The efforts we make to achieve our wellness goals can be hampered by the subconscious choices we make every day. Even minor bad habits and negative thoughts can unintentionally prepare us for failure, even when we are working hard to succeed.
As a lifelong athlete, I’ve spent a lot of time with other healthy, fit women. Below is a list of habits and attitudes that I’ve observed elite female athletes and healthy women possess:
1. They eat breakfast.
Fit women know that enjoying the most important meal of the day not only revs up their metabolism, but also gives them fuel to reach their daily goals. Skipping out on this meal is just not an option.
Let me be clear, they’re not chowing down on sugary donuts. They’re eating nutritious breakfasts like Greek yogurt with berries, eggs with spinach or a green juice full of vegetables.
2. They eat snacks packed with protein and healthy fats.
Healthy women aren't scared to eat and eat well. They can and will eat up to six meals a day: Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner. They don’t restrict their diets; they eat when they’re hungry – and make smart dietary choices, like snacking on almonds or berries.
3. They make sleep a priority.
Healthy women know they tend to make bad food and lifestyle choices when they are sleep deprived and cranky, like grabbing for that sugary cookie or salty bag of chips. They make sure to get a decent night’s sleep, enough time to rejuvenate, relieve the body of stress, rest sore muscles and recharge.
4. They don’t drink their calories.
Fit women mostly drink water. They limit their caffeine intake and opt for water with lemon, coconut water, green tea and freshly squeezed green juices to hydrate.
5. They have a positive relationship with food.
Healthy women understand food is meant for fuel and make choices based on this mentality. They have made the effort to work through changing any emotional attachments to eating. Healthy and fit women take pride in nourishing their bodies in the best way.
6. They allow themselves to eat treats without the guilt.
No mind games — just pure non-judgmental chocolate bliss. Research shows that people who associate guilt with eating chocolate cake are more likely to have less control over their eating and less likely to maintain their weight. Healthy women approach chocolate and other sugary snacks like treats — that they have on occasion and are not totally off limits.
7. They find creative ways to be active.
You can find healthy women taking the stairs, going for a brisk walk and talk at lunch or doing bicep curls with heavy grocery bags. Healthy women turn everyday tasks into calorie-burning and muscle-toning opportunities.
8. They laugh loud and often.
Laughter relieves stress, which can lead to weight gain and unhealthy habits. When you’re stressed your body triggers the release of glucose. Modern-day stress doesn’t require all that extra glucose which triggers the release of insulin. Insulin then converts the glucose to stored fat.
9. They don’t weigh themselves.
Fit women know when they look and feel healthy. They don’t need a scale or dress size to validate the feeling.
10. They don’t compare themselves to each other.
Women with the exact same BMI can have completely different measurements. For that reason, healthy women don’t compare themselves to others. All they care about is how they feel and how active they are.
11. They know working out doesn’t always have to involve the gym.
An active adventure with friends, swimming, a brisk walk in the mall, gardening, sports, swimming and yoga are all great ways to increase your heart rate and stay fit.
12. They believe in balance.
Fit women know that extreme diets, extreme working out and a rigid schedule are not sustainable. They opt for a sensible lifestyle by building in habitual wellness practices for a healthy life.