You have taken the first step, which is to put yourself and your health first! You want to start living healthier, maybe lose or gain some weight, have more energy or finally get rid of your complaints!
You start in good spirits. You have bought all healthy products that you have looked up to be healthy and you avoid the rest as much as possible. You take out a subscription at the gym and get to work fanatically. After a few weeks you get a huge appetite for that which you are not allowed to have. Your weight also does not cooperate and you do not see the change in the mirror. You lose your motivation and slowly the old patterns creep in again.
Disappointed in yourself and the feeling of failure continues to gnaw. You end up in the negative spiral, reach for the chocolate or that bag of chips and say to yourself "next week I'll start again"
Does the above sound familiar to you? Then this article is for you. You don't need a diet or rules to achieve your goal. It is important to map out your patterns and habits and to actively work with them, but in a responsible and healthy way. It is important to create a lifestyle that suits you, that is nutritious so that your body has all the nutrients receives what it needs to achieve the goal, which you have in mind.These 6 tips will help you start a healthy lifestyle
- Eat a varied diet and allow yourself something 'unhealthy' every now and then.
Our body gets all the nutrients it needs from our food. That are the carbohydrates, protein, fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals and the phytonutrients. All these nutrients have important functions in our body. We absolutely cannot live without it. So do not make sure that you avoid certain product groups.
Rather choose whole grain products and unsaturated fats such as olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds and instead of fast sugars/carbohydrates as white bread, white pasta and biscuit. Proteins should also not be missing in your diet. Proteins are the building blocks of our body and provide a feeling of satiety. In addition, it is important that you get enough fruit and vegetables, because here most of the vitamins, minerals & fiber worry.
Do you often use packs and bags for preparing your meal? Throw it out the door now. Use as few ready-made meals or pre-processed products as possible. These products often contain a lot of ingredients, a lot of salt and few nutrients. Make your own sauces and spice mixes from fresh ingredients. Or choose a natural-based sauce in the store, preferably the red version. Always look at the ingredient list of a product and choose the product that contains 5 or fewer ingredients that you are all familiar with.
This does not mean that you can never enjoy a pizza or your favorite chips again. Take these products in moderation. Only if you really feel like it and can enjoy it.
- Prepare your meals
Plan your meals in advance, especially if you have a busy week. Prepare your meals on the weekend and store them in the fridge or freezer. This way you always have a healthy meal and you don't have to do any shopping or think about what you are going to cook. Are you on the road a lot or do you have irregular shifts? Have a filling lunch or evening meal with possibly a few snacks. It is better to opt for a larger meal than a snack that is high in calories. Often these also contain more added sugar, fats and few nutrients, making them less satiating.
- Get plenty of exercise
Are you not a fanatic athlete, do you find it difficult to go to the gym 2-3 times a week or do you find strength training not at all? Then I have good news for you. You don't have to train that intensively for a healthy lifestyle. It is important that you do something about exercise or sport for at least 30 minutes a day. Think, for example, of walking, cycling to work or going on a roller coaster ride. Not only healthy but also a very good workout! The most important thing is that you choose a form of exercise or sport that suits you, otherwise you will not last.
There are also plenty of other ways to get more exercise. Ride your bike more often instead of the car or park your car a little further away. If you often take the train or bus, get off one stop earlier. Choose the stairs instead of the elevator and if you have a sedentary job, stretch your legs in between or take a short walk during the break.
If you currently have little movement, start taking small steps. So don't do an intensive training 5 times a week, but start with 2 times a week and build it up slowly. Schedule yourself a fixed time when you will do your training or go for a walk. Not only do you have an appointment with yourself, but it becomes a habit over time. Even if you don't feel like going, make sure you go, after all you always feel nicer and better if you've been for a while.
- Get started with your mindset
Personally, I think this is the most important thing and maybe I should have put this tip at the top. Changing your mindset is the most important thing to initiate behavioral change to create a healthy lifestyle that suits you. Do not deny yourself anything and do not impose any rules on yourself, because that is not necessary for anything. Tell yourself "I CAN eat anything I WANT, but I DON'T WANT to eat everything" If you have a goal in mind, stick to the plan you've made. If someone offers you something and you really don't need it, say no and don't do it to please the other person. YOU want a healthy life, YOU want to achieve your goal and feel good. Don't care what the other thinks about it. Be the right example and enjoy meals that make you feel good, that make you happy and that nourish your body.
- Reduce/lower your stress level
Stress causes some people to eat worse and more than you normally would. Another group of people does not get a bite through the throat. I myself belong to this second group. What helps me is to eat at set times and make a not too big meal or I make sure I eat together. I then have distraction, it is often a lot more fun and unnoticed I eat a little more than if I would eat alone in a period of stress. I also like to have moments to myself. Don't have to do anything at all, no other people but just me and a book, a nice series or a wonderful podcast.
- Have an achievable goal
You are motivated and have come up with a goal for which you want to live healthier. But have you also checked whether this is feasible and not too ambitious. I myself have a tendency to set the bar extremely high and to compare myself with someone else. And I do everything I can to achieve my goal. Once I have achieved my goal, I am often not satisfied, because in the meantime I do not reflect on the steps I have already achieved to reach my final goal. I forget and do not enjoy the process. Fortunately, I already do a lot less comparing with the other, but this does not mean that it is no longer a pitfall for me and maybe for you too. Focus on where you are now and take the one you compare yourself to as an example. Check which steps he/she has taken and make these steps your own, do them at your pace when you are ready. And take a moment to reflect on the process. Look back at what you have already achieved, does it make you happy? Do you still want to achieve this end goal or has your course changed a bit? Adjust your plan if necessary.
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