One thing we consistently find is that the very idea of a weight loss plan brings up a whole host of negative feelings in many people. You might hear words like “weight loss diet” or “exercise routine”, or even just “healthy lifestyle”, and immediately confront feelings of guilt, shame, or failure. Most of us have developed these reactions because past efforts at eating plans or workout regimens felt like blame and punishments. It’s no wonder we often don’t stick with these plans for very long!
Keeping that in mind, the first step to a healthier body is to first change your feelings regarding these topics. Here are some ways to “hack” your mentality, and approach food and exercise from a healthier frame of mind.
Define your “why”. It’s difficult to stick to a goal when you don’t have a compelling reason for doing so. Make a list of your motivations; maybe you want to set a healthier example for your children, or you want to feel more confident, or you feel a healthier lifestyle would benefit your marriage. Whatever the reasons, they should be compelling to you personally. Be specific, and commit to these ideas mentally by writing them down on paper.
Set specific goals. We are more likely to reach goals when we define them in specific terms. “Eat more vegetables” is vague, and leaves a lot of wiggle room for memory lapses or cheating. “Eat five vegetables per day” is specific, and it’s hard to avoid reaching that goal.
Boost your NEAT. NEAT stands for non-exercise activity thermogenesis, and it basically encompasses everything you do outside of eating, sleeping, and intentionally working out. These daily activities help to set the stage for your metabolism (the calories you burn each day just to complete regular activities). Consider your regular routine from a different mindset: How can you make it more active, by making small, subtle changes? You could walk to the mailbox instead of driving, walk a few laps during your kids’ soccer practice, throw a frisbee instead of watching the kids play, or ride your bike instead of driving to conduct errands.
View sleep as part of a healthy routine. Sleep isn’t just something you do because you’re exhausted. It’s part of a healthy lifestyle, too, because your body repairs itself and regulates hormones during sleep. Develop a routine and address any difficulties to support your overall health goals.
Make oral health a priority. Brush and floss your teeth after meals, and your dentist will give you a rave review at your next appointment. But this little trick will also help to stave off the temptation to snack late at night. If you’re following a weight loss diet, this one simple trick can solve one of the most common problems.
Speaking of that weight loss diet, give us a call if you’re experiencing frustration or difficulty. We can answer your questions regarding nutrition, and help you develop a plan for long-term success.