Ask anyone if they could be doing more for their health and you'd be hard pressed to find a person who won't say, "Of course I could."
This begs the obvious question, "Then why don't we?"
Even though I've already made a lot of changes, I still struggle with this issue because this issue is a struggle. Dietary and health changes are easy enough to think about, talk about, envision, But when it comes to implementation? Things aren't so easy.
Here are eight strategies I use to help with dietary changes:
1. Start small.
No matter where you are on the path to getting healthier, when it comes to change, start small. Pick one or two things to do, such as drink lemon water each morning and take a high quality multivitamin daily. Further down the line, you can add more changes into your routine, but do just one or two at a time. Let a little thing become habit and you won't have to think about them.
2. Add in to crowd out.
It's easy to slip into a deprivation mindset when we make dietary health changes. Instead of taking away, consider adding in. Filling up on nutrient-dense food will not only help you on your path to wellness, it'll keep you satisfied and reduce your desire to fill up on highly processed foods.
3. Drink more water.
Most of us aren't well hydrated. In fact, hunger pains are often your body telling you it needs water. As you add water to your diet, you're less apt to reach for soda or other unhealthy beverages. Trust me, your taste buds will come to love water again if you keep up with this practice!
4. Talk to yourself.
It's important to have a conversation with yourself about why you're doing what you're doing, and to explain and understand that it won't necessarily be easy. If you truly let yourself in on your plan and what its benefits are, you're more likely to experience total mind-body connection and cooperation.
5. Shop the perimeter.
When you grocery shopping, stick to the perimeter of the store — it's where you find the healthiest foods. The inner aisles are packed with highly processed, sugary items. Skip them and get to the produce section. If you eat meat, buy the highest quality you can afford, likewise for dairy.
6. Make delicious food.
Food prepared with love has a different energy than anything you can get at the drive-through. You can also control exactly what you put into your body when you can also control exactly what you put into the food. Get excited about trying new, healthy recipes and cooking won't seem like chore.
7. Be aware of your mind chatter.
When I stopped and paid attention to the amount of negativity floating around my head, I was shocked. Developing a healthy, loving, supportive response to the chatter will ease tension as you make changes. Some people even learn to just notice the chatter and let it float on by.
8. Be patient.
Real change takes time. Allow your body time to catch up with the changes. As you make healthy changes, you'll notice shifts. They might be subtle at first but they will come.
The feelings around implementing change are typically "overwhelming." But try these eight steps and you'll soon find these changes are "approachable," and finally "accomplished."
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