Drinking water

Drinking plenty of water is one of the ways of maintaining fitness. (Lifestyles Magazine/Courtesy) 

Every day, I get asked what the fastest or best way to get lean or lose fat is. And I'm expected to provide a fast and easy answer, but obviously, the truth is that getting and staying fit is a lifestyle, not a quick fix. 
 
It really comes down to daily choices. Here are a few simple ways to get  and stay lean!

Don’t Buy Junk Food

Fit people know that if they keep junk food in the house they will eat it sooner or later. So they don’t buy any. Even buying junk food for your kids or spouse is not advised since you’ll likely eat some of it eventually and your loved ones shouldn’t be eating that junk either. It’s called junk for a reason.

Rid your home of chips, cookies, candy, baked goods, pre-packaged snacks and anything else that belongs in a vending machine. Replace the above with fresh fruit, veggies, nuts and other healthy whole foods snacks. 

Have Priorities

Fit people make exercise a priority. Along with keeping a job, paying the bills and going to the doctor, exercise is an important part of their lives.
 
What I’ve found is that fit people put exercise before leisure time. Sure, fit people enjoy leisure, but it is scheduled around their workout time. 

Treat exercise time with the same importance that you would a business meeting or trip to the dentist.

Stop Eating When Your Full

Fit people stop eating when they feel full. Sound simple? It is, but how many times have you stuffed yourself simply to clear your plate? Or how many times have you eaten another piece of cake despite being stuffed? 

The next time you feel full, take it as a sign to stop eating. Yes, even if your plate isn’t empty. 

Push Yourself

Not only do fit people make time to go to the gym, they challenge themselves during each workout. While it is easy to simply go through the motions while exercising, you’re cheating your body out of great results when you don’t push yourself.
 
Exercise should make you sweat, make your muscles burn and leave you with a feeling of accomplishment. 

Find ways to make each workout more challenging. For competitive people, the best way to push yourself is to exercise with a friend of similar strength.
 
Another great way to challenge yourself is to set small attainable goals. These goals could be to push heavier weight, to sprint longer, or to do cardio at a higher intensity setting.

Don’t Eat While Watching TV

Fit people know that eating in front of the television set is mindless eating. When your attention is on your entertainment and not on your food, then you’ll be less tuned in to what and how much ends up in your mouth. Eating in front of the television set is also very habit forming. Ever notice how you crave munchies just as a reflex of sitting in front of the television?

Eat before or after your entertainment and pay attention to what and how much goes into your mouth. 

Drink Water

Fit people drink lots of water. And not just in addition to other beverages, but instead of them. Water is their main drink, while other drinks are occasional treats.
 
Calorie-filled drinks are one of the quickest ways to consume excess calories, which quickly turn into fat. 

Consider water your beverage of choice. Drink plenty of it each day and drink other beverages only a few times each week. 
 
Have a support System

Fit people don’t leave their motivation to chance. They know that if their personal trainer, boot camp instructor or workout partner is waiting for them, then they are less likely to skip a workout. It is so easy to hit snooze or to talk yourself out of the gym as soon as your behind hits the couch after work. Fit people take the option of skipping out of the equation. 
 
Tidjani Camara is a fitness trainer, nutrition coach and founder of Massive Action Training in Tyler, Texas. 
 

Danny Mogle has covered news in East Texas for decades. He currently focuses on arts, entertainment and human interest stories and serves as the editor of Lifestyles Magazine.

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