Getting healthy is not something that just happens overnight, according to our new health columnist, Michael Estes.
With 12 years in the health and fitness industry, he shares 7 tips about how you can start your own health journey:
Have you ever awakened one morning and told yourself that today is the day you're going to get healthy?
Most of us have, but the problem is that a lot of us don't really know where to begin.
Inevitably, your first step to health is developing a diet and fitness plan.
But that often involves going down the rabbit hole with Google and the internet. You read one article and then another one which contradicts the first.
After that, you delve further and further down until you're completely lost and overwhelmed.
But I might have a solution: 7 tips that can help you get started and on track without jumping in headfirst and drowning.
So bookmark this page or grab a notebook to write these tips down, and let's get started together on a health journey.
1. Don't overthinkThe key is to start small and not overthink it.
Everyone wants to start by doing something dramatic like only eating once a day, eating only salads, going to the gym for two hours a day, cutting out all carbs, or throwing everything that's in your fridge in the trash.
Resist the urge to do that, because you will find yourself feeling overwhelmed and confused at what you can eat or drink while also searching for the right gym or personal trainer.
I'm here to tell you that getting healthy and getting fit is a journey — and it takes time and consistency.
2. Set an attainable goalYou have to prepare yourself for success by crafting an achievable objective.
To do this, give yourself small attainable goals that do not require incredible lengths of time to achieve.
This way, you will become more and more encouraged as you accomplish your goals and can see your achievement.
It's essential to start with something simple, such as cutting one thing from the diet.
Or, you might choose to just go on a walk every evening and eventually start running.
Keep it simple to start, and don't overwhelm yourself.
3. Cut out sodas and drink more WATERSodas will not help you on your health journey.
In fact, cutting them out will help you lose immediate inches in the waistline and cut loads of unintended bloat.
Your body thrives on water, and all life needs it to flourish.
Drinking water will not only keep you hydrated, but you'll start to have more natural energy as your body loses the cravings for all those sugars.
4. Get your 3 squaresDon't skip a meal.
Always eat a balanced breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Our bodies are made to bed fed regularly.
If we deprive ourselves of nutrients, we go into a state of survival which will make us hold onto body fat and actually lose muscle.
That means meals need to be comprised of protein, carb, and veggies sources.
At breakfast, try to eat something like an egg omelet with whole-grain toast.
But you also have to be flexible. If everyone is going to McDonald's for lunch, get a nice chicken wrap or chicken salad instead of that double Quarter Pounder.
5. ConsistencyBeing consistent is the single most crucial thing anyone can do when trying to get healthy and improve their level of fitness.
But it requires 100% commitment. You have to be consistent every day — no weekends off.
6. A good night's sleepSleep is perhaps one of the most important things when it comes to losing weight or gaining muscle.
When we sleep, our bodies will repair and grow. Our bodies also continue to burn calories throughout the night.
Rest helps your mental state and impacts reaction time and judgment.
So always treat yourself to a good night's sleep to recover from a long day.
7. Start nowAfter you've started your health journey, the best thing to do is not give in to your previous bad habits.
Keep pushing yourself to stick with the good things that you know you're doing right.
Always remember that this is a journey that is not going to be completed overnight.
So every single morning, wake up and seize the day and remember that you need to make the best of every opportunity for health.
The pride you have in yourself for your new healthy lifestyle will grow. Plus, you'll realize that the finish line for your first health, fitness, and diet goals are not too far away.
About the author: Michael Estes is a 28-year-old Sgt. in the Army National Guard and full-time Manager of 5 Star Nutrition. Having 12 years total in the health and fitness industry, he is well versed in all aspects of nutrition and fitness. Michael has a wife and two children, and he loves to drive results for anyone's goals for fitness and overall health.
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.