Jan 1, 2020

Secrets to My Six Pack for a New Year & New You!

If you would have told me at 16 that I would be in better shape when I was 35 I would have laughed in your face.  I was body-obsessed, eating 800 calories a day with an unhealthy relationship with myself, food, and probably others too.  I was shy, lacked confidence, and I am sure I had some major social anxiety I was just pushing down inside.

Fast forward 17 years and I have learned a lot about myself, my purpose, the amazing things my body can do, and that if I accept and love myself I can accept and love others more easily.

These things, along with a few eating and lifestyle changes has given me a healthier and able body, better relationships, more energy to do good in the world, and more time to spend with MUCH more worthwhile causes than working out my body and obsessing over food choices.  Here are my top 5 health hacks:

1. Intermittent Fasting:

If you haven't looked into intermittent fasting you should!  It is the best thing I have ever done for my health and my relationship with food.  The basics of it are not eating during a certain window of time (fasting 16 hours and eating 8 hours) so your stomach/digestive tract has time to cycle through the food and heal itself.  Then, during the eating window I basically try to eat as healthy as I can but I allow myself to eat whatever my body is craving.

2. Sleep:

I cannot stress how much sleep affects my health!  When I want to feel my best, perform my best, eat the healthiest, and get the best workout I HAVE to get enough sleep.  Obviously this isn't going to happen every single night, and on the days I don't get good sleep I try really hard to get a 20 minute cat nap mid-day.

3. Target strength training

This is the thing that has changed my fitness journey more than anything else.  I have ALWAYS been a cardio girl.  I LOVE cardio and I love to just run and think.  However, when I am running a lot I am also eating a LOT and I usually end up gaining weight.  Strength training has given me more muscle, I have been really really healthy this year, and I am at my goal weight because it doesn't make me really hungry all the time.  Plus. I don't get sweaty so I don't have to plan it around my schedule and shower time. I can do it mid-day and it only takes me an hour or less.

4. Mindful Eating. (80/20)

One thing I do try to do is eat as healthy as I can, but I still let myself have the unhealthy foods and treats I love.  80% healthy and 20% "fun" food are good proportions to start with :). While I was in Cancun I did intermittent fasting and ate out every single night and I didn't gain any weight!  It was awesome.  I didn't totally splurge, but I enjoyed every bite of food I ate and every chip dipped in guacamole!

5. Lots of fluids

While I do intermittent fast, I also drink a LOT of water/no calorie drinks.  I do "dirty" intermittent fasting and I drink any 0 calorie drinks I want during the fasting window.  This helps me get a lot of fluids during the day and I think this helps my digestion and also feel less hungry.  Some of my favorite are the Ideal shape drinks (SO many good ones!) and the Great Value or Crystal Light 0 calorie drinks for a budget-friendly option.

I hope that some of these ideas help some of you- they have been life-changing and I can't tell enough of my friends about it because it just gives me so much more freedom, health, and time to do better things in my life than worry so much about my health and fitness.  Here's to a new year of health and happiness!

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