Sticking to Your New Health Kick 2014

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With the comfort food still laden in our homes from the festive period, many of us have found it hard to stick to our ‘sensible’ healthy eating plan. I know I’ve still got boxes of chocolate which stare at me, despite being in to February now, and having of course had one or two every evening since Christmas!

To set yourself up for success, think about planning a healthy diet as a number of small, manageable steps rather than one big drastic change. If you approach the changes gradually and with commitment, you will have a healthy diet sooner than you think.
Sticking to Your New Health Kick 2014
Image Credit: Ronmerk

Start slow
If you are finding counting calories or measuring portion sizes hard then why don’t you think of your diet in terms of colour, variety, and freshness – you need to be eating at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day – focus on finding foods you love and easy recipes that incorporate fresh ingredients, try to cut out fatty food, such as chocolate and sweets, and try and opt for sweetener in your tea rather than sugar – these small healthy changes will have a huge impact on your life.

Trying to make your diet healthy overnight isn’t realistic or smart. Changing everything at once usually leads to cheating or giving up on your new eating plan. Make small steps, why not switch from butter to olive oil when cooking. As your small changes become habit, you can continue to add more healthy choices to your diet. You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to completely eliminate foods you enjoy to have a healthy diet. The long term goal is to feel good, have more energy, and reduce the risk of illness.

SEE ALSO: 5 Healthiest Foods for Your Baby During Pregnancy

Try not to think of certain foods as being ‘off-limits’ as we can often find ourselves craving them even more - When you ban certain foods, it is natural to want those foods more! If you are drawn towards sweet, salty, or unhealthy foods, start by reducing portion sizes and not eating them as often. Later you may find yourself craving them less or thinking of them as only infrequent indulgences – you don’t have to do it all in one go!

Think smaller
Serving sizes have ballooned recently, particularly after Christmas! When dining out, choose two out of three courses – you don’t need to have all three! When you are eating at home, use smaller plates, think about serving sizes in realistic terms, otherwise you’ll only become hungry and want to snack. If you don't feel satisfied at the end of a meal, try adding more salad, vegetables or even having a fresh fruit pudding that will curb your sweet tooth. Visual cues can help with portion sizes–you’re serving of meat, fish, or chicken should be the size of a deck of cards, approx. a half a cup of mashed potato, rice, or pasta is enough per person, per meal – we tend to add extra for ‘luck’, you don’t need any more luck!

Exercise
When maintaining your health and fitness plan becomes difficult and you’re losing enthusiasm fast – you need to find a way to regain your get-up-and-go! 

Start at a level that is comfortable to you and do not exercise at a level that is too much for you as you will finish hurting, aching and frankly discouraged from carrying on.  Your health and fitness plan should start with a workout of about 20 minutes to an hour at most with a mixed bag of exercises to keep it interesting – no one wants to run every day for 40 minutes. Remember…don’t forget to stretch/warm up before exercising. Now make sure your goals are realistic, you need to be able to meet and achieve them or you will be doomed before you have even started, regular small goals make you feel good about yourself and will push you to continue with weight loss.
Exercise in Gym

Have you ever considered working with a Personal Trainer at your gym? They start by developing your health and fitness routine that is personal to you! They will monitor, support and encourage you to make sure you are staying on the right track. With our lives getting busier by the month, we all now it’s hard to find to time to catch up with our latest soap, let alone do an hour of exercise! If you miss your workout, find a way to get yourself back into the groove as soon as possible, you don’t need to panic its normal for you to miss workout sessions.

If you haven’t already, then try committing to an exercise routine for the next thirty days even if you only exercise for 20 minutes, it will solidify your routine and make exercise become a force of habit, you never know you may even start to enjoy it! When are exercising, make it fun – because if you don’t enjoy your exercise/gym sessions then trust me, it is going to be hard to keep it a habit. There are thousands of ways you can move your body and exercise, so don’t give up if you’ve decided lifting weights or doing crunches isn’t for you. Many gyms offer weight loss case studies that will motivate you to become one of those success stories, they offer a personal range of programs that can suit your needs and body type, so if you are struggling to know what to do, go to the experts – check out the Doublevision Conditioning Centres testimonials page for success stories and inspiration.

SEE ALSO: Four Tips For Staying Safe And Healthy Despite Extreme Summer Temperatures

Finally you need to be exercising/going to the gym for yourself! Not to impress anyone else - going to the gym with the only goal of looking great is like starting up a company with the only goal being to make money. Go to the gym to push yourself, gain energy and have most importantly, a good time, then you can keep going even when results are slow and hard (which they will be).

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Karen
About the Author:

As the owner of two businesses, with children and grandchildren, Karen understands the different pressures we all face.  She loves nothing more than spending time with her grandchildren and taking her dogs for a run, even at 6am! Like many of us, she is tempted by the occasional treat, but knows the value of resisting temptation to achieve long term results.

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