Ok, now that everyone has taken on a positive attitude towards being a healthy, mindful eater, it’s time to start thinking about the small food or fitness changes you could start implementing into your daily life. If you have an “all or nothing” mentality, it’s time to get rid of it, starting….now.
Want to hop off the yo-yo diet and weight loss bandwagon? Read on!
So think about it: What easy changes can you start making? Does your coffee order need a makeover? Are you skipping breakfast? Are you eating something sweet after every lunch and dinner? Are you drinking too much soda and sugary drinks? Not moving your body enough? Write them down and then keep these three things in mind:
Make a plan. This will not be the last time I tell you to do this. So, once you’ve decided which lifestyle habits need tweaking, make a plan for how you will start tackling them. Start small. For instance, when I decided I wanted to give up my nightly post-dinner bowl of ice cream, I chose one day that week that I would not allow myself to have it. One day. That day came and it was business as usual, and then the evening rolled around I started to have a mini panic attack about not having my favorite treat. I was agitated, pissed off and anxious. Should I just have it? Will one day really make a difference? I thought. And after about 10 minutes of sitting with these uncomfortable emotions, I was able to get passed them. I didn’t give in and it made me realize that, albeit hard, this habit was one I could break!
Crowd-it-out. Stop focusing on the foods you shouldn’t be eating because that’s just a downright bummer. But do start thinking how you can add healthier foods to your meals. Not ready to give up your bagel and cream cheese in the morning, or your Friday night pizza ritual? Fine. No biggie. You don’t have to. But add a side salad to that pepperoni pie, or snack on carrots and hummus before you grab a slice, and see what happens. I bet you will eat less pizza, even if it’s just a a few bites. (That’s a start!) And well, the next time the Lemon Pound Cake starts calling your name in the Starbucks queue, you know what to do—grab a banana! Adding more nutritious foods into your diet will help crowd out the bad ones, and before you know it, you’ll be eating a lot less junk and empty calories!
The Domino Effect. I’m a pretty fit gal. I can do 15 perfect nose-to-the-ground military style pushups; I recently ran a half marathon and I actually enjoy doing squat jumps. But you know what, I make it a point to take the stairs instead of the escalator in my office building every single day, and it makes me feel proud each time I do. Working on these little things and allowing yourself to feel happy about your efforts creates domino effect, which will help you make the next healthy choice.
Believing that every little thing you do makes a difference will do just that…make a difference! A big one. I used to think that this theory was completely ridiculous until I started seeing the amazing benefits for myself. Try it!
I’m curious: What little lifestyle habits can you start changing? How will you do it? Tell me in the comments!
Ellen Collis is a published magazine writer and Health Coach in NYC, who is currently enrolled at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free health consultation to discuss how she can assist you with your nutrition and lifestyle goals. She would love nothing more than to help you have more energy, feel fabulous in your own skin and live a healthy life that doesn’t require giving up your favorite foods.