It happens to the best of us. A moment in your life when you realize that you’ve let yourself go, and you need to get back on track.
The next thought after this realization is to immediately go on a diet and start a strict new workout regimen. But as quickly as this thought enters your mind, so does the doubt of many failed attempts in the past.
The final thought in this sequence is despair as you wonder, "why bother?" This diet is going to fail, just like past diets have, leaving you discouraged yet again.
It’s time to leave this viscous cycle behind. The best way to do this is to change your thinking, and never diet again! That’s right. The best way to create a lasting change in your health is to promise yourself, right now, that you will never go on another diet…EVER!
Diets are temporary fixes to your problems, and as they are almost always restrictive, even cutting out entire food groups, they are impossible to maintain long term.
This time around, instead of going on a short-term diet, we are going to go on a life-long lifestyle change!
Making The Change
It’s time to lose your ‘all or nothing’ mentality. Your bad habits took a long time to create, so your new healthy habits will take a little time to implement as well.
Start by embracing simple, small changes that add healthy improvements in your lifestyle. Once these have become new habits, add on something new, and more difficult. Over time, you will have added many healthy habits. The key is to start slowly and let some of the changes become habits before adding more. Don’t try to change them all at once!
What changes should you make? Here are a few to start with!
Sleep is one of the most overlooked aspects of a healthy lifestyle, and yet most of us don't get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep we need each night. Studies have found that a lack of sleep leads to overeating the next day, with one study showing that participants were "unable to resist highly palatable, rewarding snacks." Read that as junk food...and a lot of empty calories. Too little sleep has also been shown to raise cortisol levels (fat storing hormones), as well as wreaking havoc on your other hormones while increasing appetite and decreasing metabolism.
Getting more sleep should be easy. Just go to bed earlier! But, if that doesn't seem to work, here are a few suggestions:
If you're looking for that magic pill to help you achieve your leaner body faster, this is it. This feels like a broken record with this same hydration message repeated in so many articles, but that's how important and effective proper hydration is...not to mention easy. From helping with proper digestion, increased metabolism (and fat burning), to feeling more alert and awake, better skin, reduced blood pressure , and healthier joints, water increases so many health benefits, why wouldn't you add a little more?
Sure, just like everything it's hard to change old habits, but check out a few of these to get more water in your life.
Just like everything else, it is hard to switch from carbonation and sugary beverages to plain water. Try to implement some of these tips, and see how quickly sugar-laden beverages can become a thing in your past.
Let’s be honest for a second. If you're unhappy with your body and think you need to get back on track, your food choices probably haven't been very healthy recently. Some may be terrible (the burger and fries you had last week). While others are simply excessive (the abundance of snacks you eat while watching TV).
However, the solution to fixing your nutrition is NOT another ‘diet’. In fact, I never want you to go on a ‘diet’ again. (Yes, you heard me right!) Instead I want you to make permanent healthy changes to your eating habits. By now, you probably know you need to "eat less, move more" and "eat more nutrient dense foods with lean protein and more vegetables". And while you have heard all of these mantras, how can you realistically start adding these to your nutrition plan?
Start with some of these:
Eating "perfect" every meal of every week is a ludicrous expectation, especially if you haven't been close to that recently. But keep introducing these small changes over time with the goal of making MORE healthy choices every day than the unhealthy ones, and you will be back on track!
Exercise is a huge component to any healthy lifestyle, so if you’re not getting enough of it, you're not going to see see the results you want. How often does an entire week go by without you ever lacing up your workout shoes? If you keep putting off movement and your workouts, you're putting off your results too.
Your new healthy lifestyle means getting some form of movement or exercise most days of the week. While this may seem daunting at first, there are many options for increasing your activity, even if you don't have a lot of time to dedicate to it.
Here are simple ways to move more:
While the above suggestions aren't substitutes for an exercise program that will help build a strong core, and the lean muscle you need to torch the fat, they are great ways to start becoming more active, burning more calories and improving your lifestyle. And just like the other healthy habits we are slowly building, once you have created some of these smaller health habits, you can proceed onto the more strenuous programs when you are ready!
Getting back on track and changing bad habits into healthy ones can be difficult and seem daunting. But, remember it took a long time to create these bad habits, so transforming into your new healthy lifestyle will also take a little time. And while it never happens as quickly as we want, if you keep creating and adding your small healthy habits, you will get there!
Dedicated To Making Healthy Your Habit,
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