to start a healthy day! Caitlin (from the previous point) shares her daily warm lemon water routine and why she loves it. Why I drink warm lemon water in the morning.
I also add Chia seeds to my lemon water from time to time in order to have more energy and feel more satisfied.
I always always start the day with whole SEASONAL fruits! This is the best moment to eat fruits since your digestive system is clean and it not clogged by gluten or other substances. You will have a great digestion during the day. If you are craving for a huge croissant (like I always do) keep it once a week and after your fruit, you will realise you will crave it less after the fruit and even decide not to eat it.
2.- Count Steps not Calories
Calories are not useless, they are a great way to count your energy intake during the day and know how much you need, but leave that to nutritionists! Us as normal human beings should focus more on the quality of our food, and the schedules. We all know a greasy pizza has zillions of calories and we eat it anyways 😉
Instead of obsessing about calories I count my steps, I try to reach 10,000 per day minimum in order to stay healthy. I use the iPhone Health app, Human app or Moves app in order to count steps and activity. This gives you an idea or your activity during the day and motivates you to come back home walking instead of sitting in the bus with your nose in your phone.
3.- Balance your week
This has been the hardest for me since I started the blog. I get invited often to events or restaurants to eat tons of delicious food; I hardly say no to food when it is in front of me. I was worried to get heavier with all these events, so I decided to put a little rule into practice (which has more or less worked).
I have 3 free meals and 3 light meals during the week and the rest are normal. By free meal I mean all-you-can-eat meal, I know it sounds aggressive, but I am like this. When I eat raclette I am a monster and so when it comes to fondue, chocolate, desserts in general, pasta, cakes, and everything else. So I tend to just have 3 of these meals per week.
The light meals tend to be extremely light (keeping it healthy) like a soup with some crackers, a salad, or steamed vegetables. I usually compensate these meals the day I am having a free meal 😉 . This makes it easier to pass the craving.
The normal meals, are pretty much everything else, however I rarely have dessert outside my free meals and try to make healthy choices every time I can (and want). Ex. Fish instead of meat, grilled instead of pan-fried and salad instead of fries … this one is almost impossible!
4.- Avoid or eliminate sugar drinks (even the healthy ones)
I do not like the word eliminate, but to be 100% honest with you these drinks are not getting you anywhere and they rarely give you any nutrients. I am very addicted to Coke Zero, and this one was the last of my not-tap-water drinks to eliminate from my list, and this year I made the resolution to stop it once and for all!!! Wish me luck.
The only beverages you should be drinking are water, tea, coffee and infusions. The rest is not that good for you, or at least it does not give you what you are expecting. Did you know that in order to have a SMALL glass of orange juice you need 2-4 oranges, you would never eat 4 oranges! But you will drink them in a sip without feeling satisfied and pouring all the sugar in your veins… so avoid this.
If you are still craving for a sugary drink, try my fresh Mint lemonade from time to time! You can substitute the sugar with honey in order to make it healthier!
5.- Eat whole and raw
This is a continuation of the previous point. Try as much as possible to choose whole foods, like oranges instead of juice.
Raw carrots are a girl’s best friend, I am a big fan of raw grated carrots for lunch. I often buy a kilo and grate them for the whole week. A big tupperware of carrot salad with black olives is a delicious lunch and will satisfy you until the end of the day, eat as much as you want there is no limit! I love hummus too, and learnt how to do it, check the recipe here.
Raw or steam vegetables with satisfy your appetite much more than other type of food, the simple reason is that your body takes longer to digest them and is happy with them too :). Whole fruits in the morning will give you energy and fiber you need to kick-ass the day.
6.- Drink, drink, drink
You have heard this 1,000,000 times, but I have to repeat it! Drink water and tea! It is good for you!
As previously mentioned I do not do sports regularly, I am not subscribed in a fitness gym or part of a jogging team. However, I try to choose activities during the weekends that involve moving a little bit more. I love playing tennis and hiking around, not to mention shopping as a great cardio friend! I walk as much as possible too.
I recently started to join Swedish Fit (check my article here) once a week and I am very happy with it! It is fun and it passes by very quickly, so I will probably keep this activity through-out the year in order to have at least one -day sport per week.
8.- Cook instead of buying
I know this sounds obvious, but honestly it is not that hard!
If I managed to jungle a full-time-job, a blog, all the events and still cook a not-so-unhealthly lunch so can you (ok, I do not have kids yet)! What I do is that on Mondays I plan my week and try to cook as much as possible for the full week. For example, I cook a bunch of Quinoa and vegetables (a side) and put it in individual Tupperwares and I just grab it in the morning.
I worked in hotels and in cafeterias and you have no idea how much additional fat they add to the food! Trust me, it is better to know what you are eating in order to stay healthy.
This Christmas I got a super cool present from my husband! A Monbento lunch box, they are super cute and will motivate you to do your own lunch!
9.- Eat half of it
I know it sounds harsh, and you should not take this literally. When I mean half is for Xtra stuff, like for example a dessert, share it! Or if you are cooking a bunch of pasta, put half on a tupperware for your lunch (this actually works amazingly).
I do this a lot when the cheese plate arrives in front of me, I tend to grab a huge portion of it and then I think of the half rule and take half of what I wanted to eat in the first place. 80% of the time I end up happy with my half portion and 20% of the time I take a bit more; however, in the long run the 80% makes a difference.
10.- Enjoy your food
Do not eliminate your favourite food, this is a horrendous mistake and will make you super frustrated. Eat all the food you like, but with moderation. Even if you love a glass of Coca Cola once in a while ENJOY IT! Life is way too short to eat seeds and green leaves every day.
The important thing to take into consideration is to enjoy it , REALLY, not just eat it out of anxiety or nerves. This bingeing is what is keeping you from your objectives.
For example, I LOVE CHOCOLATE in every presentation possible. So what I have done it to chose dark chocolate and avoid all the sugary bars they sell in the vending machine.
Well, this is the end of it. I hope you found these tips helpful and that they will be useful to get to your 2016 objectives! Do not forget that the most important thing is to be healthy and feel good in your body 🙂
See you at the next post!