Making the decision to ‘get healthy’ can be a daunting one. Trying lots of new different foods, starting up new activities, with new people, can all be very scary things to do. There is so much conflicting advice in the media, it’s hard to know where to start! The good news is that just making that conscious decision to make some changes is the first major step of the process. So you’re one step closer to your goal already!
Here’s our top tips on how getting healthy can be a painless and enjoyable experience:
It’s important to have people to support you in your challenge. It can be a very enjoyable journey but like anything there may be ups and downs along the way and it is so good to have someone to chat to about what you are doing and any hurdles you come up against. Whether you are joined a gym or a group, have friends taking on the challenge with you, or just have someone giving you emotional support, it’s important to have someone there for you. And it’s also good to remember to surround yourself with people who want you to succeed in your goal, not people who are going to be tempting you back into your old ways!
Your physiological approach to your challenge can make such a difference to your experience. It can be an exciting one full of opportunities to eat new foods and try new things or it can be a torturous time of denying yourself and hard work, which ever way you want to think about it! Concentrate on the positives, focus on all the foods you CAN eat rather than all the foods you can’t, how great you feel after the workout rather than the pain you feel while you are going through it!
Start nice and gradually, with a simple goal for your first week. Maybe pick 2 things to add in, say more water and more veg, rather than cutting things out right away. Then add things in week by week & start cutting out the baddies slowly, as time goes on. Take it in baby steps, conquering one step at a time, giving yourself a big pat on the back for each step in the right direction.
Stick With It
So often we have a few good weeks then fall off the wagon and we get defeated and throw in the towel completely and we are back to square one. This is so important to acknowledge that we are only human, and have to allow ourselves a little room for manoeuvre. So if there is a little blip or bad day, don’t dwell on it, just start over the very next morning and plough on. You won’t have done too much damage in one day! Maybe even add in a little extra activity the next day to offset the damage if you feel like it.
A food diary is a great exercise to do when you are trying to clean up your diet. Be as honest as you can, add in every morsel you put into your mouth. This can be really eye opening and makes you stop and think before you eat. It can make you aware if you are doing some unconscious eating and can make you more mindful of what you are eating. You can even add in any symptoms you may be experiencing after eating, this is a great way to become more aware of your body and your digestion, what foods agree with both you and those that don’t.
Slowing down your eating is a great tip for getting healthy. Eating too quickly and not chewing enough plays havoc with your stomach acid and enzymes and in turn your gut health. Sitting down, even taking a few deep breaths before you start eating and chewing every bite at least 20 times will ensure that your digestion is working properly, allow you to absorb more nutrients and keep everything working as it should.
Focus on Health rather than weight
So many people are focused solely on losing weight, denying themselves, spending days hungry & miserable, trying to eat less calories to lose weight, when in fact quite often this is encouraging their body to hold on to fat. It’s a much better idea to focus on health rather than weight, and in the end one follows the other. In order to be healthy, it’s important to be eating enough of the right foods, especially when you are physically active. A varied wholefoods diet with a good mix of protein, good carbs and good fats is going to keep you satisfied all day long, keeping blood sugar balanced and in the long run keeping you healthy. Don’t focus on the number on the scales, more on the benefits you are feeling!
Being organised and prepared is the key to success in anything and it’s no different with getting healthy. Setting out meal plans for the week is a great idea, getting organised on the weekend or at the beginning of the week will keep you on the right track all week. Having meals prepared in the fridge ready to pull out is a great way to stop you snacking on things you shouldn’t at those times when you are under time pressure or really hungry. Having the cupboards stocked with the foods you need and free of all the baddies is going to make your challenge a lot easier.
Our top 10 places to start to get healthier:
2.More veg & fruit
3.More good fats
4.Add protein to every meal/ snack
5.Eat more fish
6.More vegetarian meals
7.Cut down on sugar & processed foods
8. Slow down & chew more
10. More relaxation