We follow them on instagram; we see them in our workout classes every. single. week; and we rack our brains to figure out how the heck they never have a pimple.
You know who the ‘they’ I’m talking about are…the ‘healthy’ girls. The girls who make 5-day juice cleanses look easy and sugar cravings seem non-existent. The ones who don’t hit snooze and leave Soul Cycle looking better than when they walked in. The girls who beg the question “how does she do it?”
We’ve all asked ourselves that question at some point or another—beating ourselves up trying to find ways to get back on track after a boozy brunch or having a few too many cookies. We tend to look for a quick fix to get healthy. I don’t want to disappoint you, but there’s no magic potion for a healthy lifestyle. Wouldn’t that just be too easy? However, there are some easy to implement habits that all healthy girls practice to make sure they’re feeling energized, fit, and fabulous. Here are 15 sure fire ways to get on track and stay there:
1. Set goals & plan ahead
Healthy girls have a plan for their week. They don’t beat themselves up about sticking to the plan every single day, but they know that if they dedicate themselves to a few days a week at the gym or their favorite class, they won’t skip out. They also take a little extra time once a week to plan their healthy meals ahead of time.
Source: love & lemons
2. Cook once, eat twice
One of the best habits I’ve developed overtime is making food in bulk so I can use leftovers from dinner in my lunch for the next day. I know, leftovers are boring right? Fear not. There are so many ways to mix it up and get creative. For example, if I make roasted veggies with an egg and avocado one night for dinner, I’ll use the roasted veggies to make a veggie wrap with hummus and a bit of my favorite cheese for lunch.
3. Don’t compare
Comparing yourself to other people is the root of all evils. It sparks jealousy, envy, downright, and sadness which results in an unhealthy gal. Next time you find yourself wishing you were the girl with the glowing skin or thin legs remind yourself of your amazing qualities: inside and out.
4. Express gratitude
Showing or recognizing how grateful you are for different things in your life can actually reduce depression and increase your immunity. Sounds kind of crazy, right? But the connection between our thoughts, moods, and brain chemistry is a complex one that if taken care of can result in improved well-being. Try writing down 3-5 things every night or morning in a gratitude journal and watch the magic happen.
5. Regular physical activity
No brainer, right? Get up and get out! Whether it’s a walk, yoga, run, spin, dance, kickboxing, hiking, or swimming, exercise has immense benefits including endorphin release, weight management, improved sleep, increased memory, energy, and self-confidence. Remember to tune in with your body and do exercise that feels right for you. Personally, I love to run, but it’s not the best exercise for everyone. If yoga speaks to you, find your favorite studio and make it a habit. Regardless of the type exercise you choose, it’s important to be consistent to really make it a habit and something you look forward to. To keep yourself on track find a workout buddy who likes the same types of exercise as you to hold you accountable.
6. Eat whole, real food
Here’s the thing, you get out what you put in. Your body needs high quality fuel in order to function at optimal levels, so try to eat food with 5 ingredients or less—the fewer the better! Fruits, veggies, eggs, nuts, and seeds are perfect examples of healthy, whole, real foods. If you’ve ever had skin, digestion, bloating, or mood swings, I promise this small trick will help ten-fold.
7. Check your labels
A lot of truth lies on your favorite food’s label. Before you purchase, check it out to make sure you know all of the main ingredients. Rule of thumb: if you can’t pronounce it, you probably don’t want to eat it. Aside from being able to pronounce the foods that go into your body, the primary thing you want to look out for hiding in your favorite food is added sugar. You’ll want to look at how many grams of sugar are in your food and if it’s the first ingredient listed. White sugar is highly processed and should be avoided. Finally, choose foods with short ingredient lists. Five or fewer is my magic number.
8. They have fun
While healthy girls like to have a plan filled with healthy activities like making home cooking and going to barre, they also like to have fun. Being healthy doesn’t have to be and shouldn’t be another stress in life. Life’s all about finding a balance that makes you feel good and fits into your life. I don’t want to make any assumptions, but I would guess that grinding away in the gym 7 days a week and only eating raw salads isn’t going to give you the best mindset. Remember, it’s okay to give yourself room for spontaneity and permission to let loose. Sometimes skipping the gym and opting for drinks and apps with the girls is the healthiest thing you could do.
9. Keep stress at bay
From weight gain to anxiety and mood swings, stress manifests itself in our bodies in incredibly negative ways. It’s crucial for your overall health to understand what stresses you out and how it affects your body. Recognizing your stress triggers will allow you to take action immediately. Find ways to calm your mind and relax or activities that help you destress.
Source: Marianna Hewitt
10. Consider what goes on your body
When we think of health we typically think of the food we eat. What we often fail to realize is the importance of what we put on our skin. Many shampoos, lotions, and even cleaning supplies contain toxic ingredients that can be harmful to our overall health. Remember, just like with food, read your label!
Our bodies are made up primarily of water, so needless to say we need to drink a lot of it to maintain our health. Many of us are chronically dehydrated despite having access to a lot of clean water. Water is essential for proper circulation, digestion, healthy skin, and it also transports other nutrients to the rest of your body. So how much should you drink? Cut your body weight in pounds in half, and that’s how many ounces you should drink.If you’re exercising and sweating out your H20, you’re going to want to drink more. Try to have an extra 8 oz for every hour of exercise.
Many of us are constantly looking out for others’ well being, and we forget to remember to take care of ourselves. We justify ignoring our own needs by telling ourselves it’s selfish or thinking “I don’t need that”, but there’s a reason airlines tell you to put on your own oxygen mask first. If you don’t have the energy to take care of yourself, you won’t have anything left to give to others and give your best self. So go for it: get a massage, a pedicure, or take a nice epsom salt bath.
13. Use the power of your mind
You’re an Everygirl, so chances are you’ve got a lot going on in your life – a rockin’ social life, a killer career, a gym membership, and an awesome side hustle or hobby. It can be really easy to move from one activity to the next without reflecting, mindfulness is an incredibly important and powerful tool for your overall health. It allows you to focus and be present, which means you have better workouts, don’t overeat, react calmly and cooly to stressful situations. Everyone has different ways of harnessing their own mindfulness, but my favorite way is quick and easy and can be done from anywhere: focus on your breath. Give it a shot, next time you’re feeling stressed or even as soon as you wake up, close your eyes, take ten deep, slow inhales and exhales while focusing on the sensations in your body.
14. Try something new
Many of us feel comfortable and safe when we do things we know and are good at. Trying new things and getting outside our comfort zone can be scary and exciting at the same time. But embracing all of the emotions that come with it can have immense health related benefits. When you challenge yourself, you’ll experience personal growth and discovery and an optimal mental state. This could mean something different for everyone. For some it could be going to a new workout class or a movie alone; for others it’s getting educated about something you’re passionate about; and for some it’s jumping out of a plane over a beautiful landscape. Regardless of what it means to try something new for you, give it a shot and push past your own boundaries, the discomfort will open new feelings and opportunities where you might even discover a side of yourself you didn’t know existed.
15. Get some zzz’s
Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. Getting at least 6-8 hours of sleep every night is optimal. When you get a good, restful night’s sleep you operate at a higher cognitive function, reduce cravings for unhealthy food, and are in a better mood overall. Healthy girls love to sleep on nice sheets, away from their phones, and in comfy pajamas.