Skip The Diet & Do This Instead (5 Things to Prioritize Before You Go on A Diet)

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We usually think of “wellness” as nutrition (what we eat) and fitness (working out and burning calories). When we’re unhappy with our body, we either go on a diet or start a new exercise program…

But what if you could feel good everyday without going on an “all or nothing” weight loss program, starting a strict diet, or signing up for an intense 12-week exercise plan?

The truth is, there are tools and strategies you can implement TODAY to feel good from the inside out without judging yourself, breaking the bank, or feeling overwhelmed.

In this episode, I share 5 things that will allow you to make feeling good a lifestyle. If you’re looking for tips that feel fun and approachable, this episode is for you.

Skip the diet and try THIS instead:

These things are the “lower hanging fruits” if you will. They’re the things make this a LIFESTYLE, meaning you’re not just doing something for a period of time. But you can feel confident knowing that you’re starting small today and make changes that will last a lifetime.

01: Prioritize Sleep

Why? Sleep regulates your hormones, aids in digestion, improves overall mood and mental clarity, balances your metabolism, boosts the immune system, reduces stress, reduces risk of injury when training, and helps the body repair. Sleep is crucial for your wellbeing! I think it can be so tough to prioritize sleep because we tend to overvalue hustle culture. We wear busyness as a badge of honor and try to fit as much as we can into the day. But often it just leads to burnout and resentment and you become the last priority on your to do list. Sleeping 8-ish hours a night is an act of self-love! Every body is different but 8 hours is a good goal.

Tips for Prioritizing Sleep:

  • Cut off caffeine by 11am — or find the time that works for you!!
  • Limit blue light exposure after the sun goes down
  • Power down devices & sleep without your phone near your head/bed
  • Make bedtime something you look forward to! Invest in pajamas that feel extra luxurious, journal gratitudes, make a warm cup of tea and use this as a time to really pour into yourself and let yourself wind down from the day.
  • Extra lil pro tip: if you find yourself feeling really anxious before bed or you feel like you just didn’t get it “all” done – I want you to compliment yourself for 3 things you did well today. From there, imagine yourself kicking butt tomorrow, knowing & trusting that you’re doing your very best. If you fall asleep hating on yourself, you’re only going to feel anxious. You won’t sleep well. And you’ll wake up feeling even more down on yourself. Every evening is an opportunity to build yourself up. You did a really good job today, friend. Honor that!

02: Up Your Water Intake

Isn’t is crazy how the simple things are actually the best thing for your health?

  • Goal: Drink half your body weight in ounces of water. For example, I weigh 135 lbs. so if we divide that by two, you get 67.5 – that’s 67.5 ounces of water a day, which is about 8, 8 oz. glasses of water. If I’m working out, I up my goal to 10-12 cups of water.
  • Pro Tip: Drink water first thing in the morning. It sets you off on the right foot and rehydrates your body after sleeping! As you sleep, your body is digesting food and detoxing any toxins that need to go. Plus – you may not believe this – but water is way more energizing than coffee. It may take some practice to drink water first thing in the morning. But if you leave a water bottle by your bed and fill it up before you tuck yourself into bed, you’ll wake up and it’ll be right there! When you wake up, sit up nice and tall and drink up.

03: Move Your Body Everyday

  • Movement > working out!!!!
  • I want you to start with 5 minutes of movement that gets your heart rate up. Then you can build from there. But don’t be afraid to start small. A lot of times we place a bigger emphasis on the biiiiig achievements like, “WOW I’m going to run a full marathon at a 7 minuted pace” or “I’m going to workout 1 hour everyday for the next year!” Those are incredible achievements… But how often to you start something big only to get discouraged after day 3 and it feels way too overwhelming to keep going!? Heck yeah that’s so real. Baby steps are the best!!! Don’t be afraid to start small!
  • Make daily movement a nonnegotiable for your day. On stressful days, you move. On busy days, you move. On really good days, you move. Movement is your new best friend. You love her and she loves you!!
  • Move not to change your body, alter the way you look, or to loose weight. Instead shift your priority to this: I move to release stress. I move to work through my emotions. I move to meet myself where I’m at. I move out of gratitude for my body. I move from a place of self-expression.

04: Practice Loving Your Body

  • Be your own cheerleader – you may have heard about the concert of a “love language” – what’s yours!? Discovering your Love Language is helpful not only for knowing how you feel loved by others. But it can also show you how YOU can prioritize loving yourself deeply and intentionally in a way that speaks to you.
  • Mirror talk!!! Give yourself a compliment every time you see your reflection.
  • When you find yourself beating yourself up for what you look like, start to shift your perspective on what your body can do. Your body is a powerhouse! It is capable of so many incredible things. Why limit yourself by just focusing on what you LOOK like!? Tune into everything your body can DO.

05: Be Mindful of When You Eat

  • Kelly LeVeque, one of my favorite holistic nutritionists, recommends eating during daylight hours (I love her book, Body Love. She breaks food science down in a really fun and approach way. I totally recommend it!)
  • Make meal time an event, not just something you do on the go.
  • Eat consistently to avoid crashing. Your blood sugar level impacts things like mental clarity (brain fog), your mood and energy levels. You are worthy of nourishment!!

Have a specific question? Send me a DM on Instagram!

Friendly reminder: You are enough.

With Love from your Fitness Coach & Wellness Obsessed BFF,
Madison | The Fit Flamingo

Hi, I’m Madison Deaton. As a personal trainer, nutrition and self-love coach, I focus on the inside first, helping you get to the root of why you think and feel the way you do. Then I use things like functional fitness, holistic nutrition, mindset and self-love tools to help you connect with yourself on a deeper level, see things from a new perspective, and unlearn habits that no longer serve you so you can take up space, step into your power, and become the woman of your dreams (friendly reminder: she has been YOU all along). Welcome to The Fit Flamingo! I’m so glad you’re here.

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