The frightening truth is that more than two thirds of American adults and a third of American children and teenagers are overweight or obese, even after all of the warnings and advices issues in the past decade by the health agencies.
Why is this so? We’re pretty sure that a big number of overweight or obese people struggle to change their life to the better, but there is obviously something that prevents them from achieving real progress. Although genetics play a certain role in the problem, perhaps the key to a healthy weight is in the attitude. In this article we’ll examine the behaviors and habits of fitness-oriented folks who are able to maintain top shape without any difficulties. Here are the 8 things we should all incorporate into our lifestyle to improve our level of fitness and overall health:
#1. Being healthy is a lifestyle
People who achieve high levels of fitness that are sustainable take their health seriously and make long-term lifestyle changes in order to maintain it. They don’t hop from one diet to another and don’t make drastic changes they know they won’t be able to maintain. Instead, they are persistent and constant in their efforts, which means making a lot of sacrifices and struggling to adopt new habits, and those things pay off in the long run.
#2. Exercise doesn’t have to be boring
With the unbelievable variety of workout styles and plans we have access to today, it’s almost impossible not be able to find something you can enjoy. It’s pretty simple – if you absolutely hate your routine, there’s a slim chance that you will keep working out regularly. This doesn’t mean that exercise has to be pleasant – most of the time it’s all about sweating like a pig and working your muscles to exhaustion – but at least it can be fun. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new things and find the style that suits you best.
#3. It’s ok to slip up
Fit people make mistakes too, be it indulging in a junk food meal or skipping a few workouts out of sheer laziness. However, the thing that distinguishes them from people who repeatedly fail to shed those extra pounds is that they don’t get disappointed and quit their struggle altogether. They simply shape up and continue pursuing their dream physique. In fact, it’s totally normal to have a cheat meal once in a while – we’re humans, not robots. If you don’t set unrealistic expectations for yourself, you’ll fare much better.
#4. Keep on challenging yourself
Breaking bad habits takes time and effort and it’s essentially a competition against yourself. If you get into the competitive mindset and always invent new ways to push your limits a bit further, great results will follow. Try to wake up the competitive athlete in yourself, the one that always strives to perform better than yesterday. Make sure you have a well-structured plan and then stick to it and track your progress for extra motivation.
Receptiveness to new ideas is a key characteristic of successful people in general. Fit people are not afraid to acknowledge that they don’t know everything and ask for expert advice whenever they need it. When it comes to learning, they are not arrogant or self-important – instead, they tend to trust the expertise of people who have been in the game for longer than themselves and are easy to guide and coach. In short, they want the best results possible and are willing to try out different things in order to achieve them.
#6. Avoid overthinking every step of the way
Analyzing every part of your weight loss plan over and over again will only lead you to “analysis paralysis”, leaving you unmotivated, confused and essentially unable to implement it in reality. Instead of overthinking everything, try to keep it simple and just start somewhere. You can always change or add something along the way. The most important and difficult part of the road to optimal health and fitness is the beginning.
#7. It’s not all about the numbers on the scale
These people understand that real success isn’t measured by the size of their jeans – the crucial part of leading a healthy lifestyle is becoming healthier. Achieving a healthy weight is an additional effect of shaping up your habits and life choices. In addition, when you start eating healthy and working out regularly, you lose fat and gain muscle mass, so perhaps you won’t achieve your ideal weight simply because along the way, you’ve put on some lean muscle! Don’t get discouraged by the numbers on the scale. The road to a sustainable weight loss can be a long one. Make sure you’re doing everything in your power to eat, exercise and think in a healthy way and the results you want will be just around the corner.