Does this sound familiar to you? You start an exercise and diet program motivated and determined to lose that unwanted weight you’ve been carrying around only to lose that excitement a month or so later. Whether your goal is to lose weight, gain muscle or decrease disease risk, quick-fix plans won’t work in the long-term. Rather, establishing a healthy lifestyle with proper nutrition and a consistent exercise routine will keep you healthy and happier for life. Remember these three tips as you try to establish healthy habits you’ll maintain for the rest of your life.
Instead of worrying about the last 5 pounds, be proud of yourself for losing 10 or 20 before that.
Adopt a positive focus to shun negativity and lack of belief in yourself. A positive focus means that you look at the bigger picture of the health spectrum: there will always be good days and bad days on the road to good health, but focusing on the positive times, results and benefits will keep you on track versus getting derailed. Instead of worrying about the last 5 pounds, be proud of yourself for losing 10 or 20 before that. Remind yourself of the progress you’ve made in lowering your blood pressure or cholesterol level. Celebrate how good you feel when you’re able to climb a flight of stairs without breathing hard. Maintain gratitude lists by writing down three things you are grateful for every night to reinforce your positivity and commitment to taking care of yourself.
Set appointment dates in your calendar to hit the gym for a workout or go for a run outdoors. Spend a Sunday afternoon prepping food meals for the week by roasting a chicken and vegetables and portioning out into individual containers for dinner meals. Cut up carrots and celery for quick snacks with a yogurt or hummus dip. Remember: if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Follow the 80/20 rule to establish a healthy lifestyle for the long run. This rule refers to following healthy habits 80 percent of the time and 20 percent of the time allowing yourself a treat, a day off from exercise or whatever you fancy. Life is too short to deny yourself simple pleasures 100 percent of the time. Who doesn’t enjoy a few bites of chocolate or a glass of wine with dinner every now and then? Above all, be kind to yourself and don’t be the food or exercise police with yourself. If you do find you overindulge at one meal or take too many days off from the gym, just get right back on course by enjoying a hearty salad for your next meal or working out.
What habits keep you healthy for the long-term? Share your tips in Comments so we can all learn from each other.