Getting in Shape

Health Tips For Young Women?

Hello :blush: 

So a bit of context: I am 20 years old and my fiance is 21. We both are living at home with our parents until we get married, and I am only working a part-time job for the time being. I don't make too much and need money for my pets and train/bus commutes, so what is left over needs to be saved for honeymoon and wedding funds--which isn't until Autumn of 2018! 

When my parents got married (just a couple years younger than myself), they were slim and fit and in great shape! But then my mom started cooking a lot and the weight quickly crept onto them. Nowadays, they gave up on physical fitness, and try to eat healthy sometimes, but there is always a stock of ice cream and other junk food in the house, and a very limited selection of fruits and veggies. So that plays into some of my worries for now and when my fiance and I get married... 

Currently, I am 5' 6.5" and 145lbs. By appearance, people say I am very thin and think I am a fit person. But truthfully, I do have quite a bit of excess fat, especially in my thighs and stomach, and I have never felt so far from being healthy and fit. I've seen myself gain weight and fat in just the past 6 months since I quit my last job for a new one. I was working full-time, walked to and from work (about a 25min walk each way), and stood the entire 8hrs with lots of walking around and some light physical labor, aside form my breaks, of course. My new job is very restricting in terms of physical activity. I am only part-time and sit for the few hours I work, and I mostly get rides to and from work, due to early morning or late night shifts. 

So with all that context... I have a few concerns on getting--and staying--fit before the big day! 

With a limited budget, I am trying to find foods and recipes that are not only healthy,  but easy on the wallet. Not only for now, working part-time and living at a mostly unhealthy home, but advice how to keep being healthy on a low budget when married. Also, I found some great fitness bloggers/vloggers and cardio dance workouts on Youtube that I absolutely LOVE! But I have an issue with motivation and finding time in my super busy schedule! I am usually gone first thing in the morning, and not back until late in the evening, with some exceptions on certain days. I'll have a day or two where I finally have this revelation and believe that I will start my fitness journey from that day forward, but the next day something comes up and it throws me off so I go back into my old routines. Also, there's the fact that I procrastinate and prefer to be lazy and relax with my free-time rather than doing more work... 

I would love to hear what you guys did at my age (and any age), or are doing now to fight laziness and busy schedules and low budgets, and chose to be healthy and fit! 

Re: Health Tips For Young Women?

  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    Well, when I was your age, it was still extremely easy for me to drop weight. It didn't take that much effort. Now that I'm in my mid-30s, it's much harder, and it takes so much more effort on my part. 

    I did just recently lose 10 pounds on something called Dr. Goglia's diet. They do charge you each month for a personalized meal plan, but I can give you a recap. Avoid dairy and added sugars. Try to avoid things like bread. If you are going to eat carbs, eat them at the beginning of the day, and not at night. Also, this sucks, but avoid alcohol. If I drink, I let myself have just a glass of wine on the weekend. 

    I eat 5-6 small meals per day. Breakfast will be something easy like bran flakes, with almond milk and blueberries. 1st snack is a banana or apple. Lunch is grilled chicken with veggies. 2nd snack is celery with peanut butter. Dinner is a healthy protein (stick to chicken, fish, lean cuts of beef) and veggies. If I want dessert, I have an Outshine fruit bar. They're usually only 60-70 calories. 

    I found myself putting a lot of milk and sugar in my coffee, so I stopped drinking it. Now I have just tea with honey. Also, I make sure to drink a minimum of 70 ounces of water per day. 

    I know you said that your funds are limited. Do you have a gym near you like Planet Fitness? I know they are usually pretty cheap ($10 per month). I would look into that. Working out at home has never worked for me. I finally just realized this, after buying so many things to work out at home with. If I'm home, I just don't have the motivation. I find that going to the gym is the only way I can do it. I force myself to go at least 4 times per week, and once I'm there working out, I feel great. I work a full time job where I'm required to sit at a desk all day, with not much movement. So I feel that doing cardio each day is important for me. But also, I try to get in a lot of weight lifting too. I feel that's that has also helped in losing weight. 

