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43 Ways To Get In Shape Without Ruining Your Life

Inspiring tips on getting healthier (that won't make you feel bad about yourself).

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We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us the best tip they've ever gotten for getting in shape. Check out what they shared — awesome tips for eating and nutrition, exercise, and maintaining an excellent mindset.

1. Don't skip meals.

The best advice I've ever received about losing weight is to EAT. I used to feel like I had to skip meals to lose weight.

—Rebekah Marie Byrd (Facebook)

2. Calories shmalories; it's nutrition that matters.

It's not the calories in food you should be worrying about, I would focus on if it's really nutritious.

—Melyssa Chantelle (Facebook)

3. Know that carbs are not the enemy.

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Don't ever cut carbs from your diet! Your brain needs carbs to function ... Also, eat protein within 30 minutes of finishing a workout to help build muscle.

... Also, lay off the sugar, fast food, and processed foods.

VanDamsel

4. Don't deprive yourself.

Don't deprive yourself of the things you love. I did, and although I felt healthy I wasn't happy. Now I am super healthy and I also am able to squeeze in some of my good ol' faves (Whole Foods chocolate cake…).

masonnvv

5. Fuel your body with quality food.

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Fuel your body well — you don't put regular gas in an Aston Martin. You go premium. Don't put junk food in your body, and don't deprive it either. Invest in yourself.

—Anna Alvarado (Facebook

6. Keep track of what you eat.

Keep a food journal! I swear by My Fitness Pal, and use it religiously. The more you use it, the more you will learn not just to pay attention to the calories in your food, but also the composition, and what the food you're eating is doing for your body.

—Melissa HookEm Monreal (Facebook)

7. Have a delicious treat every so often so you'll be less likely to binge eat.

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Treat yourself to your favorite unhealthy foods every once in a while. If not you'll just end up binging.

Asiahairston

8. Make a habit of portion control by packaging food as soon as you've made it.

It's also a lot easier to practice portion control if you package up all the food you make right after making it and before eating — you'll cut down on cleaning time afterwards and it's easier to say no to overeating if you have to reach into the fridge, open up the container and reheat it.

—Cassie Jenis (Facebook)

9. Homemade banana "ice cream" is a no-added-sugar way to treat the ol' sweet tooth.

... I cannot stress this enough — BANANA ICE CREAM PEOPLE!!! Its a super easy homemade one-ingredient banana ice cream. Its basically just frozen banana, but its sooo freaking good. Its texture, taste and looks are exactly like real ice cream. As someone who is so bad at cutting sugar, this one really helps me. It helps me avoid sugar cravings, its perfect healthy substitute.

GoldenZ

10. Get a Magic Bullet/NutriBullet.

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It will rock your world! You'll find yourself making yummy smoothies (you might even get into green smoothies!!). It's an easy way to add more healthy stuff into your diet, which will inspire [you] and give you the energy to have a kickass workout!

taylorthacreator

11. Hack your grocery shopping.

I was told to stick to three rules while grocery shopping: Shop AFTER eating, shop along the perimeter of the store, as it typically offers non-processed foods, and only buy foods with ingredients you pronounce. Grocery shopping became more of a game for me rather than a free for all and prevented me from bringing temptations home with me!

katieb42dd561bd

12. Don't assign absolute values to food or to yourself for eating (or not eating) those foods.

You're not a better person if you eat healthy, or a bad person if you slip up and eat something that wasn't on your list of "okay" foods. Once you do that and see food as nourishment and not as an emotional response, your outlook and your body will be much healthier. (Sources: several years of on again/off again binge eating, and a very insightful counselor)

madelined437ae25c0

13. Give up sugary drinks.

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Don't drink your calories (soda, juice, etc.) and drink PLENTY of water.

—Brynne Drohan (Facebook)

14. Never fall for fad diets.

Don't fall for the fad diets. Eat proteins, healthy fats, reduce sugar! Take that crap out of your house, stop buying it, stop ordering it. Saturated fats aren't the enemy, trans fats are!

—Shelby Springer (Facebook)

15. Watch the movie Fed Up. Also eat less sugar.

Best advice I got was to reduce sugar intake, courtesy of the documentary Fed Up.

—Justine Roberts (Facebook)

16. Do the hardest exercises first.

My PT taught me ... If there is a certain exercise you find really tiring do it in the beginning of your workout (squats, crunches, you name it), after you warm up. If you leave it for the end of your workout, chances are, you will try and convince yourself and skip it.

I am easily tired by crunches and always do them first.

GoldenZ

17. If you feel too tired to exercise put on your workout gear and go for a brisk 10-minute walk.

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If you still don't feel like working out after your walk, don't! But nine times out of 10, getting the fresh air and your heart rate going will make you want to continue with a higher-intensity workout.

Brittany

18. Know that the sucky workouts are important.

You'll have maybe three good workouts a week, two mediocre ones, and one or two terrible ones. The terrible ones, where you feel weak, small, tired, and unmotivated, but you do it anyway? Those are the workouts where real change happens.

—Anna Alvarado (Facebook)

19. Ride your bike everywhere.

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it will become a habit that keeps you fit and healthy! Plus: no more traffic, looking for parking spots ,or gas prices! But please, stay safe and wear a helmet. :)

—Elâ Marie Akay (Facebook)

20. Pick workouts and activities you actually enjoy.

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I mountain bike and trail run multiple times a week for at least a couple hours. When I beef up these activities, the fitness and muscle tone show.

If you don't like running on a treadmill, don't run on a treadmill!

