Starting and keeping healthy habits is an obstacle that we have all most likely been through. Before I got serious about stepping foot in the gym 5 days a week and eating clean, I was the average 21-year-old girl. Two years later, at the age of 23, I have completely transformed my lifestyle. I’ve eliminated all fast food and soda from my diet and allow myself 1-2 cheat meals per week. There’s a lot of knowledge to intake along the way, but the more I learn, the harder I work.
I decided to set a goal of competing in my first NPC Bikini Competition 2 years ago so I wouldn’t have a reason to back out of my decision. Knowing that I was going to step on stage in front of hundreds of people helped keep my motivation at an all-time high. Following a strict diet, workouts, and cardio was all new to me. However, I shortly became use to the change and loving the “new me.” Here are a few tips on how I started healthy habits and am still keeping them to this day:
Setting Goals: Whether it’s getting to the gym, eliminating sugar, improving your body, or losing weight, having a goal to work towards will help your achieve success.
Changing Eating Habits: Try starting off with the elimination of soda or sugary drinks and fast food. Consuming proteins, complex carbohydrates, and green vegetables will get you on a start of clean eating. Healthy fats, such as coconut oil, may also help reduce sugar cravings, boost energy, and help keep your body feeling satisfied. For recipe ideas, check out our healthy chicken, protein pancakes, and list of 12 perfect foods.
Prepping Meals: I can’t even begin to tell you how much prepping out all my meals for the day has helped me. Every few evenings, I’ll cook batches of food and portion out my proteins, carbohydrates, and vegetables into containers. This gives me no excuse for not getting in healthy foods or the possibility of skipping meals. The stress of cooking each evening also gets eliminated.
Water Intake: Making sure you drink enough water throughout the day is extremely important. Lack of water can lead to dehydration, which may drain your energy. According to The Institute of Medicine, it’s been determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day. If water is hard to get down, try adding a sugar-free flavor enhancer to liven things up.
Exercise/Cardio: Exercising and cardio are two of my favorite activities. I’m always in a great mood after my workouts and love seeing results. If you’re not able to make it to the gym, there’s plenty of at home workouts that can be done. Getting in the habit of walking around the neighborhood or on the treadmill will help with your cardiovascular system. Try my quick ab or glute workout for information on how to get a great workout in! Remember to stretch before each workout and refuel with a protein shake to help with muscle recovery.
Through my experiences, I’ve learned to never give up on yourself. Keep pushing for you goals, even if it may take you longer to achieve them. Hard work and dedication does pay off and it’s one of the most rewarding feelings.
To see my glute workout explained, please check out my video: Stay Fit with Kayla: At Home Workout.