    Honestly, the majority of is diet. You have to make healthy choices, and avoid foods that are bad for you. Eat the correct portions, and don't eat huge meals. For me, at least, the trick is to keep my metabolism going by eating small, healthy meals throughout the day. 

  • SP29SP29
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    Agree with the above to eat smaller meals more often.

    Our current diets are very simple-carb based. Nothing wrong with carbs- particularly if you are active and exercising, but there is a different between eating vegetables and eating cookies, chips and prepared foods.

    Try to remove sugar and extra salt. Prepared foods (i.e. frozen foods that come in boxes) tend to be high in sugar, fat and salt. Personally, I don't think "diet" foods are good to eat at all. Usually when something has been removed (i.e. sugar) it is replaced with something else to make it taste good (salt or fat). Eat foods that are naturally healthy- use simple whole ingredients, and everything in moderation. For example, go ahead and put some avocado (which is high in fat) on your sandwich or wrap, but of course you aren't eating the entire avocado in one meal.

    Pinterest can be a good source of information for recipes (and free as long as you have the internet). You can find all kinds of "topics" such as budget friendly, 30 mins or less meals, or variations on healthy meals.

    Try to fit in exercise where you can. The key is to find something active that you enjoy doing- if you enjoy it, you'll stick with it long term, instead of thinking you HAVE to go to the gym/run/cross-fit, whatever.

    If you like working out, check out Blogilates on youtube. The trainer, Cassie, posts various short work out videos that you can pair together to make a longer workout (good if you are short on time), and I think if you join her mailing list she'll send you a monthly calendar that gives you a daily list of videos to do together.
    Walking and running are great exercise- all you need is the right shoes. Can you do a 20-30min walk on your lunch/dinner break at work? Take the stairs whenever you can.
    Bike riding is also great- you can do that anywhere as along as you have a bike. Could you bike to work? Even one way.
    If you can afford a pass to a community center, swimming is also great exercise.


  • Well, when I was your age, it was still extremely easy for me to drop weight. It didn't take that much effort. Now that I'm in my mid-30s, it's much harder, and it takes so much more effort on my part. 

    I did just recently lose 10 pounds on something called Dr. Goglia's diet. They do charge you each month for a personalized meal plan, but I can give you a recap. Avoid dairy and added sugars. Try to avoid things like bread. If you are going to eat carbs, eat them at the beginning of the day, and not at night. Also, this sucks, but avoid alcohol. If I drink, I let myself have just a glass of wine on the weekend. 

    I eat 5-6 small meals per day. Breakfast will be something easy like bran flakes, with almond milk and blueberries. 1st snack is a banana or apple. Lunch is grilled chicken with veggies. 2nd snack is celery with peanut butter. Dinner is a healthy protein (stick to chicken, fish, lean cuts of beef) and veggies. If I want dessert, I have an Outshine fruit bar. They're usually only 60-70 calories. 

    I found myself putting a lot of milk and sugar in my coffee, so I stopped drinking it. Now I have just tea with honey. Also, I make sure to drink a minimum of 70 ounces of water per day. 

    I know you said that your funds are limited. Do you have a gym near you like Planet Fitness? I know they are usually pretty cheap ($10 per month). I would look into that. Working out at home has never worked for me. I finally just realized this, after buying so many things to work out at home with. If I'm home, I just don't have the motivation. I find that going to the gym is the only way I can do it. I force myself to go at least 4 times per week, and once I'm there working out, I feel great. I work a full time job where I'm required to sit at a desk all day, with not much movement. So I feel that doing cardio each day is important for me. But also, I try to get in a lot of weight lifting too. I feel that's that has also helped in losing weight. 

    Honestly, the majority of is diet. You have to make healthy choices, and avoid foods that are bad for you. Eat the correct portions, and don't eat huge meals. For me, at least, the trick is to keep my metabolism going by eating small, healthy meals throughout the day. 


