Healthy Eating: Choose Lifestyle Over Restriction
Many of us aspire to lose more weight, have slimmer waists and have the bathing suit bodies that the models on the covers of glossy magazines show off. If we had a personal trainer, personal chef and personal yoga teacher, we’d be a size 0, too! The average American, however, has an eight to ten hour a day job, a family to provide for, a mortgage to pay-and doesn’t have the time or the resources to look like a cover model.
But this doesn’t mean that looking and feeling good about our bodies is out of our reach. We just have to adapt our fitness goals into our daily life.
CHANGING YOUR MINDSET: The goal is not to lose weight or to drop dress sizes. It is to change the way you think about food and exercise. Losing weight and fitting into smaller sizes are simply the perks. It may have taken months, or even years to be where you are, so don’t expect to reverse bad habits within a few weeks. Allow a full year to adopt a changed lifestyle.
IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM: The first step is to maintain a food log for an entire week. Buy a small date book and diligently write down everything consumed.
ACCOUNTABILITY: Maintain your food log. You’ll be surprised at how that keeps you honest. If you can have someone read it each day, do it-because you will be less inclined to eat that huge slice of chocolate cake or holiday goodie. You might just take a bite instead.
ANALYZE YOUR PROBLEM AREAS: After a week read the entries. Do you drink enough water per day? How many cans of soda or bags of chips? Are there fruits or vegetables in your diet?
SET ATTAINABLE GOALS: If you habitually drink one glass of water a day, but get the rest of your fluid intake from coffee and soda, then your goal will be to drink at least four glasses of water a day by the end of the first month. If you drink five cans of coke a day, perhaps cut back to two. If you must have your Doritos, make it the snack-sized bag. If there are no fruits and vegetables in your food intake, add V8 juice and one piece of fruit a day. Slow changes, but important changes, make a difference.
We are creatures of habit. We can train to do just about anything. If you want to run a marathon, you train for a few months to get accustomed to distance running. The same goes for your lifestyle change. You have to introduce changes slowly so that they stick. Over time, turn those small changes into habits, and you will soon notice significant improvements in your health and overall wellbeing.