Are you familiar with the oft-quoted phrase, “A rolling stone gathers no moss”? Literary allusions aside, what it means is that nothing you do will matter until you stick to it.
Breaking old habits is not an easy task. It takes utmost strength to make the decision of starting a healthy lifestyle and it takes even more power to actually continue it the second day, week, or month.
If you, like many others, find it challenging to keep your resolution running, we are here to help.
Adopting A Healthy Lifestyle
The first step of beginning a healthy routine is to identify and purge out all that is unhealthy from your life. The change can start with a close look at yourself and your life in a critical, unbiased manner.
Pin down all the unhealthy habits that you may knowingly or unknowingly be following on a daily basis. Then, identify a reason why you should change that particular habit.
You are your own master, and thus there is no one else who can be held responsible for your actions. Be accountable to yourself and follow up on the changes that you decided upon.
Steer Clear of Negative Influences
Often, there are certain influences around us that deter us from making any progress. Thus, it is essential to remove all the negative triggers from your life, be it alcohol, smoking, social media, or even certain people.
Believe in Yourself
This is very important. Half the battle is already won if you begin believing that you can step away from unhealthy habits. Visualize your success and look forward to your aim rather than focusing on things that hold you back.
Patience is key, as no change can happen overnight. Even after making healthy lifestyle changes, don’t back down if you do not see immediate results. Consider it to be a minor setback and march on towards your goal of attaining a happier life.
Fight Through The Pain
One of the major reasons why people give up their fitness journey is because they find it difficult to move forward from the initial setbacks (not minor) of pain after exercise or the hassle of selecting healthy eating habits. We promise that it gets better, and you can (most definitely) find the strength within yourself to keep going.
Setting Goals for A Healthy Lifestyle
When initiating a lifestyle change, begin with baby steps rather than going all in at once. Prepare a plan and decide upon the goal, be it wellness, losing weight, or maintaining a healthy body.
The goal should be achievable and not something outright impossible. Setting smaller goals makes it easier to see something through, as getting positive results always encourages us to strive ahead.
Setting goals gives you something to look forward to and prepare for. It enables achievements that may be small but significant nonetheless. It is also best to focus on one goal at a time to avoid getting overwhelmed and putting too much pressure on yourself.
How to Set Goals
Maintaining a journal with weekly goals is a great way to stick to your healthy choices. You can also use your fitness apps or smart bands to motivate you in this challenging yet fruitful journey.
If you have difficulty zeroing down on your goals, use the SMART formula. The goal should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound.
For example, instead of putting down the goal of eating better, you should write- eat at least one vegetable a day and reduce sweet treats to one per week.
Similarly, replace ‘Drink more water’ with ‘Drink 2 liters of water per day (3 is the goal, but you should start small to help your body cope).
Choose A Healthy Diet
Do not back away when you hear the word diet. It is not something you should be afraid of, as we are not advocating any fad diets. Neither do we recommend starving yourself to achieve ‘so-called’ immediate results.
The best step to take towards a healthy lifestyle is to eat healthily. By this, we mean eating a balanced, nutritious meal that will help you lose weight without depriving your body of essential requirements.
Weight loss is a goal that many wish to attain but often fall prey to misleading information and choose unhealthy ways of losing fat. This (if successful) adversely affects the body in the long run and may even affect the general well-being of the individual.
How to Start Eating Healthy
Healthy living begins when you start removing processed foods from your plate and replacing them with whole foods, fresh fruit, and lots of fiber. It is very important for your physical health that you avoid fast food and sugary drinks.
Choosing healthy options that are minimally processed and ensuring a balanced diet go a long way in adopting a healthy lifestyle. Even if junk food and chocolate cake beckon you, you must stand your ground and not give in to an unhealthy lifestyle.
The best way to start would be gradually replacing your food choices and practicing active portion control. Though it may be difficult at first, cooking your own meals is a great way to stay healthy. Eating nutritious foods and the intake of healthy fats along with items from different food groups is ideal.
Hydration is also as important as clean eating. Ensure that you drink water regularly. Research stipulates drinking half a gallon of water a day, which equals drinking water from an 8-ounce glass eight times.
Creating a nutrient-dense meal plan, eating high protein foods (lean meats), and integrating vegetables, salads, fresh fruits, and nuts into your daily meals ensures that you intake a balanced diet and remain full for a longer period.
The path to a healthier lifestyle is fraught with more obstacles than you’d imagine. One way to combat these is by adopting an exercise regime that suits your needs and goals.
When we say exercise, we mean not just getting a gym membership but even doing small things like being more physically active and maybe even incorporating yoga or basic stretches into your daily routine.
Exercising is a known method of weight loss. It also helps to gain muscle mass and avoid many ailments that come with a sedentary lifestyle. The idea is again, to start slow and gradually adopt practices that make you more physically fit and also aid towards mental health.
How to Stick to A Healthy Lifestyle
Let’s be honest. Adopting and sticking to healthy habits is no cakewalk. We have talked about integrating a healthier diet and setting attainable goals. Now comes the difficult part of actually sticking to the plan.
A healthy habit takes time to stick and it is essential that you allow your mind to reach that point where it can consider new habits as a regular occurrence. For a healthy life, you will need to make some compromises.
- Think of it as change rather than as a punishment.
- Gradual changes and slowly introduced healthy habits are easier to stick to.
- Eat what you like but in moderation. Actively avoid processed foods and sugary treats.
- Eat healthy meals instead of cutting down on all your food intake.
- Weight loss is a gradual process and can be easier if healthy eating is doubled with exercise and avoidance of all bad habits.
- Keep long-term goals in mind (of living a long, fulfilled life) rather than short-term satisfaction (with burger and fries).
Although overall health and mental well-being are the goals, you should not be too hard on yourself. Understanding that you need a lifestyle change has already put you a step ahead, and all you need to do now is to try and not look back.
Speaking to a licensed nutritionist and a fitness coordinator is recommended before making any drastic changes to your routine. However, whatever we have mentioned here is quite harmless if done correctly.
Everything good comes to you in due time, and this is the same with fitness. Starting a healthy lifestyle and sticking to it may seem hard, but it is not entirely impossible either. So take our hand and begin your journey towards a healthier life today.
Bonus! Here are some articles to help you through this challenging process: