Many people have tried to make healthy changes in their life but found themselves unable to keep it up. Some people don’t even manage to start. Perhaps you’ve tried too and discovered obstacles that made you feel like giving up?
Adopting a healthy lifestyle and wellness habits takes effort. But it’s possible to make it easier on yourself by including a few basic principles.
This is the smart woman’s quick guide to both positive ways towards a healthier lifestyle and what to avoid so you stay the journey and reap the rewards.
Do Adopt These Healthy Ways Towards a Healthy Lifestyle
1. Get adequate rest. In our busy world, we often “push through” even when we’re tired and we don’t make allowances for adequate rest. But even in nature, you can see how this is the natural way of being – we have the winter season when everything slows down, animals hibernate and fields are traditionally left to fallow. In the same way, you can get better results from anything you do if you get enough rest. When you’re well rested, you have more energy, you also feel more confident, and committed. So, take a break and let yourself relax and recharge.
2. Plan your eating for success. What you eat makes a significant difference to your energy levels and also how your body looks. Each mouthful of food is like a messenger, telling your body what to do, and depending on that message, you could end up storing fat or losing energy. So, planing ahead and designing your eating will help you achieve your desired results.
- The types of foods that bring us the most effective results in terms of health and wellness, are real, unprocessed, whole foods that are nutrient-dense. Start by looking at all the things in your food cupboard and your fridge.
- For a list of nutrient-dense foods, take a look at The World’s Healthiest Foods and stock up so you have the right foods to hand. Remember to include some snacks too.
- Start by “crowding out”. This means that instead of trying to throw out all your foods and going cold turkey to trying to eat only nutrient-dense foods, eat more of the nutrient-dense foods first, so you’ll have less room for the other foods that you already know you would be better off letting go.
3. Self-acceptance. When you love yourself for who you are, and you begin to feel beautiful from the inside out, life becomes easier. You’ll naturally start to reach for what fuels you and nourishes you, including the right foods.
- Make a list of all your positive attributes, even if this might feel somewhat difficult, especially the first time. Challenge yourself to find at least 10 things and even better, 20. What attributes do you have that make you feel good about yourself? What have you done in the past that makes you feel most proud? This is not the kind of pride that you might associate with arrogance. Rather, it is a pride that feels you up with a sense of well-being on the inside, such that you cannot help but feel so good that it spills over into every thing you do and every interaction you have with others. You might also surprise yourself and discover many amazing and awesome things to love about you! Embrace them and allow them to sink into every fibre of your being.
Don’t Do These!
1. Crash dieting. This is just bad news all round, unless you want to damage your metabolism and your health to the extent that it becomes harder and harder over time to maintain your weight or worse still, you find yourself in a state of disease. If you’re looking to lose weight, yes, starvation will do it. That’s what crash dieting does for you. But it’s not sustainable. If you’ve done it in the past, only to find that the weight piles back on and then some, then you’ll know that it plain and simply, does not work.
- Crash dieting may give you the result you want – for now – but it is at the cost of your overall health.
- Instead, you need to flip your thinking around and understand that you need first to heal your metabolism and give your body the nourishment it needs. When you do that, your body will reach your optimal weight of its own accord. You’ll find that you won’t need willpower in the same way as crash dieting demands. Good healthy nutrition and healthy movement will mean that you can feel great in your body again and even better, be able to maintain it naturally.
2. Not including regular movement in your schedule. Contrary to conventional belief, working out like crazy isn’t necessarily going to bring you the results you’re looking for. In fact, many people over-workout and then wonder why they are lacking in energy or can’t seem to shift their excess weight. Working out too hard or too much causes physiological stress on your body causing it to hold on to weight, or worse still, put it on, not to mention, the potential for bringing on adrenal fatigue. But regular and moderate movement is key for health and well-being, interspersed with some higher intensity movement. Consistency is important. Set a specific time each day for getting your movement in and then stick to it so that it becomes habit.
- Getting started is often the hardest. Find a time that you are most likely to stick to. Then do it, without question. Once you’ve done it, it’s easier the next time, and the next time, and the next time. I find that scheduling something for everyday and taking one day off during the week is easier than trying to do something every other day, because it’s harder to get into the habit. See what works for you. Make it happen.
- Find different activities you enjoy and have a variety. It might be that you have a combination of yoga, walking, a tabata class, flamenco dancing,..what other ideas do you have? In this way, you can enjoy having a more active lifestyle rather than feeling that workouts are a chore.
- Be present. Enjoy and fully experience your activity and leave everything else behind.
3. Doing it to please others. You can only be truly happy and satisfied if you do things for yourself and because you want to. Trying to live your life according to other people’s expectations is energy draining and stops you from being freely who you truly are. The motivation and inspiration must come from within, in order to be sustainable and fulfilling.
- Where in your life are you living according to other people’s expectations? How do they affect you or those around you?
- First, you must recognize and accept what negative impact that might be on your own life. Perhaps you are secretly resenting it or you long to feel free but instead you feel trapped. Awareness is the first step.
Adopting healthy habits may not be easy, especially in the beginning, but you can do it. This is especially true if you’ve allowed negative habits to take over for a long time. Pace yourself; take your time. Take it one step at a time. That way, you won’t get overwhelmed and throw in the towel. And before you know it, you’ll suddenly realize you have a better quality of life than you ever imagined!