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15 steps I would follow to start over and build up a healthy lifestyle from scratch in just 2 months

Do you want to lose weight, have more energy and feel strong and sexy?

Instead of risking your health with magic pills or fad diets, change your lifestyle.

If you do not want to spend 10 years of your life fiddling around to get it right here are the most important steps to implement.

Slow cooker lamb stew - family recipe

Slimmer, healthier you in the long term

If I put my 10-years ago life next to the present one there would be a really big difference between the two lifestyles.

My life has changed a lot in the last decade – and there are behind me two pregnancies, a couple of house moves, studies and changing jobs. But I feel much stronger, healthier and sexier now than 10 years ago.

It is clear that in the last decade I made small changes in my diet and lifestyle from time to time that has stayed with me and helped me to achieve and maintain my ideal weight and keep me fit and healthy.  It took me 10 years to get here but if I think about it, it could have been done only within 2 months.

Jump - healthy lifestyle

Why did it take me 10 years then?

Because I did not realise at the beginning that I need to change all these things. I just simply wanted to lose weight and keep it off. I followed fad diets first,  weight loss programmes later and I thought that was enough. However, the weight loss programmes usually concentrate on one element: to lose weight quickly. And it wasn’t a straight road to follow:

“You start to follow a diet, then you stuck, you start again, you gain weight, you start again, you lose weight, you lose energy, you give up, you start again…and then you start thinking what to do differently.”

I know so many people who gave it up, and I am not surprised. Our life is just so busy, a mum life is full of demanding roles. Ageing, family, career all work against us.

I am glad that I started thinking and educating myself in healthy eating instead of giving up.

In case, if you do not want to spend 10 years of your life to work out the right moves, here is the list of the most important steps to build up a healthy lifestyle from scratch.

15 steps building up a healthy lifestyle from scratch in just 2 months

In the 1st month

#1 Make a decision

It all has to start with a decision: clarify your reasons and goals, share them with people who share your home with and ask their support. Be mentally ready: prepared for your weak spots and challenges.

#2 Make a plan

A good plan is made for you: it works for you, it fits into your life, you enjoy it, you benefit from it and you can keep it up not just for weeks but for years. The plan also incorporates all the important areas of your life: diet, physical fitness, family life, social life – even your life at your workplace. Either you chose a diet plan or work out one for yourself think about these requirements and make it yours. It just doesn’t work otherwise.

Healthy food - healthy lyfestyle

Related post: How to avoid the most common pitfalls in changing your lifestyle this year?

#3 Find support

A lifestyle change is more likely successful if we do not do it alone. We need the support of our family and friends or – it is even better – if they join in. You can also find fellow mums/dads around you with similar ambitions and circumstances: they need support to change their lifestyle. Online groups, forums also can help you to keep up your spirit.

#4 Make the necessary preparation

This is really important, so take your time to do it. Prepare your kitchen: get rid of the appliances what you won’t need in your new life – like the deep fryer, doughnut maker etc… and invest into tools and appliances that support your healthy lifestyle – like a steamer, smoothie maker, food containers etc. You need just a few basic things, so do not overdo it.

Also, prepare your pantry: get rid of all the tempting junk food – do not keep them “for the children” or “for visitors”, as long as they are in your house, you will eat them. So, crisps, chocolate, biscuits have to go – and do not forget about the sugary drinks and alcohol. Now, you can stock up on healthy snacks -like dried fruits, nuts (unsalted), oatcakes, rice cakes and yoghurt. Take the same approach to cooking ingredients in the freezer and in the cupboard. Check the nutritional information on the labels: everything high in sugar, salt, fat or loaded with artificial additives have to go. You will find that only a very few can stay. But it doesn’t matter, as you already have a meal plan (Step #2) and a shopping list, so it’s time to go and buy the healthy ingredients. Be careful and do not buy anything else in food-category, only that you planned!

#5 Schedule workouts in your calendar

If you haven’t worked out regularly before, choose a physical exercise

  • what is fun, you enjoy doing it,
  • you enjoy doing it,
  • it is challenging for you,
  • it fits into your life
  • you can do it regularly.

