After months of preparing your body for your wedding day—by eating well, exercising, drinking water, etc.—the big day has passed and you worry that, without that goal to work toward, you won't be able to maintain those healthy habits.
When it comes to diet and fitness, most of us tend to be goal-oriented, so making the shift from the "diet mindset" to the "healthy lifestyle" mindset can be a challenge. With five simple strategies, however, you can take those pre-wedding habits and keep yourself healthy ever after.
1. Eliminate processed foods.
This step alone will go a long way toward helping you maintain a healthy weight. Processed foods contain a lot of salt, oil, and sugar (not to mention all of the chemicals and preservatives). The more you eat, the more you crave, and this can really sabotage your efforts to maintain a healthy weight.
Rule of thumb: If it comes from a box, bag or jar, stay away! Make sure that your diet consists mostly of plant foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. Add to that lean proteins and healthy fats (like extra virgin olive oil, avocado and nuts).
2. Build a collection of healthy recipes that are simple to make.
Life is busy and, when we become short on time and energy, healthy meals are often sacrificed for convenience foods. It helps to have a stockpile of quick, healthy recipes to fall back on. Browse cookbooks and healthy food blogs (I'm partial to SiciLean), to find some "go-to" recipes. Compare notes with other health-conscious people you know and soon, you'll have a collection of recipes that will keep you inspired and on-track.
3. Stock a "healthy pantry."
Make it a point to keep some healthy ingredients on hand at all times and your chance of putting healthy meals together is infinitely better. Some ingredients in my healthy pantry are heart-healthy oils (like extra virgin and coconut oil), vinegars, broth/stock, rice, whole grain pasta, dried Italian Seasoning, and breadcrumbs. Figure out what ingredients you use most in your favorite recipes and make sure to stock those pantry staples.
4. Find a good produce market in your area and keep lots of fresh (preferably, organic) fruits and veggies on hand.
Fruits and vegetables are not only the best foods for improving health and losing weight, but they are the ultimate convenience food. Have plenty of them in your kitchen (and some in your purse!) for those times when the snack attack strikes.
5. Get in the kitchen together.
Need an incentive to cook? Make it an activity that you can enjoy together. Share the work and the fun of doing something creative together. You'll both feel good, knowing that you're giving yourselves (and each other) the greatest gift of all—the gift of good health.