When talking to people about making healthy life changes, one of the main reasons I hear for quitting is the feeling of overwhelm. We all seem to know what we need to eat right and move more but getting there is often a challenge. Rather than tackling everything at once, I suggest facing one thing at a time and then take on another. Over time, you’ll see that you’ve made lots of healthy changes! So pick one of these and make it a regular part of your life! Then pick another one and keep going!
1. Make a plan. Having an intentional plan for meals helps eliminates impulse purchases which often means a drive thru meal loaded with fat and calories and missing vitamins and nutrients. Even if it seems like too much to plans meals and snacks for an entire week, plan for one day at a time. I like to snack on boiled eggs or bananas and almonds during the day. Boiling a dozen eggs during the weekend, gives you snacks for every day and will take no additional time to prepare. Fruit and nuts are great grab and go snacks that will keep you away from the vending machine. When cooking dinner, simply make an extra serving and take it for lunch the next day. A little planning ahead of time can save you time, money, and calories.
2. Eliminate soda. Most people groan when they hear this and argue that they drink diet soda so it doesn’t add any calories. The truth is that soda is loaded with all kinds of chemicals and additives that provide no benefit to your body and can even harm it. To learn more about what is in soda, read this and this. I was shocked when I learned the truth and haven’t had a soda since then! Substitute water instead. If you find it challenging to drink enough water, try some of these suggestions.
3. Eat at home. Have you seen the portion sizes that restaurants offer these days? They are HUGE! While these establishments call them a serving, they are, in fact, way too large. That, and the fact that you have no idea how your food is prepared, can lead to the consumption of way too many calories without even realizing. By eating meals at home (or meals that were prepared at home), you will have complete control over portion size and the way your food is prepared. You’ll be healthier and save a ton of money too! If you do go out, ask that the basket of bread or chips be removed from the table so you don’t mindlessly eat. When the meal comes, go ahead and box up half of it to take home so you aren’t tempted to eat all of it.
4. Get moving. Activity burns calories – it’s as simple as that! The more you move, the more you burn. It may take a while to find an activity you love, but keep looking! Make it a point to move for 30 minutes a day, even if it’s a brisk walk, and you’ll see the benefits from it! Finding a buddy to move with helps with accountability and makes it more fun too. Or look at your local gym or recreation center and see what types of classes are available. Classes like Zumba make exercise fun and torches lots of calories. Just get moving!
Don’t worry about tackling all of these at once – just pick one and get started. Little changes really add up and can make a big difference over time!
Which change will you get (or have you) started with? If you would like more personalized coaching, feel free to contact me and I’d be happy to get you headed in the right direction!