Injured and out of commission? Too busy to exercise? Don’t want to pay for a gym membership? For me, it’s definitely a combination of reasons why I always seem to be injuring myself. I’m clumsy (I do really careless things sometimes), I am cardio-obsessed, and I hardly take a rest day. This is definitely a recipe for disaster if you want to be able to keep a healthy sustainable exercise regimen. Today, I decided to buy a lot of heavy groceries in anticipation of my boyfriend coming back from New York in a couple of days. As excited as I was, I knew that I shouldn’t be carrying all these bags and walking home but I did so anyways. Long story short, I twisted my back and possibly pulled my gluteus maximus once again. Maybe I shouldn’t have tried to run either… Now what? A gym obsessed freak like me… geez. In actuality, all those “skinny” people out there… I’ve met them. They hardly ever workout. What’s their secret? How do they stay so slim without exercising? Here are some tips on how to stay slim and healthy during an injury : 1) Watch Your Food Portions Eat sensibly. Don’t gorge yourself with food every minute of the day or deplete your body by starving yourself and skipping meals. However, know when you are full and stop eating when you have reached about 80% – this is all about portion controlling. Eating too little will slow down your metabolism so make sure you eat sensibly and stop when you feel satisfied. 2) Watch Your Daily Caloric Intake For me, counting calories is like breathing air. I used to do it religiously and I knew the calorie count about everything off the back of my hand. Admittedly, I am still rather calorie-obsessed but there is a healthy way to watch your caloric intake. When it all comes down to it, it is about calories in and calories out. Make sure you get enough calories and never drop below 1200. You can use an online calculator to see how much you would need to maintain/lose weight and just make sure that what you intake and what you burn is either equal or less than your energy expenditure. 3) Avoid Fatty and High Calorie Foods If you do want to lose weight, avoid those high fatty foods that usually contain a lot of calories. These empty calories hardly provide your body with the essential nutrients to maintain a healthy lifestyle. There are always substitutes to your fatty faves! If you like fries, what I’ve done lately was bake sweet potatoes in the oven with some olive oil and salt and that craving will surely be satisfied! 4) Drink a Glass of Water before Every Meal Sometimes, people confuse being hungry with being thirsty. Your body may be dehydrated but you may recognize this as the feeling of hunger. Try drinking a glass of water and wait 10-15 minutes and see if you still feel hungry. If you do and you’ve had your meal, opt for a healthy snack packed with nutrients such as a handful of nuts, fruits, or vegetables. 5) Eat Nutrient Dense Foods at Regular Intervals There may be the same amount of calories in a Big Mac and a Salmon Steak with Veggies and a complex carb to fill your dish but which meal provides you with more nutrients? Not only will the latter dish give you all the vital nutrients and minerals one needs, but also it will keep you full longer and keep your energy levels up. Also, instead of eating 3 big meals, try eating smaller portions more frequently and split it into 5-6 meals to avoid any hunger pangs. 6) Eat Breakfast Many people tend to skip this meal and they feel like they can bank these calories for meals later on. However, studies show that eating breakfast will jumpstart your metabolism for the rest of the day so if you skip this meal, your body goes into starvation mode and starts storing fat. 7) Control Stress Eating Habits I am an emotional eater. Many of you are – just admit it. There are people who eat because they are stressed, bored, tired, and the list goes on. Food is great – I do live to eat and not the other way around but food should be secondary. If you don’t take care of your relationships and mental health, which are known as “the primary foods”, “secondary foods” which is what you actually eat is meaningless. So next time you go grab something to eat, think about whether you are actually hungry or is there something deeper going on in your life. 8) Take Smaller Bites and Stop Screen Eating When people eat too fast and gorge down food, you may overeat because it takes approximately 20 minutes for your brain to register whether you are full or not. Take smaller bites, eat slower, and enjoy all those wonderful sensations in your mouth. Also, if you eat when your mind is distracted can lead you to overeat because your focus has shifted away from whether you feel full or not. Therefore, you tend to mindlessly eat in front of your laptop or TV when you don’t need to because you might be already satisfied. In conclusion, I’m not saying don’t exercise. Exercising is important but don’t let it take over your life. If you are injured, rest and let your body recover. Take this time to take on other activities and find alternative things to do to keep you active.