The road to a healthier YOU

Every year, like millions of people, you decide to eat healthier, get in shape and take better care of yourself. With all your will power, you dig up the most interesting and quickly benefiting diet plans, look at your gym memberships and start creating all thee rules for yourself so that you take better care of yourself.

Within a month your will power starts diminishing an you see yourself doing it forcefully. Before you know it, your resolution to take care of yourself has disappeared.

Most people associate a healthier lifestyle with dieting; however, your mind associates “Dieting” with “Deprivation”. A healthier lifestyle is about subtle changes, resulting in a better lifestyle.

Do not make resolutions or rules this year, focus on enhancing your lifestyle for a better living.

Highlight the positives: You have a combination of habits- some healthy, some bad for you. Make a note of all your lifestyle habits and mark the ones you want to change in RED and the ones you are happy about in BLUE. You tend to focus on what is not working for you; instead, how about focusing on positive habits for a change? Pat yourself on the back for all the positive habits you do follow in your life.

Any lifestyle habit you choose, always make sure that you appreciate yourself for the progress you have made. Suppose you are on a “diet”, and in 1 meal you over-eat, you automatically start feeling guilty and feel a sense of failure. Do not put yourself down. In a day, you have 3 meals, which is 21 meals a week; out of 21 meals, even if you do over-eat 2-3 meals, congratulate yourself on the 18-19 meals you got right! Highlight the effort and progress you have made.

Pleasure in the moment: When you think about getting in shape, you picture yourself going to the gym and exercising with a lot of pain and struggle. Why do you need to make your body go through pain to get into shape?

Find something that makes you feel good. If swimming in cool waters is something you look forward to, take that up. If you love to dance, spend an hour dancing and learn a new dance form. If spending time with nature appeals to you, go strengthen your muscles by doing some gardening.

Love what you eat, eat what you love: Its a misconception that you can lose weight only by cutting down on eating all the things that you love. The trick to losing weight is eating smaller portions and enjoying what you eat. Your body requires a balance of protein, vitamins, fibre, and carbohydrate….YES…carbohydrates. When you cut off even a single one of these, your body automatically weakens. Eat everything, enjoy it…but in small quantities.

If you find yourself having the the tendency to eat large portions of things that you love, change the size of your plate. Eating in a plate that is a size smaller makes the plate look fuller and the brain is mentally tricked. Avoid taking second helpings. You will see a drastic change just by doing this.

High expectations: Do not set yourself up for failure by setting large targets that loom over your head all times. Take baby steps by setting small, achievable goals for yourself. Let the healthy habit change be gradual.

If you have not gone jogging in months, initially do not decide you will do it for an hour (or any unrealistic time frame) every day. Start off by doing it for 10-15 minutes and slowly increase the time as you see yourself enjoying it and doing it consistently.

Research shows that a 10 minute exercise routine thrice a day is more effective than one 30 minute exercise routine.So, after a meal, a 10 minute brisk walk is going to kick up your digestive system into fast gear and you will see your stamina increase steadily. With time you can increase your time frame as well.

Motivation: 

Find your own personal motivation.The motivation can be the kind of lifestyle habits you wish to create. Inspire yourself to adopt the lifestyle that is going to make you feel healthier for a longer period of time. Once you find a reasonable and personal one for yourself, you are bound to stick to it.

Remember that feeling healthy and taking up the lifestyle of your choice is all about loving yourself. When you start loving yourself, you will realize that taking good care of yourself is a luxury you deserve.