Losing weight and getting fit are two things we can do to get healthier and enjoy life more.
Everybody knows this, but how do we make those healthy lifestyle changes?
The problem with changing our lifestyle is that our habits are extremely difficult to change. And our lifestyles are made up of many habits that have become ingrained over the years. Changing a habit can become a very difficult self improvement project that demands a lot of motivation and commitment.
Many people try to make a lot of changes all at once in an attempt to get immediate results. This is extremely difficult to accomplish and as a result, they often give up their attempts to create healthy habits and resort to the usual negative health habits they had before they made the attempt.
Lifestyle changes are hard. That’s why it is better to change one health habits at a time so that you don’t avoid becoming overwhelmed and stop trying to be healthy altogether. Sometimes it just takes a few days or a few weeks of trying to live healthy before a healthy lifestyle becomes a habit we can live with.
The trick to creating healthy living habits is to begin gradually. If you expect immediate changes from a fad or trendy diet and fitness program, you are more likely to be disappointed and quit before you see any lasting results. If you make gradual changes to the what you eat and how you exercise, it becomes easier and you are less likely to become discouraged and quit.
Start with just these 4 small and gradual lifestyle changes:
1. Eat one healthy meal a day.
If you try to eat just one healthy meal each day, you will feed your body with enough good nutrition and healthy proteins. Try getting in one healthy meal of fruits, vegetables and lean meats (for protein) every day.
If the food is healthy for you, it usually won’t contain a lot of empty calories and cause the weight gain that you can see when you eat junk food or highly processed foods. Eating a lot becomes a habit, so you should try to watch your portion sizes. The key is to eat until you’re satisfied, not until you’re full.
2. Drink a glass of water before each meal.
Water is perhaps the best liquid you can drink. Almost everything else contains sugar or other empty calories. When you drink water before a meal, (8-ounces is enough), you’ll feel fuller before eating and this might help you eat less at the meal.
3. Snack on a meal replacement bar.
I like to keep a stash of granola bars in my desk at work so I can grab one whenever I feel hungry or need an energy kick. Meal replacement bars will keep you from going hitting the vending machines and eating poor food choices. Try getting a meal replacement bar high in fiber and with at least 10 to 15 grams of protein per bar.
4. Exercise regularly.
If you have a gym membership, try using it at least 3-4 times per week. If you don’t, choose an activity you enjoy and make the most of it three or four times a week. Try for at least a half hour per session. Remember that old commercial, thirty minutes a day, three days a week. It really works. Exercise will help increase yours energy, increase build muscle mass, and will help you lose or maintain weight by burning off excess calories.