Being Healthy AF but Still Having a Life

Being Healthy AF but Still Having a Life


We’re here again, a New Year, new decade and a brand new you! The whole New Year resolution thing gets a bad wrap because everyone knows that no one sticks to them anyway, right?

What if I told you that you didn’t need to make life-changing, bank-breaking and gross tasting commitments to finally feel like the happy & healthy you that you’ve promised to be since 2010.

There are some little lifestyle shifts and nuggets of education that could be just what you need to know to help you find some balance in 2020 and I would love to share them with you.

What is so ‘NEAT’ about exercising anyway?

Disclaimer, I love strength training and daily exercise is a huge part of my life. But I understand that it just isn’t that way for everyone. So maybe NEAT could be the answer?

NEAT = Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis

What the heck does that mean? It basically means any energy you’re using that isn’t d to be exercise. Things like walking from your car into the shops, walking to the shops instead of driving at all, gardening or maybe choosing to do a few trips taking the groceries inside instead of showing off to your significant other that you can carry them
all in one go.

You might already go to the gym a few times a week and smash yourself on some cardio apparatus for 30 mins, but I promise you the more time you’re just simply moving outside of the gym has a bigger impact on wether or not you’re in a calorie deficit or not (we’ll get to that soon) and make a bigger difference in staying lean if you’re playing the long game.

So, park your car further away from the entrance at the shopping centre, walk there instead of driving, take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator, give your mate a piggy back so you get to get to steal their NEAT too. Just make the conscious decision to MOVE more every single day and don’t always take the easy option.

Meet Mr. Calorie Deficit

You’ve probably heard the term by now, calories in VS calories out. It seems like we’ve only just figured it out because it’s suddenly getting a lot of hype. Trust me, it’s not new science and it’s right to be hyped because guess what? It’s the only way to loose weight.

We ‘burn’ a certain amount of energy (calories) each day just by being alive. This is from our normal bodily function like breathing and digestion and makes up what is called our BMR (basal metabolic rate).

We can figure out roughly how many calories we expend each day by the sum of our BMR, our NEAT and our EAT (exercise activity thermogenesis). This will give us our total daily energy expenditure or TDEE.

There are plenty of free TDEE calculators on the web that will do all the hard maths for you and give you an estimated number of how many calories you expend each day. That is the easy part, once you’ve figured out how many calories go out every day, the important bit is how many go in.

This is the little bit of commitment that will help you more than anything else if weight loss is your goal.

Most people under-estimate calories consumed and over-estimate exercise.
It’s up to you to get real with yourself and use a food tracker app like MyFitnessPal for a while to get to know exactly what you’re putting in your body, if it turns out you’re putting in more than you’re putting out, guess what? Those jeans probably wont fit again this year either.

The good thing, is that even just the act of starting to track your food will most likely bring an awareness of mindless consuming and will bring those calories down right away.

Aim to be in a small calorie deficit of up to 500 Calories, this is more sustainable than trying to cut back to a silly 800 calories a day, giving up after two days and will help the results stick long term.

It might feel like a chore at the start but the more you do it, the better you will get at choosing the right amount of food in the future.

Too stressed to sleep?

Probably the numero uno under-appreciated aspect of a healthy lifestyle to the average Joe. Getting an adequate amount of sleep, as well as good quality sleep is the top pick for most good practitioners and respected people in the human performance realm.

Lack of sleep is linked to a higher likely hood of becoming depressed, a higher risk of developing pre-diabetes, a low sex drive and many other health implications.

The quality of sleep is so important too, if you’re staring at your phone screen right up until the point where you turn the lights out you might want to consider winding down a little bit earlier and giving your brain some time get ready to rest. Our internal body clock (circadian rythym) works in conjunction with light. By staring at and being surrounded by artificial blue light, our body gets confused and can mess up our production of the sleep hormone, melatonin. If you’re not getting good quality sleep, waking up feeling tired and relying on things like caffeine to wake you up in the morning then your body is in a constant state of stress.

When your body is in stress mode, normal bodily functions like digestion and sexual hormone production isn’t a top priority.

Get more sleep and get better sleep. It could be one of the biggest factors in 2020 you having smaller love handles and feeling better in general.

Put it all together

Move more every day, take some steps towards improving your sleep and take some ownership of what goes in your mouth. These small changes can have a huge snowball like effect in helping improve your overall health and motivation. It’s all about balance, baby.

I’m not a huge fan of time-specific diets and fitness challenges because I believe in finding a healthy way of living that is sustainable forever. However, if this is all very new to you and you need that accountability, I “challenge” you
to download a food tracker app and commit to tracking your food consumption for 30 days.

Knowing how many calories are going in, I’m sure you’ll want to know how many are going out, then it’s just a matter of finding that healthy balance.

The exercise programs I write for my clients are important, but they also get this sort of information drip-fed to them during our sessions. If you’re anywhere in and around the Claremont area of Perth and could benefit from a fresh outlook on health and fitness, some education and a solid sweat, I’d love to hear from you.

You can find me on Instagram via @alex.shelts and reach me through my website

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