It's very easy to get caught up in the "fitness lifestyle" and become scared to deviate in any way from your set gym dates, food prep days, and other activities. While it's important to maintain consistency in the gym and with your food prep, part of living a healthy lifestyle is balance.
Balance itself is interpreted many different ways but we want you to understand that one unhealthy meal or one missed gym session isn't going to reverse all of your hard work. Even if you slip and have an entire bad weekend or week that is okay! Just start again with your food prep and get your workouts back on track. If you have a tendency to binge eat, consider not restricting yourself so much. Some people do well with a "treat meal" once a week others do it once a month, etc. Find out what works for you and your body. We, along with many others, like to call this the 80/20 rule. The 80/20 rule basically means that 80% of the time you are eating healthy and 20% of the time is "your choice".
Keep in mind that other people (especially family members) may not understand why you are spending time in the gym or cooking healthy food and that is okay. Just lead by example and don't push anything on anyone (unless they ask for your help). Know your goals and what it takes to get there but also carve time out to spend with your friends and family. You CAN go to parties and out to eat! Your entire healthy lifestyle isn't going to come crashing down because you had a few pieces of pizza! We do want to point out that you will have to develop "thick skin" and if you want to eat the chicken with sweet potato from the restaurant instead of the pizza - that is YOUR decision and you should not have to explain yourself. On the other hand, if you want the pizza and it fits into your 20% then have a piece!
Creating balance with your workouts is just as important as balancing your healthy eating habits. You do NOT need to spend 2 hours in the gym each day and/or workout twice a day. You must realize that there are things outside of the gym that are much more important. Long sessions and "no days off" will only lead to over-training and the high probability of injuring yourself. The "no excuse" attitude is great but know when to take a break!
4 Tips to Find Balance in a Healthy Lifestyle
1. Get away from the mindset that you have to count calories and/or macros all the time - live a little! Try the 80/20 rule.
2. Know that plateaus and speed bumps are going to happen. Here are our 3 tips on how to break a weight loss plateau.
3. Find a workout that YOU like and incorporate different styles of training. Become well rounded by practicing yoga, weight training, cardio training, etc. Our workout plans incorporate many different forms of exercise. Think outside of the box and mix up your routine. Not a runner? Go for a run today! Not into the gym? Ditch the excuses and make a gym date. Don't be afraid to use the great outdoors as your playground either - go for a hike or bike ride!
4. Find something outside of health and fitness that you enjoy. Maybe it's reading, volunteering, traveling, etc. Try to focus some energy on other areas of your life that bring you happiness.
The most important thing to realize is that this is life. And "life" will get in the way. You will have bad days and you will have good days. You will have days where you literally cannot make time to workout - that is OKAY! A healthy lifestyle should be one that incorporates healthy eating, fitness, and BALANCE. You must have all 3 to truly achieve this lifestyle.
How do you find balance in your healthy lifestyle? Or what do you struggle with?3