In my previous post I looked at the current obesity and chronic disease epidemic we are currently facing, and why it’s so important we find ways to focus on our health.
So if you haven’t already, then check it out here, as this post is a continuation for the points discussed within it.
I think it’s fair to say that we all struggle to find balance in one way or another, often prioritising or opting for in the moment decisions over what we actually want or need, or putting it off for a later date to justify carrying on with our usual behaviours now.
After all, how many times have we said that from Monday we will start eating healthier or going to the gym? Only for Monday to arrive along with another reason or excuse to not go through with it.
Then even at the times that we do find the motivation it’s often short lived at best, as the approaches we take tend to be extreme, based all around restriction and drastically overhauling our entire lives, meaning at the first sign of inconvenience we abandon these measures, as they aren’t even remotely maintainable long term.
Then we sink back into our old ways, momentarily just accepting the way things are, until the next rinse and repeat cycle of trying another drastic and quick fix approach, praying that this time we will somehow get a different result.
I mean it when I say that to achieve your weight goals there’s absolutely no need to completely change who you are, spend every day in the gym or give up your favourite foods. At the end of the day it’s all about balance, as there truly is room for everything in both a balanced diet and lifestyle.
So with that being said it’s time to ditch the diets and fad workout routines, and make changes you can actually stick to instead.
So what should you start with?
Improving your health is all about progress and consistency, not perfection. That’s why if you want to make lasting changes, then you need to shift your mindset in a way that alleviates the unnecessary pressure that comes along with losing weight.
You need to stop fixating on the end result, because at the end of the day if it takes 3 months or a year to reach your goal then who cares? As long as you manage to stay there then that’s all that matters, and the time it takes as a minor trade off from the years spent bouncing from one fad diet to another.
By focusing on improving your overall wellbeing you will find that you enjoy the journey far more, and weight loss will become easy and effortless, along with being a by-product of the changes you are making.
It’s all about making slow gradual changes, as you start developing healthier habits and building on them at your own pace.
As a starting point, there are 3 small actions we could all benefit from acting upon more of each day, so I highly advise that this is where you begin:
Adding a portion of vegetables to every meal:
This will go a long way in helping you avoid or fix any nutrient deficiencies you may be facing. This is essential, as these deficiencies can impact everything from your mood to your energy, sleep, focus and even your body’s ability to fight off or prevent disease. Not only that, but vegetables are also highly satiating, making you less likely to snack, and helping cut excess calories that lead to weight gain.
You can find out more about nutrient deficiencies here
Drinking more water:
This is going to kick start your metabolism, helping you lose weight, increasing your energy and how your body functions. You should aim to drink at least 2 litres a day, with the easiest way of tracking it being to fill a bottle of water in the morning and ensuring you finish it by the end of the day. You could also start the day by drinking one to two glasses, or have a glass 15 minutes before every meal. This is because we often confuse hunger with dehydration, and this can go a long way to help prevent overeating.
You can find out more about the importance of drinking more water here
The health benefits of walking are often overlooked, when in fact this ‘simple’ action has the ability to aid in everything from reducing your risk of disease to improving cardiovascular endurance. Initially aim to find ways to walk at least 30 minutes a day. I know that sounds like a lot, but it doesn’t have to be done continuously and you could break it up into 10 or even 5 minute segments throughout the day.
Find out more about why you should be aiming to walk more here
On their own these changes don’t sound like much, but that’s the entire point.
They aren’t daunting, overwhelming, or even remotely scary, meaning you can add them into your daily routine regardless of how busy you are and when added together they will have a resounding impact on how you look and feel.
Recently I ran a 7-day challenge, getting people to focus on these exact changes and within the week there was an average weight loss of 2-6 pounds, with participants noting more energy, focus, improved mood, clearer skin, better sleep and a more positive mindset.
Best of all, it also showed them that change is possible, giving them the motivation, confidence and self-belief to keep going.
These new habits are something you should be aiming to practice each and every day, as they will build a solid foundation that you can build on going forward.
Not only that, but they will also give you the confidence to see that change is possible and get you started on your journey.
What do you think?
Post your thoughts and questions in the comments below about these ‘small’ changes to getting started on improving your health