Everywhere we look there is a new way to lose weight, get rid of cellulite and all in under 2 minutes a day, or something to that effect!
Some diets promote eating low carbs, gluten-free, low fat, low sugar, low everything until there is basically no food left to enjoy.
Here are a few simple strategies which are overlooked in creating life-long success with your health and fitness goals.
Get Mind-Fit first:
As with any goals, it is important to know what it is that you want to achieve.
Grab a sheet of paper and write out specifically what you want to achieve in the next 3 months (as a starting point).
Be Specific, Measurable, and Set a Time Limit.
A frequently missed component of setting goals is the “WHY”.
You need to know WHY you want to achieve your goal and the “why” needs to motivate you to take action.
We need to feel good about moving towards our goal, so the more positive we feel about the goal, the more likely we are to achieve it.
Often times it takes a serious illness or even stress related problems before we realise that our health is really all we have. Going through a negative experience can be enough to push us towards making health and fitness improvements.
A simple exercise called visualisation can have dramatic effect on your life.
Allocate 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening to focus on your goals.
This can include all goals, including your health, relationships, career and lifestyle.
Picture the clothes you can wear and the way your body will move by being healthier.
This daily exercise will start to influence your day to day activities and your results.
Most people are now realising the power of the mind in relation to all aspects of life.
The fact of the matter is that if you are seeing yourself as an unhealthy person, then you are going to keep attracting experiences to support this belief and continue to be this person.
Start creating the type of person you desire to be and the lifestyle you wish to have in your minds- eye first, and then watch as it starts to happen in your reality!
Always remember to be grateful for the body you have right now and look forward to the new improved you that will begin to form.
Shopping for health:
Have you ever started a “diet” with gusto by emptying your fridge and cupboards of all the “bad” foods and then raiding the supermarket for “diet” foods that end up making you feel hungrier?
The more foods you eliminate in an attempt to eat healthier, the harder it will be for you to stick to the plan long term.
There is a greater chance that you will binge later on these restricted foods if you are left unsatisfied.
Some foods are fine in moderation, and others you should ditch if they make YOU feel like crap. Food is neither good nor bad.
Always judge how you feel after eating certain foods and keep a balance between healthy foods and ‘treats’.
It is best to change your diet gradually and modify the foods you usually eat.
For example, if you always eat Kebabs for lunch from your local Kebab shop, you can start making your own for a cost effective and healthier meal.
Add your own shredded lamb or chicken and stuff pita pockets with salad and a homemade yoghurt dressing. Place inside a grill and toast the outside of the bread. Yum!
It is very important to enjoy what you are eating. If you eat foods that do not satisfy you, then you are more likely to overindulge and quit your new diet plan.
Aim to make everything you eat enjoyable and a true lifestyle change.
Make changes gradually so you do not trigger resentment or cravings for some foods you trashed. Mix up your meals to include foods you have not tried before and experiment with different flavours to see what works best for you.
Use your environment to support your goals:
As important as what you eat is, so is how much you eat.
You can eat healthy foods, yet remain at the same weight if you are consuming too much.
Portion sizes have increased radically over the last decade. Serving sizes on many commercial products have increased, so we consume more on an ongoing basis.
Watch out for small portion sized products where the manufacturer has repackaged their products into bite size or single serving packets.
Psychologically we tend to feel less satisfied after consuming a small portion size, so we are more likely to reach for another helping. In the end, we may consume more than a regular serving size!
On the other extreme, avoid eating big portions of foods. In other words don’t “supersize” your meals.
When eating out in restaurants and fast food places we tend to eat all of what we have ordered. When you can, cook at home. Pack your lunches and snacks to control portion sizes and eliminate unnecessarily eating out.
If you eat as a treat or every time you sit down to watch TV, it is time to eliminate this costly habit.
Do not take bags of food with you to the couch. Measure out a portion into a bowl and pack away the food. Better yet, try to occupy your hands by ‘nursing’ a hot cup of herbal tea or even glass of water until you eliminate this habit.
What you think, how you shop and how your environment is set up are all important on your quest to better health. It is important to exercise and eat healthy for life-long well-being, so use these simple but effective simple strategies to support your goals.