As summer rolls around, a lot of people are trying to eat better but it can be HARD. A lot of people get frustrated and end up giving up completely because they are not approaching it the right way. Clear your mind of CAN’T. You CAN eat better and be in that body you want! Here are 10 key items to incorporate to help you stick to your new healthier lifestyle!
1. Set realistic goals – It all begins with set, clear, realistic goals. Write down what you want to change about your nutrition and exercise routine. Incorporate those goals into your new lifestyle and plan your life around these goals. You might be asking how you can do this? Set short and long term goals. Place these goals somewhere where you know you won’t be able to avoid them. In your bedroom, on the fridge, or to the TV. Then take it one step at a time and one goal at a time. Everyone will achieve their goals at a different time in life, it is not a race. Tell others about your goals to give you that extra push to stick to them.
2. Have Realistic Expectations – You need to be realistic with what will work for you and your situation when setting
up your new nutrition plan. Your plan needs to fit your schedule and budget. Be realistic with time and give yourself enough time (and extra time when you are first starting out) to prepare your food. Pack your food ahead of time to have ready to go for those days you are running late. You WILL be thrown obstacles that can derail you from your path, so don’t give up easy and remember any change takes time!
3. Always Have Healthy Food With You – Make a list of healthy foods you enjoy and also those that travel well (foods that you can take with you to work, school, on travel, etc). Create your meal plan for where you will be when it is time to eat. Do not give yourself an excuse for a bad meal because you did not have something healthy packed and readily available when it is time to eat. Always have healthy foods with you and when on the go – pack extra!! If you don’t you will eat what is available to you, no matter what it is. This can be fast food, office donuts, and those vending machine cookies. This can throw off your nutrition and get you into some bad habits. Always plan ahead!
4. Be Consistent – Most people like to get into a routine and stick to it – consistency works well! Try to eat at around the same times each day, with similar portions and calories. Your body will recognize this pattern and keep you metabolism burning and energy up! Having a plan really pays off!
5. Don’t Think You’re a Failure If You’re Not Perfect – Nobody and I mean nobody is perfect. If you have a bad day, miss a workout, or have a cheat meal just pick yourself up and keep going!! If you beat yourself up about it you are just more likely to have that bad day again! The best thing is to just put the past behind you and tell yourself to move forward.
6. Be Flexible – No matter how much you plan, life is life and it’s not realistic to think you will never be caught in a situation where you don’t have healthy snacks or meals on hand. So learn what is healthy to get while out!! For snacks even gas stations have nuts, and fresh fruit!! Learn to know what to look for. Educate yourself through the internet, magazines, and books on what clean eating is, that way you can improvise in times when the plan fails.
7. Allow Enough Time For A Habit To Form – You’ve all heard the saying- “It takes 21 Days to make or break a habit”. So you need to give your body time to adjust! After those first 3 weeks, you will find that what was originally hard to do is now effortless!
8. Give Yourself Praise – Making any change is hard, so you should be rewarded BUT this doesn’t mean with bad food! Think back to all of the struggles you have overcame and how hard you have worked to change bad habits. Reward yourself in your own way!! Buy new workout clothes, go get your nails done, anything that won’t be a hit against the progress you have made!
9. The Journey Is Just As Important As the Destination – Your journey to a healthier lifestyle will be a roller coaster. There will be ups and down and times when you just want to scream. We must enjoy the journey and once we reach our goal look onto the next one. Don’t be complacent when you reach your goal or you will likely fall back to where you started! We are always on a journey toward leading a healthier lifestyle!
10. Have Fun! – Working your way toward a healthier lifestyle will take time, energy, and dedication. But don’t forget to make it fun, you will enjoy it much more! Always look for the positive in any situation. Always find ways to keep yourself motivated!! Get family and friends involved. Start a work weight loss group, try out new recipes, or have a contest!