Don't Weight to Get Started - 11 Things To Do Today to Kickstart a Healthier You
How to Kick-start your Healthier Lifestyle Today - 11 easy ways to get started
Are you struggling to get started with a healthier lifestyle?
Was it a heavy weekend?
Or maybe a week or 2 on holiday?
Or perhaps months of feeling like you can’t be bothered to eat healthily?
I usually know pretty quickly when I'm feeling heavy and sluggish, which is a good indication that the healthier bits of my lifestyle have gone awry. But if I'm not careful, it can take me a while before I'm motivated to do anything about it.
But it doesn’t have to be like that. There are numerous little things you can do today to start feeling better about your eating and so prevent a lapse become a total collapse.
A Healthier Lifestyle: Progress not perfection
I was making the classic mistake of trying to put life on hold and wanting my healthy eating perfect. Then I was wondering why life wasn’t willing to be put on hold and why I was rifling through the kitchen cupboards at 8pm trying to find a ‘naughty fix’.
Quick fix diets are so appealing because they promise fast results in a time scale that we can just about cope with. But it’s not sustainable.
This cycle of yo-yo dieting is detrimental not only to your physical health but also to how you feel about yourself and your belief in being able to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. But you can make sustainable, small changes to start heading in the right direction…
Focus on the good stuff
If you’ve been overindulging, you will probably be used to foods that are high in sugar, salt, fat or calories, or a combination of all of them! Your blood sugar levels are likely to be awry and you need to get them balanced before a healthier lifestyle is sustainable.
Rather than trying to get rid of everything and wondering what is left, try focussing on getting loads of good stuff, that you actually enjoy eating, into your diet so there’s less room for the junk. You’re trying to move yourself gently from foods that are high calorie, but low in nutrients, to ones that are higher in nutrients and less calories.
A Healthier Lifestyle Made Simple
If your changes are too extreme you’ll put off doing it and overwhelm yourself. The aim is to ease into a healthier lifestyle gently and without major upheaval. I’ve listed some ideas to get you started and these are some of the things I come back to when I’m aiming to get back on track with healthy eating, in a manageable way without it being puritanical!
Choose things from the following list that you’re confident you can do. If you’re not 9 out of 10 confident you can do it, then choose something that’s easier for you on the list.
Focus on getting some good night’s sleep – a lack of sleep can cause you to crave sugar, heavy carbs and caffeine, none of which is going to help you feel great.
Get your water intake up - carry a bottle of water with you; drink it and refill it.
Start your day with hot water and a squeeze of lemon or put a spoonful of apple cider vinegar in your water bottle; both will take a few days to get used to but it will give your liver a helping hand.
Keep your meals simple – protein and salad or veggies initially. Try to keep away from the heavy carbs (pasta, bread and potatoes) until your blood sugar levels are a bit more even.
Plan your meals so that you don’t find yourself hungry and wondering what to eat.
Take your lunch with you to work so that you’re not having to make choices from a canteen or coffee shop.
Focus on increasing your fruit and veg intake – use fruit instead of sweet, sugary snacks to try to break the cycle; pile the veggies on your plate so that you feel you’re eating plenty.
Do a food shop and stock up on the healthy foods you do like so that you’ve got some choice in the house – don’t try to force yourself to eat things you don’t like because they’re good for you (although that’s not an excuse to buy junk!)
Try to reduce your alcohol consumption especially if you’ve been on holiday and been used to a drink every night. Alcohol affects your blood sugar levels and puts a strain on your liver.
Put temptation out of sight – whatever your weakness is then at least put it in a cupboard rather than on the worktop where it will be too accessible. Ideally don’t have it in the house making it harder for you to indulge.
Get some exercise – don’t jump straight into an extreme programme, ease into it depending on your current exercise levels. Walk or bike or take a slow run rather than going all out.
You want to get started with simple things that can be quickly included into your everyday routine so that you can feel confident about making some progress towards a healthier lifestyle. And if you want to know how to make these changes healthy habits check out this blog post where I discuss harnessing the power of habits rather than relying on willpower.
But in the meantime, if you want to challenge yourself, why don’t you grab this 5 day Ditch The Sugar plan with recipes and daily motivation and support – it’s all done for you!
The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this blog are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this blog. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this blog. Midlife Menu Ltd disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this blog.