    The smaller portions idea is great advice, thank you! It is something I have been trying to exercise recently. As I stated, my house isn't filled with the best choices for health food, so I am trying to ease myself into a routine: Right now, I am working on smaller portions without changing much of the food I am eating at home (since, as I said, there are limited options). After getting into that routine, hopefully my new job will allow me to have a slightly larger budget that I can use a bit to do some light grocery shopping, so that with my new habit of eating smaller portions, I will also be able to slowly replace the junk food with healthy options without the stress of trying to force so many new things on myself at once. 

    On a downside for me, I was not blessed with the great genetics of a quick metabolism. Women in my family gain a lot of weight in our thighs especially. And for some reason, it is not easy for me to lose weight quickly, or even at all. My fiance and I went to the gym for about 3 months at the beginning of 2017 when we could afford the monthly charges. I wasn't eating too healthy, so I was seeing very slow results. Now, we don't have extra money to use for gym memberships or diet plans or anything of the sorts, as we have to save for our wedding and honeymoon and moving out together (we live in Bay Area where cost of living is EXTREMELY and ridiculously high!). 

    Thank you for the tips! I will definitely keep in mind! 

  • SP29 said:

    Agree with the above to eat smaller meals more often.

    Our current diets are very simple-carb based. Nothing wrong with carbs- particularly if you are active and exercising, but there is a different between eating vegetables and eating cookies, chips and prepared foods.

    Try to remove sugar and extra salt. Prepared foods (i.e. frozen foods that come in boxes) tend to be high in sugar, fat and salt. Personally, I don't think "diet" foods are good to eat at all. Usually when something has been removed (i.e. sugar) it is replaced with something else to make it taste good (salt or fat). Eat foods that are naturally healthy- use simple whole ingredients, and everything in moderation. For example, go ahead and put some avocado (which is high in fat) on your sandwich or wrap, but of course you aren't eating the entire avocado in one meal.

    Pinterest can be a good source of information for recipes (and free as long as you have the internet). You can find all kinds of "topics" such as budget friendly, 30 mins or less meals, or variations on healthy meals.

    Try to fit in exercise where you can. The key is to find something active that you enjoy doing- if you enjoy it, you'll stick with it long term, instead of thinking you HAVE to go to the gym/run/cross-fit, whatever.

    If you like working out, check out Blogilates on youtube. The trainer, Cassie, posts various short work out videos that you can pair together to make a longer workout (good if you are short on time), and I think if you join her mailing list she'll send you a monthly calendar that gives you a daily list of videos to do together.
    Walking and running are great exercise- all you need is the right shoes. Can you do a 20-30min walk on your lunch/dinner break at work? Take the stairs whenever you can.
    Bike riding is also great- you can do that anywhere as along as you have a bike. Could you bike to work? Even one way.
    If you can afford a pass to a community center, swimming is also great exercise.


    I LOVE blogilates! I used to do 2-3 of her videos a day at least 5 times a week! But that was back when I had more time to myself. Now I have a job and fiance, and I used public transportation which takes up a LOT of time! 

    Right now, I am close to the end of my job and will be starting another in a few weeks. The job I have now, and have had for the past 6 months, like I said, is very restricting and small shifts. I didn't have a lunch or a break long enough to go on a walk. I absolutely love riding bikes as well, but I have no access to one right now, and can't afford it in my limited budget to purchase one, either, otherwise I would ride it everyday! 

    I do use Pinterest when my fiance and I have a few extra bucks to spend and we want a cheap recipe to go to the grocery store and try out! I already do plan on using it when we live together, as it has saved us a lot of money and trouble before! 

    And thank you for the information on the diet foods! I learned in high school that they aren't always what they say they are, and there are even healthier alternatives. But your information helped explain it in an easier to understand way (and easier to explain to my fiance!). 
    SP29
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    Keep in mind that losing weight/becoming fit is about 70% diet and 30% exercise. So even if you are exercising, you won't lose weight if your diet remains poor.  There are a ton of pinterest pins on HIIT and other at home exercise routines you can do on a budget. If you can afford them, resistance bands are like $20 on Amazon, and there is a plethora of exercises you can do with those that add in more strength training. Something that helps me avoid crap is the "eat as close to nature as possible" rule. That means avoid over processed foods like chips, pre-packaged freezer meals, etc. If you can't identify what's in it, you probably shouldn't be eating it. Make sure to cut out sodas and other sugary drinks. Portion control with desserts. 

