I'm sorry for what I'm about to say. There actually is no singular magic thing or formula you can do or take that will make you instantly fit and healthy. Getting in shape for life is a long-term holistic goal.
The good news is, there are some small steps that you can start going NOW that will help you get on the right track to fitness and fast. Being "healthy" is a multi-faceted challenge. More than just what you put in your body or how many times you hit the gym, being fit is about who you hang out with, how much sleep you get, and your overall lifestyle approach.
Start by following these quick tips and you will be on the road to having a healthy summer body in no time.
8. Make the city your gym
Exercise alone isn't going to help you lose weight. Most people assume that this is the case, and as a result, the gym becomes this big intimidating thing, this task or obligation that needs to be fulfilled. If you frame exercise in this way, I don't blame you for never getting off the couch.
The trick is to make the city your gym. Take the stairs, walk those extra blocks instead of hopping on the bus, and take a quick jog to the corner store instead of getting in your car for 2-minutes. All these efforts put together, you'll barely even need to hit the gym.
7. Cut out refined carbs, sugar, and (most) alcohol
Although leading a healthy lifestyle takes into consideration many factors, diet takes a HUGE slice of the pie. You can have a relatively healthy diet just by cutting out refined sugars, carbs, and alcohol. New flash: you don't need to try and new-fangled diet to get fit. In fact, diets never work. The only thing that is proven to work is a permanent long-lasting change in lifestyle. And the first place to start is with sugar.
The trick to cutting down on sugar is when grocery shopping, stick to only the outside ring of the grocery store where all the fresh produce, cheese, and meats are sold. Everything on the inside is good 'ol processed trash, and these are the items that will have the reverse effect on your body and mind. Yes, you can still get fit by eating cheese. In moderation of course.
6. Master the at home work out
Unless you plan on building some serious bulk, most workouts can be done in the comfort of your own home. With a simple yoga mat and a couple free weights - a slim and toned body is right around the corner.
For example, One of the most effective core exercises - the plank - needs absolutely nothing but your own body weight. Just make sure your form is good. You can be doing planks for 6-weeks straight but if your form is trash, you'll never see results. Another is the squat. No equipment required. Regularly combining a rotation of squats and planks at home, you'll feel stronger in no time. No gym membership required.
5. 80/20 your life
It's fairly common knowledge now that diets are a psychological trap that is always guaranteed failure. Fear not, though. The solution is much easier than you think. Don't diet, change your lifestyle. I like to follow the 80/20 rule.
80% of the stuff you put in your body is good, and 20% is indulgent. There's nothing wrong with indulging. In fact, depriving yourself of what you love is probably what's going to make you relapse down the road. Just being conscious of what you put in your body and making the "right" choice the majority of the time is all that matters.
4. Something is better than nothing
Whenever I really don't feel like going to the gym or going for a run after a long day of work, I think to myself "something is better than nothing". Meaning, just get your ass to the gym and do a little bit. It will always feel better than totally bailing.
Or on a high level, if your goal of the week was to hit the gym 3-times, but life got in the way, going once is better than nothing and will keep you in the groove of things for the following week. Exercising regularly is all about forming a habit loop in your mind, if you skip a week entirely, you risk breaking that habit loops and it'll be that much easier for you to bail the following week, too.
3. Stop counting calories
A popular weight loss service Weight Watchers is based on counting calories as a means to weight loss. Calorie restriction may lead to temporary weight loss, but it's not a solution to a healthy lifestyle. It's just a band-aid.
In other words, this method is flawed. What you should always focus on instead is the nature of the calories your putting in your body, rather than their numeric value. For example, an apple is about 100 calories, and so is a handful of chips. Which one do you think will be more nutritious, satiate you longer, and ultimately more likely lead to a slim waistline? The apple. Obviously.
Basically, low-cal doesn't always equal good for you. For example, olive oil, avocados, and nuts are calorie rich items, but these superfoods are well-known to have countless long-term health benefits.
2. Get your friends and S/O on board too
You are who you hang out with. Basically, if you're hanging out with people who eat fast food and spend 90% of their day on the couch, chances are, soon enough you're diet will consist of 90% Uber Eats delivery and sugarey dep drinks.
It's tough to shape up and overhaul your lifestyle when you're the only one of your group of friends. I'm not asking you to get new friends, although that's always an option, try to get your friends on board too. Go for a group jog or get out to the country for a nice hike. Once the whole gang gets in on the action, it'll be that much easier for you too.
1. Stick to a regular sleeping schedule
This may surprise some, but lack of quality sleep has a profound impact on weight management. In other words, a good night of sleep is just as important as what you eat or how much you exercise.
Why? Well, the body is a complex machine and sleeping is how we recharge. Ever notice after an all-nighter or two your cravings for sugar, carbs, and fat will skyrocket? Having a good night of sleep will help you make better choices overall, and that includes diet choices.