One of my growing passions is health and fitness. I especially love discovering food and fitness habits that keep me more consistent. But it can be really intimidating starting a fitness journey.
That’s why building habits is so important for getting results and keeping them. At the end of the day, consistency is the ultimate way you are going to see progress over time!
And we all know lasting results take TIME! In order to give ourselves that time, we can’t just fad diet. We need to develop easy food and fitness habits that we can stick to and enjoy.
And this isn’t just a post about getting results. Of course, that is a main motivation, but the overall intention is to develop food and fitness habits that turn into a lifestyle so that it is easier to sustain and remain CONSISTENT on your fitness journey!
I want to share with you what food and fitness habits have personally worked for me to keep me consistent. Feel free to share any habits that help you in the comments!
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional or nutritionist and therefore will not be portraying any information in this post as scientifically-backed or from a professional opinion. It is all based on my personal experience, opinion, and fitness journey.
Track Your Calories
Ladies and gentlemen, I’m not a diet professional but the information is out there – whatever way you want to change your body, it all comes down to calories in vs. calories out.
The most effective way to make progress is going to be tracking your calories.
If you’re not looking at how much you are actually eating, how do you know if you need to lower, stay the same, or raise the number of calories you need to achieve your goal?
MyFitnessPal is a free app, completely designed to do just this. Start with a calorie focus so you can get used to eating at the right amount of calories for your goals.
Ideally, you also keep in mind your macronutrients (proteins, carbs, and fats), but I think it’s easier to build the habit by focusing on calories first, then hone in on hitting your macros every day.
This is because while macros are super important, weight loss, gain, or maintenance are still all going to come down to the basic principle: calories in vs. calories out.
A Six Month Mentality
It can be six months, it can be a year, it can be five years. What’s important is that you try not to measure your progress on a day to day basis. Real, long-lasting results come to those who develop HABITS just like I’m talking about in this entire post.
So don’t look in the mirror in a week and expect a six-pack because you trained abs every day! But do think:
By the way, you can’t spot reduce your fat, so the only way to see your abs is to lower your overall body fat. Don’t believe those clickbait “abs in two weeks” workouts!
Coffee as an Appetite Suppressant
While I don’t do any kind of intermittent fasting, I prefer to wait to eat my meals. I workout in the morning, but I feel I need a little something once I wake up to be alert. So, I personally use coffee to suppress my appetite in the morning.
Keeping it as a routine thing also helps me to enjoy this part of my morning, getting in the right mindset for my day and workout!
Waiting to Eat Meals
I’ve always been someone who eats a lot more at night. So, if I push my meals further throughout the day, I have less time for those cravings to kick in.
I like to have breakfast around 12:30 after I work out, lunch at 3:30 and dinner closer 8. Experiment with finding what kind of eating schedule works for you! The more of a routine that is developed, the less likely you are to binge or eat when you’re not really hungry.
Pick the Same Time Every Day to Devote to Yourself
Something that has kept me super accountable lately is knowing what time I’m going to workout every day. The morning hours are my favorite time to workout; it leaves me energized and feeling accomplished for the day!
There are so many benefits to committing to doing something good for yourself every day! Not only will that dedicated time get you closer to your goal, but you won’t help but feel positive about taking steps to better yourself. Picking the same time every day will also help you establish a routine to stick to.
Don’t Feel Guilty if Your Routine Does Not Go as Planned!
On the flipside, once you do establish a routine or that special time for yourself, don’t feel bad if life gets in the way. I struggle so hard with this one. Just because I devote my morning to working out, doesn’t mean that I perform my best every day or that something else doesn’t come up in my schedule and throws me off.
It’s easier said than done, but remember that we all face setbacks and we all deserve life to be lived in and enjoyed!
Don’t Give Up Your Favorite Foods!
The beauty of it all when it comes to diet is that it’s calories in vs. calories out. That means your favorite foods are simply just calories. They aren’t bad, they aren’t good, they are just calories!
