I was never one to stick with a diet and exercise plan for long. I would get frustrated because it was taking too long to get results or I felt deprived or I would have a "cheat day" and fall back into old habits. Sound familiar?
I am excited to offer you my FREE guide to making a long-term healthy lifestyle change!
- Don’t go at it alone. I know it sounds cliche to say this, but accountability really does make a difference in your success, especially while you are cementing your healthy lifestyle into place. Experts say it takes about 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic. During those 66 days, you have to be consistent and make a concerted effort if you really want to make a change. Having someone in your corner cheering you on and encouraging you daily could be the difference between a long-term change and a temporary one.
- Take baby steps and ease your way into your new lifestyle. Studies show that most women give up on a diet after 5 weeks. Depriving yourself of an entire food group and making drastic changes quickly leads to a feeling of deprivation and sets you up for failure. Start slowly and ease your way in to your new lifestyle. A great way to start is to set a realistic goal you can achieve, like limiting yourself to one soda a day for a week or two before cutting them out of your diet. It’s also important to note that you can have the occasional soda without completely wrecking your goals if you plan ahead for it. By taking baby steps, you are working on consistency and making small changes that will have a big impact.
- Do your research and choose a nutrition plan that works for YOU and YOUR lifestyle. If you know that you are the kind of person who can’t commit to meal replacement shakes and supplements, then I don’t recommend choosing a program where those things are necessary to your success. If carbs bring you joy, then cutting them completely out of your diet and expecting to be successful long-term isn’t realistic. Do your research and go with a plan that is a good fit for your needs. And please remember that there is no “quick fix” when it comes to dieting and nutrition. That’s why people who cut carbs end up gaining back the weight they had lost as soon as they reintroduce carbs. Go with a plan you can adhere to for the long haul.
- Set realistic expectations. "Transformation is a process, not an event." -John P. Kotter. When we start eating healthy and exercising we expect to see changes immediately, and when those changes don’t happen right away, we give up. Be patient and be consistent and you WILL see those changes start to happen. My biggest and best piece of advice for you is to stay off the scale. It will lie to you and derail you. Taking measurements and trying on what I call “progress pants” are much better measures of your success. Let me tell you why I feel this way: I have weighed 134 pounds for more than a year now, but I have gone down two pants sizes. If I had relied on the number of the scale to measure my progress, I would have felt defeated and like the work I was doing was all for nothing. By taking measurements and trying on the same pair of pants weekly until they fit, I have been able to accurately measure my progress and remain motivated to continue. This is what I want for you, long-term success fueled by healthy choices and motivation because you’re seeing and feeling positive changes.
- Adopt a healthy mindset. Mindset is everything when it comes to success. If your mind isn’t in it, you won’t be successful. Think about your WHY and find what motivates you. Your why is your reason for wanting to make a change in the first place. Mine is my son. When he was four months old I realized I was tired and out of shape and I wouldn’t be able to keep up with him as he got older if I stayed on the path I was on. So I found a program that worked for my lifestyle and I worked at it daily until it became a habit. I noticed increased energy levels, a change in body composition, and a change in my overall mood. My son is my why, but the positive changes are what motivate me to continue. For the first time in my life, I lead a healthy lifestyle without having to “diet.” It’s all because I have a mindset to stay active and healthy so I can keep up with my little man as he grows and gets busier. Find your why and keep going forward. You deserve to look and feel your best!
If you feel like you need to make a change, start now and start slowly. Find a program that works for you and have someone hold you accountable. Be realistic with your expectations and give yourself some grace. Forming a habit takes time, but consistency, the right mindset, and having someone cheering you on can help you achieve the results you’re looking for long-term.
If you would like to learn more about Mind First Wellness, I would love to chat with you! Send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org