Unfortunately, the whole “motivation” thing is a bit of a sham. Nobody is motivated all the time, and when it comes to diet and exercise, motivation can be fleeting. We make it hard on ourselves by choosing a “diet” that is difficult to sustain. When we perceive the cost is lower than the benefits, we drift back to our old, more comfortable habits.
It doesn’t need to be this way. At Health One we want to make changes in our life that arise from a place of self-love. Changes we actually enjoy. Changes that will lead us to a higher quality of life.
Here are 5 powerful tips for making positive diet and exercise changes that will supercharge 2019:
Select a reasonable plan that won’t put you into the restrict-binge cycle. Research shows that over 97% of diets fail and over 80% of people gain additional weight after attempting a restrictive diet. This is because people feel so deprived when they are on a diet, they eventually cave and end up eating way more cookies than they would normally eat, thinking “I will never get these again, so I need to eat extra now!” Sound familiar? There is definitely a way out. Choose diet and lifestyle changes that feel good to you and don’t leave you feeling limited, deprived or restricted.
The mental aspect of making lifestyle changes is examined far less than the diet itself, but it is very important. Explore the underlying beliefs you have around eating and your body. You deserve to be as healthy and happy as anyone else on this planet. You deserve to go, be, and wear anything you want today, without changing a thing. Don’t put too much pressure on actually losing weight. Nobody will ever give you permission to love your body – regardless of your size. Start loving your body now and work slowly on developing healthy habits.
Do What You Love
When it comes to fitness, it’s important to choose exercises that you are exciting and fun to do. You don’t need to follow the latest trends in fitness to be healthy. Research shows that exercise actually contributes very little to weight loss. What’s important is to choose a healthy way to move your body because it’s good for you! If you love doing something it will allow you to show up week after week without even considering it a difficult work out. Think about a sport or physical skill that you’d like to master and take the first step. Learning new skills is empowering and amazing for your brain!
Listen to Your Body
Start experimenting with menu planning and healthy meal preparation in your own way. You don’t need a “meal plan”! Nobody ever follows these in the long run. Listen to your body and try to get in touch with your own desires. This is called intuitive eating. Find your favourite healthy products, favourite recipes, and make them your own. Count on yourself to have the right foods available and to listen to what your body needs. You are your own best guide.
You can be an expert in healthy eating and feel super motivated - but still face setbacks in implementation. This can be because you don’t have the structure in place to support yourself. Find ways to eliminate micro decisions from your life as much as possible.
Did you know Steve Jobs wore the same T-shirt everyday? This reduced his decision fatigue. This same concept can be applied to your health. Once you identify the areas of your life where you need more support, it’s easy to brainstorm ideas to support a structure that will help you achieve your goals.
Here are some examples:
- Remove junk/snack food from your house so that when you encounter a moment of weakness there is nothing to snack on. If you’re faced with a can of tuna vs a bag of chips, you’re much less likely to overeat!
- Eat at specific times of the day
- Opt to meet friends for a fitness class or tea rather than at a cafe or unhealthy restaurant
- Plan meals at least one day in advance so that you never have to decide what to eat at the last minute when you’re hungry
- Order food online for delivery so that you don’t have to face temptations at the grocery store
- Have go-to meals that you rotate
Consider these five suggestions and how you might apply them to achieve your own personal health goals.
Happy New Year!
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