Bodies are different; some are more anatomically suited for various sports and workout intensities. Therefore, you can't expect yourself to simply try everything everyone else is doing without considering your own attributes first.
What are your strengths? What needs improvement? What is more accessible to you? How well can you maintain your routine? As sad as it might sound, you may need to begin your healthy journey alone.
Your health begins with you. It is designed by you and for you. You have to decide what you do in a day, what you eat, and how you rest. But before all of that, you need to take the time for some deep self-reflection regarding what your current state looks like.
Every person has a bar for their current health and fitness levels, so it is important to be mindful of this when starting. Pushing yourself too far above the bar could risk injuries or lead to burning out too quickly. Similarly, working below the bar doesn't actually help and only keeps you from reaching your goals and realizing your potential.
Do Not Starve
I speak from personal experience when I say that starvation is never the direction you want to go in if you want to start losing weight, especially if you plan to incorporate some form of physical workout. Whether it's intense or simple, a starving body will not have enough energy to carry you through it far enough to make progress.
Jose Villablanca, author of "Holistically Fit," even warns readers that if you do not eat right, you detrimentally lack the basic building blocks you need to perform at your maximum capacity. This can even affect how well your body is able to recover, making it harder for you to follow through with the exercises in any routine.
Eating less could also mean sacrificing vital nutrients from your macros, such as fat, proteins, and carbohydrates. While people often advise being mindful of when you eat these kinds of proteins, they never suggest stopping eating altogether because they remain essential.
Additionally, without the necessary amount of sugars and fats in your system, your body won't have any other sources of energy to burn and may even resort to burning through your muscle mass. It's important to note that weight loss does not always mean you're losing fat exclusively.
Being smart with food is not just about counting calories or knowing what to avoid; beyond all of that, it's about knowing when to eat. This is a brilliant and much-needed dietary element, especially in today's modern world of online take-outs and drive-thrus.
The problem with such easy access is the tendency it has to cultivate excess. With everything available at our fingertips, what honestly stops us from overindulging? The answer is, and should always be, ourselves. To exercise control over our cravings, we must be the ones to limit our food intake.
To help with this, it's best to establish "meal boundaries" for yourself, specifying exact meal times, serving sizes, and even what should take priority when planning your meals.
Prioritizing these elements will serve as the cornerstone of your health routine. It saves you time since you can now better schedule other tasks to be done before you start cooking or eating. It's also a minor weight off your shoulders since you don't need to overthink what type of food you might want to eat or purchase at the grocery store.
Take hold of your life; but be fair to the people in it
There will come moments when you go out to eat with friends or family, and following through with your well-thought-out meal plan will sadly come with a hurdle. First and foremost is the meal you allow yourself and how quickly you'll consume it. You may not always notice, but when you dine with fast eaters, you tend to match their pace and the food they order for the group. However, you need to stay resolute and true to your plan.
You certainly don't have to ask them to order less; it's your meal, and you determine your eating pace. More importantly, make sure to choose some menu items that align with your plan and possibly suit the whole group as well. After all, meals taste best when shared with friends.
The second thing to consider is timing because sometimes you'll eat beyond your allotted time period. You shouldn't cheat yourself by cutting your fasting period short since that's when your body digests your meals. However, there are times when it's challenging to stick to your schedule, like when you're still out with people who haven't eaten yet.
Instead of avoiding the meal altogether, this is a time when you should consider practicing flexibility. In other words, you need to reconsider your plan for the following day to accommodate the new meal you'll have to work into your fasting schedule. This way, things balance out, and it won't necessarily be considered "cheating."
Your health and diet are important to you, and while you may have embarked on this journey independently, it doesn't mean you have to endure it alone. Your friendships and relationships are just as important to your well-being because, in the long run, the supportive people you surround yourself with will be the ones who believe in and support your goals, even during moments of self-doubt. These are the kinds of people who should never be sacrificed for quicker results.
Blog by Johne Lawrence Parinas