Start with something that is easily accessible to you and all the basic conditions are given. Use your bike, start jogging, swimming, yoga, online workout programme – it does not matter, just start doing it 3-4 times a week and do it regularly.

Are you a constantly tired Mum?

Follow this free action plan

to get your energy back!

The Best 7 Nutritional Swaps To Be an Energetic Mum

With a printable reference.​

#6 Raise fibre in your diet

Fibre in our diet helps the detoxification of the body, promotes weight loss and keep the digestive system clean. So it is a vital step. The easiest way to raise fibre is to increase (raw) vegetables and fruits in your diet and eat more nuts, whole grain. Adding wheat bran, flax seed to your meals also a good idea. 

#7 Calculate and make sure that you complete your daily fluid intake

So many people cannot lose and maintain weight – just because they do not pay attention to drinking enough water. How much fluid you need depends on your lifestyle: how many calories you consume and physically how active you are. But an average person needs, at least, 1.5l water a day. More physical activity needs a higher fluid intake. Work out your fluid intake and distribute this evenly throughout your day: know when and how much you need to drink to complete your plan by bedtime. (Do not drink the whole amount in a short period of time, this makes more harm than good!)

 

In the 2nd month

#8 Eat  whole grains

Swap refined bread and bakery products to whole meal and include a wider variety of whole grains into your diet: brown rice, barley, oats, quinoa, millet etc. These will provide valuable nutrients and fibre to you – they also keep you fill full for longer and you can avoid blood sugar swings too.

#9 Swap saturated fats to healthy fats

As soon as you can give up deep fried food and cream, you will recognise how little fat we really need. Reduce butter (and every kind of fat from animal source) in your diet, and add healthy fats, like nuts, avocado, olives. Do not forget, that the worst kind of fat – palm oil – is hidden in lots of shop-bought food product (e.g. biscuits, cakes, Nutella).

#10 Reduce red meat consumption to 1-2 occasion per week

Red meat is an important source of iron: iron from red meat absorbs better than from plant sources  – so if you are a vegetarian you have to eat another source of iron more often to compensate this. However, too much red meat (especially processed red meat) is not recommended even for meat eaters as researchers have proved its carcinogenic effect. 1-2 occasion per week is enough. (The officially recommended daily limit for red meat is 70g per day.)

#11 Learn and keep watching your serving sizes

Unfortunately, there is no shortcut to this: you have to be able to judge how much protein, carbohydrate, fat and fibre can go onto your plate.  Probably in the first time, you will weight your food just to learn the right portion sizes, but you cannot use a kitchen scale in your whole life and you will not need it anyway. You will be able to judge your portion sizes just by looking at the food within a few weeks – and you will be able to perform this anywhere in any situation from restaurants to food markets. 

#12 Swap full-fat to naturally low-fat dairy products

Dairy products are the biggest source of calcium, but we have to be really careful how much we eat, as they are high in saturated fat. (The serving size for cheese is a matchbox-sized cube.) Dairy products naturally low in fat are a better choice: quark, cottage cheese, goat cheese, feta or natural live yoghurt.

#13 Make a habit of checking food labels

Checking food labels help us to be more conscious about our food. Not every product is healthy what is labelled low-fat, light, lighter, natural or low-sugar… Check the ingredients list, calorie content and nutritional information. It seems to be time-consuming at the beginning but you will master it quickly and when you find the reliable, good quality products things speed up.

Related: Food labelling

#14 Eat more home-cooked / home-prepared food

Checking food labels also make you realise how much rubbish is fed with us by the food industry and how easy is to avoid these. If you don’t want to or you can’t eat clean in 100%, that’s fine, but more home-prepared meal get you closer to a healthy life. This does not necessarily mean long hours in the kitchen, think of simple, quick and balanced meals.

A handful of healthy and quick family recipe is available here.

#15 Read healthy lifestyle magazines and articles and look for healthy alternatives

Reading healthy lifestyle magazines will not just keep your spirit up, but give you motivation, inspiration and new ideas on you way. 

Are you a constantly tired Mum?

Follow this free action plan

to get your energy back!

The Best 7 Nutritional Swaps To Be an Energetic Mum

With a printable reference.​

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