Workouts of the day. Programs of the month. The fitness industry is filled with ways to lose weight. So why is America one of the fattest countries in the world? Good question. And the answer isn’t at the gym . . .
It’s in the kitchen. As the saying goes, you are what you eat. The greatest exercise program can’t overcome bad eating habits. Two out of three adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese, a statistic that keeps creeping up. Our kids are out of shape, too. Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. So what’s a person to do? How do you change years of unhealthy eating? Unlock the door to lasting weight loss? You plan!
Planning isn’t just for developing your career or fixing up your house. It’s an essential step toward anything in your life that you want to change. It allows you to take the guesswork out of your behavior, change habits, and be successful. People who plan are 80% more likely to achieve their goals.
The same is true for lifestyle changes. Improving your health doesn’t mean going on a strict diet. The difference between a diet and healthy eating is more mental than physical. The word diet sounds negative, as though you have done something wrong and deserve punishment. You haven’t. You’ve just made the wrong eating decisions.
The amazing thing about the human body is that it can reverse itself. You can eat poorly for years, but your body has the ability to repair damage done from high cholesterol and high blood pressure when you adopt healthier eating habits. Incredible.
As you plan a healthier lifestyle, remember these 5 tips for success:
- Dedicate 1 day each week for food prep and cooking. I usually choose Sunday because it starts off the week right.
- Write down your goals. Post them where you can see them and repeat them every day.
- Allow yourself to have a mistake or two. No one is perfect! But don’t let those slips become habit forming.
- Don’t count calories. It’s stressful and will make your lifestyle change harder to maintain.
- Make the experience fun. Team up with a friend or family member to adopt the healthy lifestyle together. And remind yourself that you’re not on a diet. You’re changing your life.
These tips will help you start your transformation into your new lifestyle. Goal setting is huge, and allowing yourself to see your goals is even bigger. Anytime we make a change, there are some obstacles, nerves and uncertainties. While you go through the ups and downs, stick to your goals and look at the light at the end of the tunnel. Have fun with the new lifestyle, and take it not as a challenge–but as a path to a new you.
Food for Thought: What’s your biggest obstacle to eating a healthier diet, and how can you overcome it?