    One of my favorite quick easy meals is lemon chicken with veggies. If I make a little extra it is usually my lunch the next day too. 

    Lemons (2)
    Chicken breast tenders (1-2 lbs)
    Baby Carrots
    Shallots
    Celery
    Salt
    Pepper
    Olive Oil
    Minced garlic

    Preheat oven to 425. Cut up celery into smaller pieces. Peel shallots. Throw veggies, minced garlic and chicken onto baking tray. Drizzle olive oil over veggies and chicken. Add salt/pepper to taste. Squeeze one lemon over the veggies and chicken, then toss together. Slice the last lemon and place on the chicken. Cook for about 25 minutes. 

    Other easy ideas are chicken breast with salad. Salmon, zucchini and wild rice. Taco salad with ground turkey, lettuce, salsa, and avocado and some cheese. Spaghetti squash with garlic, chicken breast, olive oil, and zucchini. Or spaghetti squash with ground turkey and marinara sauce. Oatmeal (non-instant/non-flavored) with blueberries for breakfast. A hardboiled egg for a snack with some almonds. Honestly, a few staples like fresh veggies, chicken breasts, and spices will go a long way in giving you healthy meals that still have variety. If you are in the Bay area there are probably like a million farmers markets that might also have cheap veggies. 


    image
    SP29
  • ernursejernursej
    Tenth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    member

    I think focusing on small changes and looking at what goals are reasonable is best. Keep in mind that avoiding of x, y, or z will be hard to follow and may lead to craving the foods that you are avoiding.

    I like to focus on goals that have nothing to do with weight loss or food intake. Things like being able to walk up all my apartment building stairs without stopping or walking for 1 hour at x pace. The goals are easily measurable and take the focus off body image and self control and put the focus on feeling and achieving.

    You may also want to research a good food box or garden share. I used to get a box of vegetables for $10 a month and it really helped me broaden my horizons.


    OurWildKingdomSP29
  • apollymiapollymi Toronto
    100 Love Its 10 Comments Name Dropper
    member
    Something that really holds me accountable when it comes to working out is signing up for races. Last year, I hadn't run a day in my life, but I wanted to be more active. So I signed up for a half marathon (a FUN one that I really looked forward to - it involved wine at the finish line :D ) and started training. Then I told EVERYONE so that I would feel even more accountable and wouldn't let myself quit for fear of everyone judging. 

    It worked so well for me and kept me super active - completed my first half marathon 2 weeks ago!
    SP29
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
    Moderator Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    mod
    edited June 29
    Losing weight is about calories in verse calories out.   

    Since you do not work full time, you should have time to get out and move.   I started walking a little bit. Just around the rugby field.  Then added more distance.  Then via my Samsung Health app I started tracking time.  Months later I was trying to beat my time and distance.    I currently do a minimum of a 4 mile walk a day (takes less than an hour) or 3-4 mile hike (those take me about 1.25 hours).  3 days a week I go big.  I either hike 10+ miles or do some hikes with large elevation gains (some 1500-3000 ft).   Friday I'm hiking a 14K ft mountain :)

     There are a ton of exercises you can do without money.  Squats for an example.  Sit ups.  Leg lifts, calm shells.    Look up yoga poses. 

    Getting outside walking/hiking made me start eating better.    I am NOT one to stick to a special diet.  Nope, I'm not a cold turkey person.  That would set me up to fail.    I did small changes over time. So I started off making myself eat a pile of veggies or a salad at least once a day.     I make myself eat the veggies first, then the "good stuff".  

    After a while I made other small changes.   More trail mix and less ice cream, for example.  Less junk food.  Little to no processed foods at all.   Now this varies by location, but I do not find fruits and veggies to be expensive.  Sure there are some items like berries that might be, but bananas always seem to be cheap.   Just look for things that are in season.  

