Tuesday, July 29, 2014

10 Ways to a Healthier Mindset on Eating Healthy

There are so many people out there trying to be healthy and fit...they may be trying to trim off some extra pounds gained over the holidays, or get beach-ready for a moment in the sun, loose the last of the baby weight. Eating better is hard, and many people get frustrated, fall short or give up. I know that certainly was me before I found the proper way to do it. Here are some key ways to make your eat better stick.
1. Set Goals: It all starts by having clear, specific and realistic goals. Write a list of things you want to change about your diet, about your health, about your fitness. By incorporating goals that you may have regarding your body and plan your diet around those goals, it is more manageable. I is extremely important to have different levels of goals. Set a goal for right now. Set a short term goal, and of course a long term goal. If you try and do everything all at once you can be overwhelmed and want to quit. Take it one goal at a time if need be, and one day at a time, or 1 hour at a time. There is no race. You are not going to get a cookie or something if you are the first one to achieve something. You may also want to write reasons why you want to make a change in your eating habits. You might share your goals with others who will help you meet them. You can put your goals where others can see them “on the fridge, at work” to motivate you to work harder. This will also get others behind you and involved in your new routine. As you achieve your goals, check them off. This will give you a sense of accomplishment and add excitement leading to your next goal. 

2. Have Realistic expectations - Any lifestyle change needs to work with you and not against you. You need to be realistic when setting up the parameters. It needs to fit your schedule and your budget. You do not want to do to much to fast and feel this is overtaking you and you start getting overwhelmed. You want to set yourself up for success, not failure. If you don’t cook for your schedule and your eating times you will find yourself without food and scrambling to find a healthy choice, and perhaps forced to eat something you should not. So be realistic with time, and give yourself extra time to prepare food, and have food pre-packed for the week. Also know that obstacles can and will come into your path from time to time to derail you and your progress, so don’t think that everything will be easy and will just happen. This takes work.

3. Be Proactive - Before you start, make a list of healthy foods you actually enjoy, what foods you may like to try, and what foods you can take with you while you are on the go. You can and will create entire menus revolving around what you like, and you can even have your menu be based on where you will be at what time of the day. Never give yourself an excuse to not have something available for you to eat, no matter where you are when you are supposed to have a meal. Invest in a lunch bag that also doubles as a cooler. You may not always be around a refrigerator. Always keep healthy foods on hand. If you don’t you will probably eat whatever is available at the time whether it be fast food, office treats, etc. This can throw off a diet plan and get you in the habit of making bad food choices and eat whatever is fast and convenient. Know where you will be at what time of the day, when you are open to cook, to eat, to shop for groceries, and plan accordingly.

When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

4. Consistency is key - Most people respond well to consistency. Make a plan and stick to it. Try to eat at around the same times daily and keep to the same portion size and caloric intake. Set up a reminder on your phone, to eat and drink water. Life can get crazy! You dont want to be so busy that you forget to eat and throw your whole day off. Your body will recognize this pattern and in turn keep your metabolism burning and your energy levels will stay high. You will feel better, and get in a healthy routine. It is easy to sabotage yourself by grabbing nasty snacks to meet uncontrolled cravings. The time you spend on planning and consistency is a true investment that will benefit you for the rest of your life.

5. You must be flexible - Of course, even the best plans fall short at times. My have! Life can get nuts...curve balls will be thrown. Sometimes your eating routines will need to change. You can certainly try to plan ahead for these events, have items on hand you can take with you when you’re in a rush or are eating out. You can keep an emergency food supply in your car. Of course foods that will not go bad. Some good examples could be almonds, protein bars, other healthy nuts, trail mix, fresh fruit (if you have a cooler) and individual packs of Shakeology! Also do your own research. Use books, the internet - and learn as much as you can about proper nutrition. The more knowledge you have, the easier it will be for you to make better choices even in a pinch.

6. Don’t be so hard on yourself -Nobody is perfect all the time. Certainly not me. If you mess up, miss a few meals, or even have a bad couple of days, just pick yourself up and get back on track. Do not give up, do not throw in the towel. Get right back up and start again. You only fail, if you quit. Remember your why. Why did you start this, why did you want to make a change. Those why's didnt change. You’re doing this for you, and the added stress of not living up to your own expectations can lead to a total derailment. Being healthy and eating healthy does not mean you can’t enjoy foods not on your meal plan. So don’t be so hard on yourself. YOU CAN DO IT!

7. Stick with your plan - It takes time to develop healthy behaviors. After about a month of eating better consistently, you will have developed a habit. You will find that everything you initially may have had a hard time doing becomes more effortless and be a normal part of your day to day life.

8. Have fun - Eating right takes dedication, commitment and sacrifice. Don’t stress yourself out over small bumps in the road. You have the power to change any negative into a positive, and you have the choice to have a positive outlook regarding any situation you find yourself in. Find fun ways to keep yourself motivated. Get friends and family involved. Set challenges at home, with friends, or at work to start eating healthier. Take the time to cook and try new and interesting recipes. You are making change for the better, so why not make it enjoyable.

9. Give yourself praise - You are not a animal so don’t reward yourself with treats. Understand and accept that a lifestyle change like you are making is a tough task for anyone. By rewarding yourself with food, you are sending yourself the wrong message. Think how long you have had your current bad habits and know that changing those habits will not happen overnight, but with time. Congratulate yourself on any healthy changes you make, you deserve the praise. Praise builds confidence and makes you feel good about the healthy choices you are making, and in turn help keep you on your path to betterment. If you want a treat, by a smaller pair of pants or shirt! 

10. Focus on the journey and not the destination - To live a healthy lifestyle is never easy. In order to enjoy this lifestyle with all the ups and downs, we must enjoy the process and the journey. If you only focus on the destination, you will miss all the amazing achievements you have made along the way.

Now go out and make a difference in your life today!!  Measure your success and set some new goals! Making successful changes means measuring your progress towards your goals and recognizing your accomplishments. As you meet your goals, continue to plan the next steps with more confidence. 

I hope you enjoyed this, and I hope you take something away from it. Would you like to receive more support from me on a daily basis?! Ask me about my next challenge group! Together we can create meal plans, goals - and move forward!