—Camille Stephens (Facebook)

21. Get decent sneakers.

I can't tell you how much better my runs got after I finally invested in a pair of really good running shoes.

—Kayla Doyle (Facebook)

22. Take your body a little further than you think you can.

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Push yourself! You'd be very surprised at far you can take your body if you just step out of your comfort zone.

—Nadeen Nakib (Facebook)

23. Learn how to stay loose and relaxed while running.

Someone finally helped me crack the code for running a few miles without needing to stop for walk breaks: release the extra tension in your body as much as you can. The tense muscles keeping your body rigid waste energy...


Touch your thumb to your finger(s) as if you are barely holding a piece of paper instead of balling up a fist.
Periodically do a body check to make sure you're not tensing up. This helped me run my first 5K over the weekend, without stopping to walk or getting sore.

abuhrer

24. Get on a regular workout schedule that includes both cardio and strength training.

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Developing a regular workout schedule (at least three days a week) that includes both weightlifting and cardio is important, and building muscle will increase your metabolism which lets you burn more calories even when you're not working out.

VanDamsel

25. Do exercises that work your whole body.

Do resistance exercises that use your joints a lot. Whole-body exercises with resistance get more done, more quickly.

Also, sleep more, and drink all of the water.

—Barrington Lloyd-Lovett (Facebook)

26. Don't compare your "before" to someone else's "after."

Eyes on your own prize.

—Sophia "Artemis" Bryant (Facebook)

27. Say goodbye to "can't."

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My dad has always told me "Can't never did do anything." I know it's the oldest phrase ever.

I don't believe in the word "can't" anymore.

—Brandie N Blizzard (Facebook)

28. Tell yourself to "Flip the 'tude!"

My gym teacher always used to say to me, "Flip the 'tude!" Though it isn't directly related to fitness, every time i was slowing down or getting down on myself he would say that and it was just that little push I needed.

So now, anytime I am shaming myself for not working out or criticizing myself I remind myself to "Flip the 'tude!" and to get back on the horse and try my best.

—Erika Johnson (Facebook)

29. Trust the process.

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If you are committed to losing weight/getting healthy you must commit, and TRUST THE PROCESS. It doesn't come off overnight, but you will see small changes. My clothes started fitting differently, I would touch my leg or arm and it would feel completely different than I remember it feeling.

—Melissa HookEm Monreal (Facebook)

30. Listen to people who are stronger than you.

—Gannon Long (Facebook)

31. Do it for you.

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My best friend told me to get in shape for myself. Not because I want to look good for somebody else. But because I want to feel good. I want to get in shape for myself.

Sidneykr

32. Really appreciate and celebrate small wins.

I was once told to go to the grocery store and pick up a 10-pound bag of potatoes to get a real appreciation for the weight that I had lost, rather than bemoaning that it was "only" 10 pounds.

When you pick up something tangible from your everyday life that weighs that much (as opposed to just picking up a 10-pound weight), it really enforces the small wins along the way.

—Julia Sklar (Facebook)

33. It's all about consistency and committment. But also don't beat yourself up when you slip.

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It takes consistency and discipline and dedication and you have to be IN IT TO WIN IT. But if you miss a day at the gym or eat something you shouldn't, don't beat yourself up ... just start over tomorrow.

—Lauron Thomas (Facebook)

34. Get a great mantra.

My friend Toni started me running with the simple mantra "small steps, run happy." It was incredibly helpful, unlike the years of poor workout advice I've been given.

williamelliotb

35. Believe there's always enough time for a workout.

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A celebrity I follow on Instagram posts under the hash tag of "Get it in" meaning, get your workout in and get on with the day.

This has really hit home for me, along with the quote "There are 24 usable hours in every day." (From Empire Records.)

—Anjali Talia Warland (Facebook)

36. Empower yourself with knowledge.

The best advice I ever got is to get educated. Having at least some knowledge of different nutrition plans and different exercises can help you decide what to do for yourself, and help you make sure you're doing everything safely and healthfully.

—Lauren Nayman (Facebook)

37. Remember that the scale doesn't tell the whole story.

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Don't rely too heavily on what the scale tells you (pun intended). Your weight may ebb and flow ... but your increase in distance, reps, and weight, and the way your clothes fit and feel will never lie.

—Aubrie Reynolds (Facebook)

38. So, don't weigh yourself so often.

Losing weight is a slow process, with days or even weeks when no weight seems to go off, and not weighing yourself lets you focus on the whole "feeling better" part without getting discouraged by numbers.

I know when I weighed myself on a diet I'd feel so let down and depressed at how little I had lost — it was normal numbers but you always hope for more. Now I go on a scale every month or so and instead I just do my own "let's feel better" thing, and trust me, you don't need the scale to know when you are losing weight anyway.

—Suzie Bertrand (Facebook)

39. Or maybe just stop weighing yourself altogether?

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Stop weighing yourself ... It may sound silly to some people, but obsessing over your weight can turn into a very toxic thing for some people.

—Jessica Clements (Facebook)

40. Expect challenges and don't give up because of them.

On the path toward healthy eating there will be roadblocks. You will stumble along the way. These things don't mean you fail as long as you pick yourself up, learn from them, and don't give up.

mariel468db8827

41. Set attainable goals and take small steps towards them.

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Little by little. No giant steps.

xeebuh

42. And don't let a few slips unravel your hard work or motivation.

Don't let a few bad days ruin a bunch of good days!! I had a terrible habit of completely bottoming out if I got a little off track. Now if I have a bad day I tell myself "I'll do better tomorrow." And I usually do.

LizMatt

43. Do it because you love yourself, not because you hate yourself.

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