    18 months later I'm down 30 lbs.  I was never overweight, but pretty damn close.  Doing things slowly made all the difference for me.  Not too slow, I set mini-goals weekly and went from there.    My husband keeps ice cream in the fridge.  I eat it sometimes, but 16 months ago it would be gone in one night.  Now it takes a week.   Walking/hiking is now a habit.   Even in the winter.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    SP29charlotte989875
  • kaos16kaos16
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    member


    Hello :blush: 

    So a bit of context: I am 20 years old and my fiance is 21. We both are living at home with our parents until we get married, and I am only working a part-time job for the time being. I don't make too much and need money for my pets and train/bus commutes, so what is left over needs to be saved for honeymoon and wedding funds--which isn't until Autumn of 2018! 

    When my parents got married (just a couple years younger than myself), they were slim and fit and in great shape! But then my mom started cooking a lot and the weight quickly crept onto them. Nowadays, they gave up on physical fitness, and try to eat healthy sometimes, but there is always a stock of ice cream and other junk food in the house, and a very limited selection of fruits and veggies. So that plays into some of my worries for now and when my fiance and I get married... 

    Currently, I am 5' 6.5" and 145lbs. By appearance, people say I am very thin and think I am a fit person. But truthfully, I do have quite a bit of excess fat, especially in my thighs and stomach, and I have never felt so far from being healthy and fit. I've seen myself gain weight and fat in just the past 6 months since I quit my last job for a new one. I was working full-time, walked to and from work (about a 25min walk each way), and stood the entire 8hrs with lots of walking around and some light physical labor, aside form my breaks, of course. My new job is very restricting in terms of physical activity. I am only part-time and sit for the few hours I work, and I mostly get rides to and from work, due to early morning or late night shifts. 

    So with all that context... I have a few concerns on getting--and staying--fit before the big day! 

    With a limited budget, I am trying to find foods and recipes that are not only healthy,  but easy on the wallet. Not only for now, working part-time and living at a mostly unhealthy home, but advice how to keep being healthy on a low budget when married. Also, I found some great fitness bloggers/vloggers and cardio dance workouts on Youtube that I absolutely LOVE! But I have an issue with motivation and finding time in my super busy schedule! I am usually gone first thing in the morning, and not back until late in the evening, with some exceptions on certain days. I'll have a day or two where I finally have this revelation and believe that I will start my fitness journey from that day forward, but the next day something comes up and it throws me off so I go back into my old routines. Also, there's the fact that I procrastinate and prefer to be lazy and relax with my free-time rather than doing more work... 

    I would love to hear what you guys did at my age (and any age), or are doing now to fight laziness and busy schedules and low budgets, and chose to be healthy and fit! 


    First bolded:  A wedding and honeymoon that cost a lot of money are luxuries.  If that is where you choose to spend your money that's fine, but you can't use that as an excuse to not be able to eat healthier and work out.  I'm certainly not judging you if that's where you want to spend your money but I believe in another post you were mentioning budgeting $3k-4k per person for a honeymoon.  That's a lot of healthy food!!!

    Healthy food doesn't have to be pricey.  Chicken breasts and beans are good economical proteins.  learn what veggies and fruits are in season where you live, they'll often be cheaper.  Here, I can get 2-3 zucchinis for about 2 bucks and make a ton of zoodles to feed a family of three for dinner.

    Second bolded:  You have to change this if you want results.  It's easy to be lazy.  A walk can be relaxing.  Other physical activity can be fun and free.  You could take a long walk with your fiancé, do you have friends who like to be active?  Meet up to play Frisbee, play tennis or basketball.  You have to make an effort to change your lifestyle if you want to see results.