What’s going to keep you in this and not just from fad dieting is eating foods that you like! I like Mexican food, I like Chinese food, I like steak, I like chocolate… and I still eat them all almost daily without going over my calories.
Adapt your favorite foods to your calories. Seek out alternatives to your favorite foods if they’re not fitting just right. Some of my favorites are whole-wheat low carb tortillas or chocolate chip protein pancakes for my sweet tooth!
Don’t Feel Like You Have to Eat Popular Healthy Foods!
I literally hate oatmeal. I’ve tried it so many ways and I’ve come to the conclusion I will never like it. But it is a super nutritious food and I see so many fitness gurus swearing by their oatmeal recipes.
But it’s just not for me. I don’t feel satisfied forcing myself to eat something I don’t like! And that’s okay because not everything will be for you and not even everything in this post is going to work for you!
Experiment with different food and fitness habits and take everything with a grain of salt. Try it out and see if it works – if not oh well, if yes, great! You have a new favorite to look forward to in your routine that keeps you on your way to your goals.
Have an Interaction with Your Food
Cut it up. Dip it in something. Spend 30 minutes cooking it. The more you are interacting with your food, the more pleasurable and fulfilling the experience is.
In a weird way, it’s like tricking your brain.
For example, there’s a difference in satisfaction levels between taking two minutes to heat up a small microwaveable dinner and taking 30 minutes to grill your chicken, roast your vegetables, and bake your sweet potato! It’s also a ton more food for what would be around the same amount of calories.
As another example, if you slice your 5 strawberries, suddenly you have 20 bites instead of 5. It’s all a mind trick! The more you interact with and enjoy your food, the more satisfied you’ll feel, and the less you’ll crave!
Write Out Your Workouts the Night Before
One of my favorite things is planning my workouts! Not only does it motivate me to do them, but it motivates me to educate myself more on what’s going to get me to my goals.
It’s also so much more productive to create some type of plan so you’re not struggling to think of what to do in the gym or at home. If you’re following an exercise plan, give it a look over the night before so you know what’s coming up to get excited about it!
Change It Up and Have Fun
One of the best things to keep me motivated is to experiment with different food and fitness habits. Challenge yourself one week to go plant-based or to run an extra mile per day.
Keeping this journey fun is what’s going to make you stick to it. If I don’t feel like planning my own workout, or I just need something new to shake up my routine, I scroll through the Nike Training app to find inspiration and challenge myself to one of their workouts.
Stop Thinking Certain Foods are Bad and Certain Foods are Good
The idea of something being a cheat food or meal is so limiting!
This type of thinking leads to the kind of food guilt that makes us depressed and think we are not making any progress.
The truth is, you can have dessert, Chick Fil A, or a drink with friends, so long as you account for them in your daily calories and make it fit for you. If I know I’m going to have pizza at my friend’s birthday party, I’ll skip lunch or just have a snack to hold me over, so my pizza fits better in my calories.
Even if you don’t count them in your calories one day, that’s no reason to think your progress is completely ruined!
Every food is good in moderation.
Treat Yourself with Something that isn’t Food-Related After a Good Week
The entire concept of a cheat day or meal isn’t really a healthy way of thinking. It’s promoting what I just talked about above.
Rewards can be super effective for motivation, so instead of rewarding yourself in the form of calories, reward yourself with a trip to Target or a clothing item you’ve been really wanting!
This will also help you eliminate the idea that you can’t include your favorite foods in your diet, that they are only “cheat foods.”
Make This a Passion of Yours
I know what has always helped me is continuing to make health and fitness grow as a passion of mine.
I love eating food, but I love more seeing what food and fitness habits can push my body to do.
It’s exciting for me to learn new recipes and new products that make my diet fun but still keep me on track.
Of course, these food and fitness habits are not black and white! There are so many nuances. They are just a collection of habits to help you try out and decide what works to keep you on track with your goals!
Tell me your thoughts in the comments! Do you have any food or fitness habits that help you reach your goals?
Don’t forget to share on Pinterest!
No matter what the goal, developing habits is an important tool for creating the lifestyle you want to live!