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How to get in the best shape of your life

So many of us grapple with our body image. We may want to lose or gain weight, or we may want to tone up and increase our strength. The key to getting in the best shape of your life is excellent nutrition and fitness activity. But why does it never seem that easy? Here are some things to consider if you want to take control of your health and feel amazing in your own skin. 

Define what you want 

It’s easy to say you want to be in better shape, but what does this actually mean to you? Having a clear idea of how many pounds you want to drop, or how much muscle mass you’re hoping to gain will help you to set goals and to decide what to focus on. 

If you think it will help, jot down your current measurements along with your goals. Keeping track of this can help to motivate you along the way and to make sure you’re heading on the right track. Make sure you’re doing this for the right reasons, and an unrealistic ideal is not influencing you. If you’re not truly doing it for you, then your dedication is likely to slow down after the initial push. Getting in shape takes time and energy, so take time to set your mindset up for greatness. 

Learn the secret to healthy eating 

Humans like to make things complicated. We invent hundreds of fad diets to lose weight when secretly, we all know that a simple healthy diet will leave us feeling and looking our best.  This means consuming the right amount of calories for our gender and level of activity. It also means skipping high-sugar, processed and fatty foods in favour of lean proteins, grains, and loads of fruit and veg. 

So why do so many of us find it hard? The temptation is everywhere! Especially in this stressed out, hyper-busy lifestyle that so many of us lead. One of the best things we can do is to set ourselves up for success. That means knowing what our triggers are and putting things in place to combat them. For example, do you find yourself snacking when bored? Remove any temptations from your home and stock up on delicious fresh foods like carrots and apples. You could even try to break the habit altogether by learning to be more mindful. 

If you want to really understand nutrition, seek the help of a registered dietician. They should be able to tell you what kinds of food is best for your body type and help you devise meal plans to suit your needs. Speaking of meal plans, if you’re embarking on a health-boosting journey, get some new recipes in your repertoire! It can be exhilarating to experiment, and this element of fun might be enough to keep you interested in your new lifestyle. Plus, you’ll be able to entertain guests with a delicious, home-cooked meal that’s good for their whole bodies as well as their taste buds.

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Stay hydrated 

Did you know that often when we feel hungry, we’re actually thirsty? If you want to lose weight or maintain a proper diet, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water each day. Some people say to drink at least 8 cups a day, while others say that you should drink far more. It’s a good idea to invest in a proper water bottle that you can carry around with you, so you never become dehydrated. A container that keeps water cool is ideal, particularly in the summer. 

Drinking lots of water in the morning can really give your body a boost. Not only will it hydrate after a long night, but it will flush out toxins and fill up your stomach, making you less inclined to overeat. The energy you get from being well hydrated can also help you to avoid snacking and can give you the boost you need to be more active throughout the day. 

Take every opportunity for exercise 

Do you want to be in better shape, but feel like there’s never any time for a gym workout? So many people have packed schedules, and this can feel like a huge barrier. The good news is that you don’t have to commit an hour to the gym every day. Any amount of exercise that you do is better than nothing and sends you well on the way to more excellent health. It may not seem like much, but taking the stairs instead of the elevator, getting off the bus a stop early, or walking to the shops can all have a cumulative impact on your activity levels. 

Another thing to consider is where in your day you can squeeze in a quick workout. Can you wake up 15 minutes early to do some cardio or HIIT training in your living room before you shower? Could you keep a gym bag in your car so that you can hit the gym for half an hour on the way back from home? Perhaps you can cycle to work instead or take a walk in your lunch break. It doesn’t need to be a massive chunk of time to be effective. 

Get a personal trainer 

If you’re embarking on a fitness journey, you may feel like you have no idea where to start. It can be intimidating, particularly if you join a gym. It’s so worth investing in a personal trainer if you can. Some gyms even offer a free session when you sign up. You may also be able to find low-cost group sessions in your local park or leisure centre. 

A good personal trainer can demonstrate how to improve fitness on a treadmill or the most efficient way to use weights for muscle gain. But more than that, they can motivate you and inspire you to keep pushing towards your goals. They can help you to stay accountable even when the going gets tough so that you put in the work to get in the best shape of your life. 

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