Eat Right, Set Goals: 12 Tips to a Healthier Lifestyle
We sometimes feel a little "blue" following the hype of the holiday season, and the very thought of getting back on track with a healthy eating regimen can seem daunting to say the least.
So, what's the secret to getting back to a healthier lifestyle? Simply put: don't delay! Get back to eating healthy foods, controlling your food portions, and exercising regularly as soon as you possibly can.
Here are twelve tips to help you on your way:
1) Focus on achieving good health and making beneficial lifestyle changes rather than concentrating on how much weight you've lost/haven't lost - this can become totally demoralizing!
2) Make it your new motto to always think rationally and try not to blow minor weight gain out of proportion.
3) Think positively! Try not to punish yourself for so-called "failures," it's important that you focus on positive, helpful thoughts as much as possible.
4) If you do experience setbacks, view them as opportunities to learn new skills rather than thinking that you've failed. Also, expect to experience some setbacks. This way you'll be better prepared if they do appear.
5) Persist in spite of yourself. Sir Winston Churchill said, "Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never - in nothing great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense." Exceptional advice!
6) Divide and conquer! Do your current goals demand too much? If they do, you need to reassess and divide them into smaller, more manageable goals. Also, make sure that they are representative of your current needs, not someone else's.
7) Create accountability - keeping a diary to track eating habits, emotions, and weight loss is a great way of taking responsibly and creating your own sense of accountability. Some people create a permanent record by taking their own picture each month; this record then serves as a powerful assessment of their progress as each month passes.
8) Remember that quick fix plans, or fad diet don't work! Focus on teaching yourself how to eat well, effective ways to lower your cholesterol, or suitable exercises etc. This will help you to find the path towards maintaining healthy behaviors for the rest of your life.
9) Don't forbid! By not allowing yourself to eat particular foods, or viewing some as "bad," you are reinforcing unhealthy habits. What you should try to do is learn how to control food portions and exercise self-control by having a smaller amount of what you really enjoy.
10) Drink plenty of water throughout the day as this can prevent unnecessary snacking. It is estimated that people who drink plenty of water consume around 200 calories less each day.
11) Sleep well every night. Aim for 7-8 hours each night. This will undoubtedly help you to feel better both physically and emotionally.
12) Enlist the help of others. Make plans with friends to go walking or join an exercise class. Choose people with a positive attitude, as this will be an inspiration to you. If you do feel under pressure, talk to someone about it. As the old saying goes, "A problem shared, is a problem halved," and it is very true!
Melanie Thomassian is a dietician, and author of Dietriffic.com, an online resource for credible dietary advice, exercise tips, and much more!