We all know the basics to losing weight — eat less junk, eat more real food, and move your body. So why is it so difficult to stick with healthy habits?
Because sometimes life gets in the way — maybe you get busy and hit up the drive-through, or keep hitting snooze instead of working out. It happens to all of us, but here are a few tips to help you stay focused on your goals every day:
1. Get clear on your why.
Clearly define why you want to become healthier by considering what this would create in your life. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How do you feel about yourself?
- How do you feel about your relationships? Your work?
- How do you feel about the way you show up in your life?
Clearly define why you want to change by writing it down somewhere and thinking about it every morning. When you feel like you’re hitting a road block, or you’ve had a day when you derail temporarily — revisit your why the very next day and get back on track.
2. Eat intuitively.
I think we can all agree that whole, real foods offer much more by way of nutritional value and nourishment for the body than any processed food can. My No. 1 tip is to focus on consuming foods in the least processed state possible.
Most importantly, though, I encourage you to tune in to what your body is trying to tell you and eat in a way that feels good for you. What makes you feel energized, light, and like the best, healthiest version of you? Chances are it isn’t a bowl of fries and a hamburger. Eat what makes you feel good and stop when you feel full and satiated.
3. Shift your focus from weight to health.
Eating well is a lifestyle that supports your body with vibrant health and well-being. Eating well and exercising have huge benefits that extend far beyond a smaller pants size. Focus on improvements in your mood, energy, confidence, positivity, creativity, and a deeper and stronger connection with yourself, just to name a few.
4. Build a healthy network.
Studies show that those who foster strong social connections with others have a far greater success rate in achieving their health goals.
Build a healthy support system to hold you accountable. How this looks will vary from person to person, but I suggest finding a workout buddy or announcing your goals on Facebook or Instagram. Be honest and tell friends and family members your goals and how serious you are about them. If they aren’t on board, find someone who is!
5. Find other ways to nurture yourself.
Along the way, many of us have formed a strong emotional attachment to eating. When we’re stressed, anxious, happy, angry, or sad, we often reach for food. Here are some alternate ways to comfort yourself when you’re in a bad place:
- Take a warm bath
- Watch a favorite movie
- Get a new haircut
- Take a long walk outside in nature
- Indulge in a creative hobby
If those don’t resonate with you, create your own list. When you feel a situation brewing that you would normally compel you to eat, go back to your list and consider how else you could take care of yourself.
6. Remove the pressure.
Aim to make conscious, mindful food choices every day and at every meal. That’s it. When you eat something that falls outside of your own goals, remind yourself that it’s just one meal, and commit to making the next meal different.
Self-improvement is a journey. None of us are perfect. We are all working toward creating better habits in our lives, so don’t get disheartened by the bumps in the road. Just keep looking ahead.
Looking for healthy recipes and workouts? Here are some great ones from contributors at mindbodygreen:
- Overnight Oats With Strawberry Chia Jam
- A Raw Vegan Caesar Salad That Won't Disappoint
- A Quick 4-Minute Workout For When You Have No Time
Photo Credit: Getty Images