LOSE WEIGHT and GET HEALTHY one meal at a time

One of the challenges people have when they decide to embark on a healthy lifestyle is the fear of not being able to sustain it. People worry that if they get into a routine of healthy eating they won’t be able to maintain it.

They may have followed certain diets in the past, which understandably they were not able to sustain for long, and past failures lead people to predict future failures.

 

“What if I’m not able to follow this healthy routine in a month’s time?” I get asked.

“Are you a fortune teller?” I ask.

“Hmm no…” they reply.

“Well then, why are you trying to predict the future?”

And if you are going to make a prognostic about your future, why not anticipate that you are going to be able to sustain new healthier habits easily.

The problem is that when I talk to clients about adopting healthier eating habits they still think about it as if it was a diet. They don’t think about it as a lifestyle; something you do for life.

This words seems to scare people too. “For life?” (in a split second, they make a big long movie of their life in their mind, and that overwhelms them). “Does this mean I will never be able to eat cake again?”

No, it doesn’t! This is the difference between a diet and a lifestyle. Diets are based on restriction and deprivation; they don’t promote health and are not sustainable long term.

A healthy lifestyle involves certain behaviours you practice most of the time. Because you practice these most of the time, they become habits; things you do automatically, just like brushing your teeth or taking a shower.

As a result of eating healthily most of the time, you get to look healthy, and feel healthy. This means you get to make healthier decisions around food too. So, if now and again you want to have cake, you’ll more than likely make a decision not based on impulse or desperation, but it will be a decision you’ll feel in control of. One that will allow you to enjoy eating cake fully, without feelings of guilt.

So, what’s a key element that will allow you to build healthier eating habits that’ll last a lifetime?

Take one day at a time

Plan for what you want to happen today: the kind of healthy foods you want to eat today, and the type of exercise you want to do today. You’ll think about tomorrow, tomorrow.

On the other hand, it’s useful to have a slightly longer plan too, such as a weekly food plan for example. Knowing how many meals you’re having, at what times and what they’ll consist of is important, especially at the start of your new lifestyle.

Choose a day of the week when you’ll do a bit of planning and preparation:

  • Do your food shopping for the week. Whenever possible, shop at your local fruit and veg. shop, away from the temptations in big supermarkets.
  • You may want to prepare some meals in advance, such as soups and stews… and devise an eating plan to suit your lifestyle. Take into account your professional, personal and social life, but avoid using these as excuses not to eat healthily and workout. Make it work!
  • If you have a desk job, you may want to keep healthy snacks at your desk, so you don’t succumb to the tea and biscuits in the office. If you travel a lot, always bring healthy snacks in your handbag. Nuts and berries are a great idea!

Just like you plan a holiday, a wedding or buying a new home, when it comes to health, you must plan for it too. This will allow you to feel more in control of things. If you don’t take over your life, life will take over you.

I remember a client who came to me because she wanted to lose weight. She told me she didn’t want to have to stick to a routine, that she liked not to have to think about what foods to have or when to have them. That’s probably the reason she was overweight in the first place: eating foods without thinking about them or the consequences of having them.

Since it seems to take about three weeks or so to build a new habit, you must give yourself a chance, and make sure you do what’s necessary to stay determined, so that you can do what’s necessary to stick to your new healthy routine for that long.

By then, you’ll be able to make healthier choices more effortlessly and naturally.

Until then, it’s one day at a time, one meal at a time.

 

~ You don’t lose weight all at once, you lose weight one meal at a time ~


 

Anna

anna@delite.ie

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