At Byrdie, we’re constantly trying to stay healthy—while also remaining realistic and authentic. It’s important to take into account your schedule, goals, and personality when embarking on a new diet and exercise regimen. As Gigi Hadid so eloquently puts it, “Eat clean to stay fit, have a burger to stay sane.”
Are you really into working out but giving up indulgences is so not an option? We have the plan for you. Are you looking to slim down with a specific goal in mind (i.e. a wedding or a tropical vacation)? Or feel too introverted to go to an exercise class? Nicole Winhoffer, creator of the NW Method and global ambassador for Adidas by Stella McCartney, Eve Lynn Kessner, a Soul Cycle instructor and holistic nutritionist, as well as a few other experts, created plans and advice for you.
Keep reading for the answers to your weight loss prayers, conveniently grouped by specific aspects of your personality.
If you’re constantly getting delivery, it’s really tough to lose weight. Because you’re not the one preparing your meals, you never truly know what’s in them—and can be consuming far more calories than you anticipated. Try Plated or Blue Apron. Both companies make cooking at home as low impact as possible. You can also hit up the prepared food section at your local grocery store, it's time-effective, easy to stay on track, and allows you to eliminate stressful decision-making in the process.
If you find yourself starting strong but quitting most plans a few days in: Remember to take things slow! Instead of cutting anything out of your diet, start adding in more of the good stuff. For example, it’s easy to include something green at every meal as a first step.
This one hits close to home. It’s really hard to diet, but even harder to stick to a plan that’s too strict for your lifestyle. Start by trading in your milkshakes for smoothies. Juice Generation makes a peanut butter split that is true heaven. (And it’s healthy.)
You can also enlist the help of an expert performance nutritionist, celebrity trainer Drew Logan advises. They'll be able to tell you if you're overtraining, eating at the wrong times, or not using the proper food combinations to support your workout frequency.
We get it, actively dieting doesn't sound cool when you say it out loud. And it's really hard to explain to your friends on a night out or to your all-natural yoga buddies on Saturday morning. So, don't diet! You can lose weight by switching things up and trying an endurance class. You are most likely not losing weight because you're focusing on one type of exercise—doing the same thing every day and physically using the same muscles. Nicole Winhoffer suggests The NW Method, as it has a new workout every day to eliminate those plateaus.
If it’s easy for you to keep up a clean diet but harder to maintain consistency at the gym, invest in a FitBit ($100). It’s effortless to incorporate into your daily routine and doesn’t feel like exercise. Each day, you can challenge yourself to reach more steps and set higher goals. Forcing yourself to do too much too quickly creates pressure and in turn more stress on the body.
If you’re introverted and feel a bit awkward hitting the gym or dancing at Zumba—try something in the dark, like a candle-lit yoga or SoulCycle class. It’s easier to let go of the feeling that everyone is watching, and you’ll lose yourself in the flow of the class. Still too much? Watch music videos on YouTube at home and begin to dance freely to the music. It's a great way to get out of your head and move your body (even if it's in the comfort of your own home).
First of all, congrats on finding someone to indulge with. That's a great feeling! The quickest way to recovery is accepting you gained a little weight, getting past it, and drinking a lot of water to flush out your system. Then, research a bunch of really delicious restaurants that also have a health focus. You two don't have to give up the time you spend together eating, but you can change the food you're consuming so it doesn't negatively effect your body.
For a lot of people, it’s much easier to stick to a weight-loss plan when you’re doing it with someone else. We all need a little moral support! Start by going with a buddy to keep it social, and if you consistently go to classes, the gym will become its own fun community for you. Keep going back and you’ll make friends in no time—and then you won’t feel as uncomfortable going alone.
Dempsey Marks, a fitness expert, yoga instructor, and co-creator of the PreGame Fit agrees: "Regular exercise is most successful when you have friends and family supporting you. Make a date for the gym so you won't be as tempted to hit the snooze button."
When you’re super committed, it’s easy to become obsessed with your diet and exercise plan. Focus that energy on a lyengar Yoga practice. It’s all about form and alignment—it will teach you about controlling your body and how it moves. That way, you channel that intensity into learning a meticulous skill, rather than being too hard on yourself.
Tiffany Cruikshank, the author of "Meditate Your Weight," has some more sound advice: "Make sure you are carving out time to do something relaxing. I highly recommend meditation, but don't be intimidated by the lack of achievement in this task—research has shown meditation lowers cortisol (and its implications on your waistline) and boosts cognitive function (memory, focus, attention). It also helps with other things like anxiety, pain, and anti-aging. If you're an over-achiever this might be the most helpful thing you can do for yourself. Keep it simple, take five minutes each day to find a comfortable seat, close your eyes, and notice your breath. Your nervous system will slow down and the effects will take place on their own."
So, you eat a ton of junk food but you're not overweight? First of all: You are so lucky. But, it is important to be healthy. Try, just once a day, eating bowl of your favorite roasted vegetables. Small shifts can change your palette, and you'll start to crave nutritious foods.
This is for all the ladies out there who have no idea where to start. Winhoffer suggests checking out a new heath-focused Instagram channel each week to pick up one healthy fact for the day—then apply it to your life. For example, drink one liter of water today or try one new exercise move. Small shifts go a long way, and when you move in a new way you'll start to think in a new way too.
For more easy-to-handle diet and exercise tips, see how I completely changed my body in only three months.