You can’t get around it: a healthy lifestyle takes time and commitment. But little choices add up — and you can still get big benefits for your body and mood just from changing a few of your daily habits.
We interviewed three top Thumbtack pros — a nutritionist, a personal trainer and a life coach — for their favorite tweaks to add to your daily routine. And yes, you can still eat cookies.
Simple Shortcuts for Healthy Eating
Choosing to eat healthier is connected to your thoughts and feelings about food, says holistic nutritionist (and Thumbtack Top Pro) Casey Fessler. “It’s harder to live optimally when we’re at war within ourselves,” says Casey. “It’s important to find time to do the things that bring us joy.”
In Casey’s five years as a nutritionist, she’s learned that this means making time to be more present (more aware of your surroundings and sensory experiences) when eating.
If the idea of a zen meal feels like a stretch for you, focus on these practical tips and you’ll be surprised at the outcome:
- Fill your plate like a rainbow. A monochrome meal, like a cream-colored plate of cheesy mashed potatoes, is a sign that you’re overdoing it on a certain macronutrient.
- Put your phone down while eating. You’ll pay more attention to your signs of hunger (and fullness), eat better portions and feel more satisfied.
- Let go of the guilt trip. Enjoy a treat every once in awhile—you’ll feel better if you actually acknowledge that joy is part of eating.
See more tips from Casey.
Easy Daily Habits for Getting Fit
If you don’t already go to the gym regularly, sneak some exercises into your daily routine. You may start to notice a lift in your energy and mood that’s just the kicker you need to commit to a more structured plan.
Top Pro Becky Phillips agrees with nutritionist Casey Fessler’s view that your relationship with yourself changes your physical wellness. “I’ve had a lot of clients who come to me and their main goal is weight loss or trying to achieve a certain look,” Becky says. “But as I train them, they realize the most important thing isn’t changing their aesthetic, it’s changing the way they feel.”
Here are some of Becky’s top tips for sneaking fitness into your workday:
- Sit on a fitness ball. Skip the sit-ups but get similar benefits to your core strength by sitting on a fitness ball (or other core stabilizer) at your office.
- Track your food intake. Keep a simple log of everything that passes your lips—from candy to kale. You’ll learn a ton about what (and when) you eat.
- Hit more muscle groups with compound lifts. If you’re ready to move onto weight lifting, you’ll get more out of learning to do compound lifts that target multiple muscle groups.
Here’s the full interview with Becky.
Expert Tips to Reach Your Goals
According to Lisa Kincaid, a life coach and Top Pro on Thumbtack, reaching your goals while remaining stress-free is almost a paradox. How exactly do you hold yourself accountable while letting go of attachment to the outcome?
For Lisa, the secret lies in really understanding what matters to you—the people and values that are the “why” behind what you want in your life—so you can prioritize the right things.
Here are some simple steps you can take to get there:
- Prioritize sleep. When you’re better rested, you’ll feel much more able to visualize what you want and to let go of things that don’t work out.
- Challenge your thoughts. Practice positivity by noticing when you’re having a negative thought and getting curious about whether it’s actually true.
- Take note of your values. Don’t underestimate the power of a monthly journaling exercise when it comes to understanding yourself and your goals.
See how to use these tools in your life in Lisa’s full interview.