1. It’s All About Balance
Start making your meals “smarter”, which will in turn help you feel better and reach your physical goals. I call it the #freshfitnFIVE, which are the five key ingredients that every meal should feature. They are backed by science when it comes to curbing cravings and balancing your hunger hormones. The five components are: a lean protein, a smart carb, a healthy fat, a source of fiber, and boosts! Boosts are simply a way to add flavor and/or extra nutrition without adding a ton of calories or sugar. Eyeball your smoothies and meals, and try to get all five in!
For snacks, try to at least pair two of the five together. For example, a carb with a protein (not just a carb, even if it’s a nutritious one like an apple), or a protein with a fat. When just eating a carbohydrate by itself, it will spike your blood sugar, and then it’ll drop, leading to low energy and desire to eat again quickly.
We often get caught up in the nitty gritty of nutrition, and forget the basics – that can make such a big difference! As a quick average, you should be drinking 8-10 cups of water a day, minimum. But if you want to get specific, you can take your body weight in pounds, divide by two, and that’s how many ounces of water minimum that you should be drinking.
3. Gym Smart
Doing endless hours of cardio on a machine at little intensity actually does not do too much for you. We get so much more out of our cardio sessions when we make them shorter yet more efficient through intensity levels. If you’re on an elliptical for an hour, you’re not doing a lot for your body, but are using up a lot of time – and we all know that brides-to-be need all the time we can get. The solution? Combine high intensity cardio with strength workouts weekly. Whether it’s bodyweight strength circuits at home, or it’s using weights and machines at the gym, incorporating strength is key for everyone!
4. Movement is Key
Getting a workout in is great, but that is still such a small fraction of your overall day. What are you doing the other hours you’re awake? Whether you have an active job or a sedentary one, can you get in 7,000-10,000 steps daily through walk breaks? What about doing squats as you brush your teeth? Make it fun to move that body within your day!
5. Plan Plan Plan
Every one of us has a unique, individual body, with different roles, preferences, and goals. Cookie cutter meal plans will only work for a short time. If you think you need more assistance figuring out what is best for you, seek out help from a nutrition professional that you trust, to help you create a nutrition plan for success.
6. Don’t forget to take care of YOU
High levels of stress and lack of sleep will do so much more harm to your health than any piece of chocolate cake. In fact, high stress and lack of sleep lead to chronically high levels of cortisol in your body, which isn’t only linked to increased fat and decreased lean muscle, but many other negative issues. Remember in this crazy wedding planning time, to prioritize you and your health. Not only physically, but mentally and emotionally, too.
Take five-10 minute breaks throughout your day to destress, or set up strong morning and nighttime routines to set up and end your day right. Take care of your body and mind by making sure to get adequate sleep.
7. Realize You Are Doing Great!
Do remember that you are worthy, beautiful, and enough just the way you are – no matter the number on the scale. Radiate that beauty inside and out, not only on your big day, but every day! It is possible to know that you are enough and worthy at your current place in life, while also always striving to grow and become better.
Let’s live out #freshfitnhealthy lives together!
– Sarah Grace Spann
Founder of FreshFitNHealthy.com, Registered Dietitian, Ex-D1 athlete, and soon-to-be Mrs., Sarah Grace Spann has over 100,000 Instagram followers through her @freshfitnhealthy profile, where she dishes out new content and serves as a resource to help women worldwide create their own #freshfitnhealthy life.