It never fails. We pick up a magazine because one of the headlines reads something like this: "The Easy Way to Get in Shape Now – We'll Show You How"
But then we get overwhelmed with all the information, and what happens? Usually? Not too much. Don't feel bad - you're not alone.
I can't begin to tell you how many times someone will say "I've read the books, I know what I'm supposed to do, but it's just not working for me."
Oftentimes they say "I just can't stick to this new diet and exercise plan. What else can I try?”
Often, the problem is that the changes they are trying to make are too drastic. Anything too drastic will most likely be too difficult to stick with. They are convinced that they must suffer and deprive themselves in order to be successful.
“Monday morning I start my new diet – no sweets, no junk food, no snacks...” By lunchtime on Monday, they are willing to fight for a candy bar. Forget about those exercise plans – they barely have enough energy to make it through the day.
There has to be a better way.
People, in general, do not like change. We fear change because we have been taught that change is too difficult. But change can be good for us. Try thinking of change as cleaning out your closet and donating your old clothes, so that you have room for your new clothes. With that in mind, if we are to be successful, we must make small, manageable changes. Eventually, these small, manageable changes will become a habit to us, a healthy habit. And we all know how hard it is to break a habit.
Below is a list of several small, manageable changes to help you get started on your journey back to health.
Start and end your days with a brisk 15-20 minute walk. Not only will walking rev up your metabolism and give you more energy for the day, it will also help you to reduce your level of stress hormones – leaving you feeling happier and more relaxed.
Drink more water. No matter how much you think you drink - we can always benefit from more. Water is involved in every bodily process, including digestion and metabolism.
Choose natural foods as snacks for you and the kids. One simple thought to keep in mind - if it grows, eat it. If it comes pre-packaged, try to find an alternative. Fruits and vegetables are great snacks to put in your child’s lunch box – help your children start their nutritional habits with healthy choices.
Improve the quality of the food you eat. You will achieve better results by changing the quality, more so than the quantity, of food you eat. Many chronic dieters actually do not consume enough food - a topic we will cover in an upcoming blog.
Add your own small, manageable changes. Find small ways to alter your daily routine for the better and stick with it. Remember the old saying - slow and steady wins the race.
If you will stick with me and make these changes – you will see some terrific transformations in your life. Good Luck! I know you can do it!