Looking to live a healthier lifestyle in the new year? If you have fallen off your fitness routine or if you are completely new to a healthy lifestyle, starting the journey can feel daunting. Josee Picco, personal trainer and meal plan nutrition coach at Precision Athletics has helped many clients on their wellness journey and offers up her guidance on healthy living.
How to Start Living a Healthier Lifestyle
If you are completely new to a healthier way of living, Josee explains that the best thing to do is to start out slowly. She says, “Many factors come into play when you’re trying to lose weight or gain muscle. Some factors are age, what your history is with training, hormones, stress, sleep.” Try not to put too much pressure on yourself and be realistic with your goals.
It is very important to remain consistent in your exercise and diet routine. Josee adds that some things you can do in assisting you to reach your goals are “Stick to a meal plan that has reduced salt and sugar, and increase your protein and vegetable intake, reduce your stress and work on consistent and better sleep. Stick to a balanced diet and hire a professional to keep you accountable and on track, like a personal trainer and nutrition/meal plan coach.”
Set a Goal Using the SMART criteria
It can be a motivating factor to set a health, fitness, or wellness goal for yourself. Josee says that it is a good idea to find your purpose and a well-defined goal. She recommends using the SMART criteria, an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound when setting these goals.
“Write out what each SMART goal is for you and this will be your guide to making your nutrition and fitness goals a success, help you stay focused and on track, and will help you enjoy the process.! Once you set these goals for yourself, remain consistent in your routine and find a reason to improve by challenging yourself. This is a great way to measure progress. It will also be rewarding to see all that training and preparation pay off.
Consistency is key when it comes to living a healthier lifestyle and achieving the best results but it also can be the biggest challenge, and aiming for perfection will inevitably lead to failure. Find out what workout regime works for you, plan all your meals in advance, be realistic and have fun!
Navigate Your Challenges
In regards to specific challenges, Josee notices that “for most people, it’s stress which leads to emotional eating, and snacking when they’re not hungry. ” For her own diet, Josee meal preps weekly to keep her on track and notices that this not only saves her time but money as well. Try setting aside time on a Sunday to do a little bit of prep, whether it’s chopping vegetables, making a meal that you can keep for leftovers, or pressure cooking a batch of soup that you can freeze in freezer bags.
She adds that cravings are completely normal and if you notice them, try to hydrate with water first. You can also choose a (healthier alternative) like flavored tea, such as chocolate or berry flavored to help with cravings. If you need something a little more, sliced apples with almond butter, cottage cheese with fresh berries, vegetables or a protein shake is my go-to. Focus on incorporating whole and healthy foods that you love to eat and that will make you feel satiated. Remember that moderation and awareness are key.
Josee reiterates that if you do fall off your fitness or diet routine, go back to the beginning and work towards building healthy habits. Small changes to your diet and small additions to your workout routine can help you get back on track. It is crucial to find something that will work for you in the long run and an approach that is sustainable.
Work towards making small changes that will add to a happier and healthier you.
The Top 10 Tips for Healthy Living
As a health and fitness professional, Josee knows the best habits that you can start to implement in your daily life in order to live a healthy lifestyle. Here are her Top 10 tips for healthy living:
1. Get Enough Restful Sleep
The amount of sleep that you get a night and the time that you go to bed and wake up are extremely important factors when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. Make sure that you are getting good quality sleep every night and stay consistent with your sleep schedule. Sleep allows muscle tissue to recover, and if you are sleep-deprived you won’t be releasing the hormones needed for recovery and muscle growth at your optimal rate.
2. Drink Enough Water
Staying hydrated and drinking enough water is one of the best things that you can do for your body. Enough water in your system helps to regulate your body temperature, protects your organs, carries nutrients and oxygen to cells, lubricates your joints, flushes out waste products, and keeps your whole body lubricated.
3. Destress with Fun Activities
Remember that your healthy lifestyle shouldn’t stress you out! Find activities that destress you and bring you happiness. This could be a daily walk at the park or some quality time with your family. Chronic stress can affect your ability to regulate your cortisol levels, which in turn influences your metabolism, sleep, blood pressure, and immune system.
4. Reduce Screen Time
In the age we are living in, it is not uncommon to be on your phone or device for more hours than you should be. Especially before bed, it is important to start to slow down your brain without stress or distraction. Reducing your screen time throughout the day and before you go to bed can lower stress, improve your sleep habits, and boost your physical activity levels during the day. You can expect to feel more regulated and less stressed during your work week, leading to better fitness results.
5. Exercise Regularly
Exercise has mental, physical, and emotional benefits and can improve all aspects of your life. Start to see your exercise routine as a part of your life and something that you are committed to in the long term. Having a consistent and regular exercise routine will allow you to be healthier inside and out, and improve your state of mind.
6. Eat Well
Exercise is only one part of living a healthy lifestyle. Josee advises, “Eat whole, clean foods to give your body all the vitamins and minerals it needs to function well.” She adds that her own diet is sustainable in the long term and that she believes in cravings in moderation, always nutrient-dense foods, and watching portion sizes.
The best kind of diet is one that is clean (and organic, when possible) and filled with lots of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, beans, and grains like quinoa. Eat a diet filled with balanced proteins, carbs, heart-healthy fats, and lots of water
7. Have a Consistent Eating Schedule
Have you ever had a super busy day and forgotten to eat lunch? In order to stay healthy, it is essential that you keep your eating pattern consistent. This will help to regulate your blood sugar and to keep your digestion healthy. Try to cook at home as much as you can, and if you do go out for a meal, make healthy choices (don’t hesitate to ask the restaurant for alternatives to what’s on their menu) and choose meals with sufficient protein, vegetables, and good fats.
If you are starting a new fitness or diet routine, talk with your doctor to learn more about your health status. A naturopath can tailor a course of vitamins to your specific needs to make sure you’re getting enough essential nutrients for your optimal health.
9. Limit Alcohol Consumption
Excessive alcohol consumption is never healthy. While the occasional red wine at dinner will do no harm, make sure to be aware of the amount of alcohol that you consume. Limited alcohol consumption can help you to maintain a healthy weight, lose a few pounds, lower your blood sugar, lower your blood pressure, and reduce cholesterol.
10. Surround Yourself with Positive and Supportive People
A supportive group of family friends and a Health and Nutrition coach that want to see you succeed and give you that hard but firm reality check. Surround yourself with people that have a positive outlook and understand you and your goals. Seek out fulfilling and supportive relationships with that you can grow and share your life.
Working with Precision Athletics for Healthy Living
If you are ready to live a healthier lifestyle now, Precision Athletics is here to help! Our Vancouver fitness and nutrition coaches are here to fuel your new workout plan, help you to crush your weight loss or bulking up goals, and inspire you to eat healthier. We promise no calorie counting, no weighing portions, no ‘bad’ foods, and no silly starvation diets.
The Precision nutrition coaching program takes an integrated approach to your health. We review your sleep, overall nutrition, water intake, fitness, and complete lifestyle. After this assessment, we are able to give you a better understanding of how these important pieces are related and show you what adjustments can be made to help achieve your health and fitness goals.
Our certified Vancouver fitness and nutrition coaches understand that everyone’s diet and fitness needs are unique and different. Our team will identify what your individual nutritional needs are and provide you with an easy-to-follow program that will suit your lifestyle. We provide one-on-one, personalized coaching sessions to empower you and encourage you to integrate these habits into your daily life. We even provide unlimited support via email with your nutrition coach!