Updated: Feb 25
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Starting out on a fitness journey can be nerve-wracking. Not only does it require many lifestyle changes, but it also overhauls your schedule. It’s easy to get discouraged at first as you wait to see progress. Many people find they fall back into unhealthy habits, eventually putting them back at square one. If you want to avoid fitness relapse, it’s important to be kind to yourself while embracing your innate power. It’s not easy to do these things, but performing self-care on a regular basis strengthens your resolve and supports your mental health so you continue to make choices that support your fitness goals.
1. Make it Easy to Eat Healthily
When you’ve had a tough day, the last thing you want to do is head to the grocery store, carry your bags back home, unpack them, prepare the ingredients, and make a wholesome meal from scratch. These days, it’s easy to call in take-out or go through the drive-through for fatty comfort foods that sabotage your progress. Avoid this common pitfall by embracing convenient healthy eating. An easy way to do this is by subscribing to a fresh food delivery service. Not only do these nifty boxes enable you to skip the grocery store, but they also support your weight loss and fitness goals by supplying you with healthy meals consisting of fresh, whole foods. Ingredients are both prepped and pre-portioned, saving you time and preventing overeating. Furthermore, these meals kits introduce you to new ingredients and dishes, expanding your palate and preventing meal boredom.
If you’re having trouble kicking sugar, caffeine, or processed foods, don’t beat yourself up. These substances can be addictive, as can the convenience of a drive thru. You may want to talk to your doctor about adding an appetite suppressant to your daily regimen. Designed to supplement a healthy eating and exercise routine, these pills and powders can kick start good habits by making you feel full, keeping you hydrated, and boosting your metabolism.
2. Tend to Your Sleep Hygiene
Sleeping may be the exact opposite of breaking a sweat at the gym, but it’s just as important when it comes to your fitness goals. Both your body and mind need at least a solid eight hours of rest every night to perform at their highest levels the next day. The quality of your sleep also directly affects your diet. People who are not well-rested feel hungrier, are less satisfied with meals, and are more likely to indulge in junk food.
Furthermore, a tired body has a harder time exercising, diminishing the quality of the workout.
To stay on track, it’s important to establish a healthy bedtime routine that enables rest. Go to bed (and wake up) at roughly the same time every night. About an hour or so before you’re ready to hit the sack, turn off electronics, lower the lights, and set your bedroom temperature to 65 to 68 degrees F. For the remainder of the hour, engage in a relaxing activity or activities that help you fall asleep such as meditating, reading, sipping herbal tea, or taking a warm bath.
3. Be Forgiving
So you haven’t been to the gym all week, you overindulged at happy hour, and stayed out all Saturday night. You may wake up Sunday morning hating yourself and figure you’ve fallen off the wagon so you may as well lean into it — don’t let yourself! It’s okay that you’ve been living your life and having fun, but the sooner you get back on track, the easier your recovery will be. Forgive yourself instead of getting bogged down in guilt and self-loathing. Be kind to your body and find a way to ease your way back into the healthy choices that support your fitness goals.
Embracing fitness is one of the best ways to support your overall health and longevity. However, if you go full steam ahead and avoid essential self-care, it’s easy to fall back into unhealthy habits. Support your fitness goals by making it convenient to eat healthily, tending to your sleep hygiene, and forgive yourself if you slip up so it’s easier to recover and get back to work.