    Good luck!!!

    charlotte989875climbingwifeSP29ernursej
  • I am 40. I was always easily able to stay thin with very little work until about 3 years ago when my metabolism tanked. The weight has been creeping on more and more and really hard to lose and now I'm at my biggest (even including my weight when I was pregnant). But I also have medical conditions which cause weight gain and limit a lot of exercises. That being said, I have found the best "diet" is learning portion control. Limiting foods just doesn't work for me. I get bored only eating veggies or never having a slice of cake or pizza. Moderation is key. 21 Day Fix really helps me because I'm not buying an overpriced diet plan or pre-made meals. I didn't order the containers or videos. Just went online to get the container volumes, wrote up a chart for myself and I use measuring cups. You can put what you like into the containers and making them yourself is of course cheaper. No counting calories or anything too difficult. Hitting up farmers markets during the summer is great. Eating local and in-season foods are typically the cheapest. I agree with above that "diet" foods typically have a lot of additives in them (if I remember correctly, I believe I watched a documentary on this)... avoid them and just buy fresh produce and fresh protein like chicken. You can cook up a bunch of chicken breasts on your weekend, cut or shred, then have it ready to add to lettuce and other veggies for lunch throughout the week. I also hard-boil a lot of eggs at once for snacks or to add to a salad. Keeping "ready to grab and eat" veggies and fruit on hand helps to curve the temptation of grabbing a more unhealthy snack or to run through drive through - baby carrots, celery sticks, bananas, apples, strawberries, etc. You get the idea. Things that you can eat raw and don't take much, if any, work to prepare. Also, buy freezable fresh veggies when on sale and throw in your freezer for when they are out of season and more expensive (everything you see in the freezer section can be frozen - just buy fresh and freeze it yourself - onions, beans, peas, broccoli, corn, carrots, etc). I also have my own little garden so I grow some of our veggies myself. Careful on drinking calories... sodas, juice, beer/wine, those coffee concoctions with whipped cream & caramel/chocolate, etc. Water or tea is great. Many veggie/fruit smoothies can add an astounding amount of calories... fruit has calories, adding a sweetener like honey, yogurt, peanut butter, chia seeds, etc. - before you know it you are drinking 500 calories. They are great for a healthy on-the-go meal but just watch what you are putting into them. Moderation though... whatever your weakness is (cake, beer, etc.) allow yourself a bit every now and then. Completely cutting it out for me doesn't work and sets myself up for failure. Also you can search on Craigslist or those Facebook swap sites for cheap exercise equipment so then you aren't paying for a gym membership. I picked up a newer NordicTrack elliptical for $75 and the guy even delivered it to my house. There are almost always bikes listed on those sites in my area. So for me, zero cost for a diet plan, zero cost for a trainer or exercise videos. $75 for an elliptical I use about 3 days/week for about 30-60 minutes depending on how I am feeling that day. I also watch free videos online for other exercises or I just go outside for a walk or a jog, play frisbee at the park with my fiance, etc. Find what is fun for you so it doesn't seem like a dreaded work out. We love to rent kayaks or paddleboards at our local state park or go for a hike... it's fun, but also a workout - and cheap.
    lyndausvi
  • justsiejustsie
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    I read an article recently about someone who did 1 minute planks every hour while at work, and while the weight loss wasn't amazing, it got her heart rate up and she firmed up a bit- could you do something like that at work or during your breaks fit in a quick jog/burpees? I don't know what kind of work you do so I'm just throwing things out there.
    When I was younger I did Daily Burn and really liked it, it was inexpensive and at that time came with a diet plan (last I checked they either got rid of it or it was extra). 
    image
  • jh715jh715
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Love Its 10 Comments Name Dropper
    member

    I have to say, that for both my husband and I maintaining our health in terms of nutrition means that we (mostly I) have to plan ahead and meal prep.  Our grocery budget is nearly 1/2 during the months that I plan and prep than it is when I don't.  We also eat much healthier when I make healthy snacks (protein balls, and homemade peanut butter cups are some of my favourite delicious inexpensive treats).

    In terms of working out, you just need to do the work.  There's no quick fix.  You said you're working part time, so that should leave enough time to get sweaty for 30-60 minutes per day.  Lift some weights, do some interval cardio.  You'll probably find that if you maintain healthy activity daily you'll start to crave it rather than the other way around, but it definitely takes time and effort. 

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