Whether you love wellness or not, it can be really hard to stay motivated to eat healthily and go to the gym, especially when summer nights filled with Aperol spritzes are there to tempt you. I love exercise and eating healthy. Really, I do. But I also find myself going weeks without stepping foot in the gym or hitting my five-a-day, and the thought of a HIIT session or a limp salad just too much to bear. It’s all too easy to get out of the habit. If you’re like me and need some motivation, let’s make a pact that this Sunday we’re going to do all the prep to ensure we can lose some weight or at least get back on the health train next week. You in? Good. Here are five things you can do today that will set you up for a healthy (but not boring) week. Keep scrolling for a little Sunday wellness motivation.
Prep Like a Pro, and Stock the Cupboards
“It’s not so exciting, but every Sunday, I write out what I’ll eat each night of the week,” Nutrition Expert Brooke Alpert says. “This takes away the stress of it each day and allows me to better organise my grocery delivery and make healthier choices throughout the week.”
Meal prep is key to diet success, and when it comes to weight loss, you need to focus on your food. And it doesn’t have to be a dreary lunchbox of the same foods five days on the trot.
Head to the supermarket, and pick up some salad foods, tins of tuna, chickpeas or lentils and some sauces, think balsamic, tomato salsa and sriracha to add flavour but not tonnes of calories.
Batch cook and prep different foods to create a healthy pick-and-mix for lunch and dinner. Roast a chicken or oven cook some chicken breasts (leaner than thigh meat), roast some vegetables and sweet potatoes and then cook some grains like couscous or brown rice. You could even whizz up a vat of homemade gazpacho.
For breakfast, make up a batch of bircher muesli: mix oats, almond milk, 0% Greek yoghurt, frozen berries, grated apple and cinnamon. Leave to soak in the fridge overnight, and then decant into Kilner jars to take to work. You can even make your own Pret pots by hard-boiling eggs and popping them into Tupperware containers with spinach leaves.
If you have a sweet tooth, stock up on frozen blueberries and 0% Greek yoghurt, which makes for a low-fat, high-protein (read hunger-busting) snack.
With all this, you can mix and match foods that are healthy and tasty.
Plan Your Cheat Meal
A cheat meal is a must. Mentally it will help to keep you going. The rules of a cheat meal are as follows: If you’re going to cheat, make it good, and cheat right. Make it a meal at your favourite restaurant or from your takeaway of choice. Contain it to one meal, and don’t let it turn into a cheat day, as that can go a long way to undoing all your hard work.
If your goal is to lose weight, don’t drink alcohol with a high-fat cheat meal. Your body treats alcohol as a poison, so the liver will switch to metabolising the booze over anything else. Including fat, which it will just store instead.
Work Out When to Workout
“My alarm goes off at 4 p.m. every Sunday so I can remember to sign up for my favourite workout,” explains Alpert. Sit down on a Sunday with your diary set to week-to-view, and plan in when you will exercise throughout the week. Lock it in, and treat those workout sessions like a meeting with your boss; you wouldn’t cancel or not turn up to one of those. Essentially that time is yours, and you need to invest in yourself every week.
Take a Bath and Factor in an Early Night
We harp on about Epsom salt baths because they work wonders. Not only do they help you to lose water weight—which can be a welcome boost if you want to see a shift on the scales—but the magnesium-rich salts can help you sleep better. A good night’s sleep will help your body work optimally, as one study found that a lack of sleep can affect the function of appetite-regulating hormones, plus, the longer you’re awake, the more time you have to eat.
Get in the Right Mindset
Where the gut was the wellness buzzword of 2016, this year it’s all about mindfulness. Getting into the right mindset to eat healthy and exercise will make everything much easier. Download these best-selling motivational Kindle editions that will help set you up for success.