How I stay in shape - my diet and exercise habits
Wellbeing

How I stay in shape – my eating and exercise habits

Last updated: 8th Mar, 2021

First, the disclaimers! 🙂 I’m not a nutritional coach or a fitness instructor. I don’t have a perfect body shape (besides, what the heck does that even mean?).

I did, however, develop some good habits and got some knowledge about staying in shape over the years, and I would like to share that. Over the years, I learned how to get in shape, be more healthy, and accept my body the way it is (which is the most important).

I am aware that everybody is different and that different bodies have different needs and also hormonal and genetic predispositions.

Healthy lifestyle for a healthy body
Healthy lifestyle habits for a healthy body. Photo: Karolina Grabowska, Pexels

In this post, I write about my habits, diet, and exercise. The post is based on my experience. I am writing it so that you, my beloved reader, maybe find some good advice or inspiration for yourself.

My story

In 2000, at the age of twelve, I was treated for anorexia. I ate far too little at the time and was too skinny for my age and height.

After I got cured, I started eating normally again and ate relatively large amounts of food as a teenager. I wasn’t taking care of my diet and I rarely exercised.

At the beginning of my twenties, I started hanging out with friends who did a lot of sports, especially running. In my early twenties, I also started running (short distances, but still).

Taking care of our body shape with sports
Taking care of our body shape with sports. Photo: jéshoots, Pexels

In my mid-twenties, my love for yoga began. So for many years, I mostly practiced running and yoga.

Still, I didn’t pay attention to my diet. I drank a lot of alcohol with sweet drinks and I ate greasy foods. In my twenties, I wasn’t super happy with my body.

Sometime in my late twenties, I decided to start eating healthy food and start exercising more consistently.

Healthy foods for a healthy body shape
Healthy foods for a healthy body shape. Photo: Jamie Street, Unsplash

How I stay in shape – my diet

The biggest and most important changes happened in the areas of sweet and greasy foods.

I avoid refined white sugar. It has no nutritional value, and I also don’t feel good after eating it. If I eat too much sugar, I can even wake up with a headache.

As a general rule, I don’t buy sweet juices, processed pastries, cookies and other sweets. I avoid processed foods that are high in refined white sugar.

It's better to avoid greasy and fried foods
It’s better to avoid greasy and fried foods. Photo: Kenny Timmer, Unsplash

See what Healthline.com says about white sugar and why it’s better to avoid it.

I avoid fried and fatty foods like crisps, donuts, french fries, etc. I feel bad after eating fried and greasy food. I started listening to my body and took that as a warning sign that I should not eat too much of it.

I avoid unnatural, pre-cooked, and ready meals with no nutritional value. I try to cook on my own as much as possible. I started including fruits and vegetables of all colors in my diet.

Incorporate fruits and vegetables of all colours in your diet
Incorporate fruits and vegetables of all colours in your diet. Photo: Silviarita, Pexels

Instead of white flour products, I try to eat whole grain foods. If I buy pasta or bread, I prefer to buy whole-grain pasta or pasta made from buckwheat, spelt, etc.

I started to include probiotics in my diet, most often kefir.

I drink at least 1.5 liters of water per day.

Drinking lots of water can help us get in shape
Drinking lots of water can help us get in shape. Photo: Cats coming, Pexels

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My exercise habits

I exercise at least 25 minutes a day, but I prefer even more. This can include walking, running, yoga, or aerobic exercise.

Read about my favourite aerobic exercise and how I relieve stress.

During the weekend, I like to take long walks or do longer sports activities to move my body more thoroughly. I exercise outside in the fresh air as much as possible.

When I work, I try to get up, move and stretch as often as I can. I try to sit straight (although I would need someone to remind me of it more often!).

It's important to sit straight when we work behind our computers.
It’s important to sit straight when we work behind our computers. Photo: Marek Levak, Pexels

Tips for getting in shape and staying there

One of the more helpful videos on maintaining a healthy body shape for me was a YouTube video by Simone on the simonesquared channel.

I took away some great advice from her video:

1. Drink lots of water. Also, drink water before your meals.

2. Suck in your stomach as often as you can (it may give you abs!). Sit up straight.

3. Do not eat 2–3 hours before bed (try to fast 12 hours each day).

4. Stop eating when you’re full.

5. Eat smaller amounts of food in one meal.

Staying in shape by eating smaller portions
Staying in shape by eating smaller portions. Photo: Brooke Lark, Unsplash

How I stay in shape – summary

Once again, I am not trying to promote weight loss or unhealthy eating with this post. If we are happy with our physique and our habits, that’s the most important.

After I started incorporating new habits into my daily life, my overall health and body started changing, too. I gradually started feeling good about my body.

I hope you found some good advice or inspiration for yourself in this article.


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