A few simple habits can make the difference between a fit woman and a couch potato.
That’s because simple works.
In our pursuit of being ultra-fit we lose sight of simplicity and start complicating the process. Everything from obsessing about calories, comparing weight loss programs, overindulging in information, and waiting for “perfect.”
Many women assume there’s some mystifying secret to being fit and losing weight.
They look at celebrities and wonder “what’s their secret?”
They see a fitness trainer and think “how can I look like that?”
They see a supermodel and daydream “Oh, if I could just have her body…”
Other than a few genetic variations, there aren’t many physiological differences between you and your slim neighbor – it all comes down to habits that promote a healthy weight.
Fit People Set Goals
When you plan out your day as carefully as possible, your chances of successfully accomplishing your goals skyrocket. I like to set my daily goals after my mindfulness practice, because the added calm and clarity help me to set effective, specific goals.
Make certain your goals are realistic. There’s no point in setting goals if they aren’t realistic. Take the time to ensure that your schedule for the day is doable by assigning times to your to-do list. A good rule of thumb is to make your day as top heavy as possible. Think about the things that have the ability to advance your results, no matter how hard things are, and schedule them first. When you complete difficult tasks first, you carry positive energy and a feeling of accomplishment into the rest of your day.
Vague goals such as “I want to lose weight” are counter-productive, because they fail to include the “how” of things. The same goal re-phrased in a more functional way would read something like this: “I am going to lose weight by eating a healthy breakfast, exercising for 20 minutes at 6 a.m., and skipping my daily glass of wine.” Now, you have more than simply something you want to achieve—you have a way to achieve it.
Fit People Get Enough Sleep
Research has shown that sleep habits influence people’s dietary habits. A study published in 2011 followed men and women for six years and found that every additional hour of sleep decreased the incidence of obesity by 30 percent. The underlying mechanism that explains the relationship is not known, but experts suspect it involves hunger hormones such as leptin and ghrelin, along with other physiological factors. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep per night for optimal health.
Respect your natural urge to sleep. Here are a few tips to help you fall and stay asleep:
- Darken your room.
- Turn off all electronic devices two hours before bed.
- Avoid caffeine after 12 p.m. and avoid chocolate after 3 p.m.
What should optimal sleep look like?
You fall asleep easily each night and wake up effortlessly every morning. You sleep through the entire night, or if you get up to use the bathroom or for any other reasons, you fall right back to sleep. In the morning, you wake up energized and refreshed. You have energy throughout the day, so you don’t need any caffeinated or sugary pick me ups.
Fit People Eat Real Food
Eating a diet consisting of whole foods will have the greatest impact on your fitness potential. Sure, there are plenty of fit looking people at the gym drinking protein shakes, eating energy bars, and taking supplements, but looks can be deceiving.
Having a solid real food foundation before looking into the newest superfoods, supplements, or meal replacements will help maintain a sustainable, flexible eating program.
Fit people understand that eating real food will have the biggest impact on a healthy lifestyle. Avoiding processed foods to reduce inflammation in the body is the first step in being fit for life.
Fit People Eat Balanced Meals
Eating anything at all for breakfast puts you ahead of a lot of people. People who eat breakfast are less likely to be obese, they have more stable blood-sugar levels, and they tend to be less hungry over the course of the day. And these are just the statistics for people who eat any breakfast. When you eat a healthy breakfast, the doors to a productive day swing wide open. A healthy breakfast gives you energy, improves your short-term memory, and helps you to concentrate more intensely and for longer periods.
When you eat properly balanced meals throughout the day, you’ll have stable blood sugar levels and you’ll maintain an elevated metabolism, which helps you burn more calories throughout the day and keeps you energy levels sky high.
Always start with a protein and a fat, then include healthy carbs like vegetables, fruits, starches, legumes, and gluten-free grains.
Fit People Make Fitness A Priority
We’re all busy, but if you want to be fit you have to make time to work for it. The most fit people strike a balance between work and family obligations, social lives and exercise.
One of the easiest ways to make exercise a priority is to find something you actually enjoy doing. Sure, maybe “enjoy” is a stretch, since most of us have a love/hate relationship with exercise, but the fact remains…you HAVE to move to be fit.
Your body was meant to move, stretch, squat, run, dance, and play. If you’re feeling old, stiff, tight, and achy, your body, muscles, joints, and tendons are probably needing some movement and lubrication.
Consider your workouts very important meetings that are non-negotiable. If you aren’t in the best of shape, start small with walking or jogging, then start some bodyweight exercises pretty soon after that.
Fit People Are Conscious and Mindful
Research shows that mindfulness fights off stress by reversing the fight-or-flight response, improves your ability to focus, boosts creativity, and increases your emotional intelligence. Fit people manage their stress and are aware of their main stress triggers.
One of the most effective ways fit people manage stress is to meditate daily. Just being silent for 10-15 minutes everyday can have a huge positive impact on your attitude. Another way fit people are mindful, is pausing for a moment before they eat, conscious of their food choices and ability to eat slowly.
I always used to say “you can’t out exercise a bad diet.” These days I find myself saying “you can’t out diet a bad mindset.”
The strength of your mindset and your ability to live a conscious life can be the breakthrough to become a fit-minded person. Work on your mindset and mindfulness to become fit for life, not just fit for now.
Fit People Find Support
Support, coaching, and accountability are often underrated in the pursuit of fitness success. The fittest people seem to make it look so easy, but the reality is, they probably had a coach or mentor pushing, motivating, and inspiring them.
Fit people check in with their coaches first thing in the morning OR they need to reflect on their goal progress, since they know someone is holding them accountable.
ACTS: Accountability, Coaching, Teaching, and Support is the #1 reason I created my private (very affordable) group coaching program, called The Healthy Fat Loss Inner Circle (we are 275 strong as of today) and I LOVE seeing the interaction and support of fit-minded, health-seeking women.
It’s invaluable having a coach to lean on and ask a question about a new diet or how to break through a weight loss plateau.
I provide a 24/7 coaching community with all of my programs, like The 3-Week Metabolism Diet.
Whether you decide to join or not, the best advice I can give you is to start your “I’m going to become the fittest” journey by finding a coach or accountability buddy.
Bringing It All Together
Developing a successful morning routine is essential. While the above strategies are tried and true, you should build upon them with other activities that work for you.
What are some other morning strategies that work for you? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.