The middle of the year is a time when many of us fall off the health wagon. With cooler temperatures, cloudy skies, biting winds and darkness arriving at 5pm each day, the urge to curl up on the couch and consume unhealthy, calorie-rich foods can be overwhelming.
Many of us adopt sedentary behaviours during the winter months, but it is possible to start fresh and build healthy habits. The truth is being healthy shouldn’t be hard. Don’t overthink it. Simply, incorporate small healthy habits into your daily life one by one.
Here are my top tips:
- Your first month of exercise should not be about building muscle and changing your body shape
We’ve all been there. We leap into an exercise regimen determine to change our body shape and build lean muscles mass, only to be disappointed when it doesn’t happen after a few weeks. The key is to ease into exercise. Don’t expect to be running marathons or looking like your 18-year-old self again by the end of the month. Start slow and focus on how moving your body feels. Find something you enjoy doing and it won’t feel like a chore.
2. Don’t focus on losing weight in your first month
Like above, the same goes for weight loss. Dieting is not a long-term solution, and the first month following a wholefoods diet should not be about losing weight. In fact, don’t even look at the scales – at least for that first month. Instead, focus on your feelings when you eat healthy food. Do you feel less bloated? Do you have more energy?
3. Stock your fridge and pantry with healthy foods
The most important thing to do is to avoid buying processed, packaged foods. If they are not in your home, you can’t be tempted to eat them. I’m always asked: what’s always in your fridge and pantry?Well, I have a lot of different foods. I always have some cucumber, capsicum and carrot cut up, along with hummus and nut butters as a quick go-to snack. A small serving of yoghurt with some fruit, or a handful of trail mix also make great snacks. My bliss balls are a favourite of the kids – the recipe is here. To make healthy eating a natural part of your lifestyle stock up on wholesome ingredients so you can cook and plan meals with confidence.
4. Set out a daily routine for a better brain
It’s no secret that as we age our brain undergoes many changes. Our cognitive abilities and memory can worsen if we don’t use our brain. So how can we improve our brain health? I like to practice mindful meditation. It improves working memory, decreases negative thinking, lowers anxiety, and reduces stress. Start by waking up and just doing a short gratitude practice, maybe note three things you are grateful for. You will be surprised at the benefits you will feel and the ripple effect it will have on those around you.
Committing to a healthier lifestyle is exciting. However, in order to be successful, we need to focus on building sustainable lifestyle changes that are achievable and easy to maintain for the rest of our lives.
Are you ready to start building healthy habits? Join our Feel Fabulous by Friday program here.