Turning down a gift of chocolate, saying no to dessert, even avoiding an outing with friends because you’re going to have to turn down a cocktail all in the name of getting healthy. There is no doubt about it- creating a healthy lifestyle is hard! What if there was a direction to getting healthier without feeling guilt, restriction or failure?
There are tons of diet plans deeming certain foods unhealthy or off limits and they all come with a side order of failure, restriction and guilt. Your energy is spent on all the little parts of your diet instead of living life and learning to eat foods you enjoy in a way that makes you feel good mentally and physically. A more sustainable way to create a healthy lifestyle is to find a balance that works for where you are in your health journey now and where you want the journey to take you. This is all attainable with the 80/20 rule.
Creating healthy habits
First and foremost, forming new habits takes time. Although we see what seems like miracles of friends getting healthy overnight, to maintain a healthy lifestyle is a long term plan. Giving yourself grace to learn and develop healthy habits allows you to create a sustainable balance. Over time you will realize what habits are actually making you feel great and those are the habits that will become second nature.
The 80/20 rule simply means that 80% of the time you are committed to making mindful choices about your health like eating whole foods and intentionally moving each day. The 20% is where you can allow yourself to skip a workout or eat a piece of birthday cake without feeling like you have steered off your path or cheated in some way. If you are able to give yourself a break sometimes and enjoy the moments for what they are, you will be more successful in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and seeing lasting results. By creating healthy habits with big picture planning you will discover the best way to maintain a healthy lifestyle and relationship with food.
Nutrition, movement and mindset
The best way to develop a new habit is by being consistent. Developing a baseline of what a healthy meal looks like will help to choose the best foods to put on your plate. A simple trick is to fill half your plate with vegetables and fruit, one quarter with protein, and one quarter with grains. Use the foods that are already in your kitchen, then start to substitute with fresh produce, leaner proteins, and whole grains.
Become consistent and intentional with moving your body each day. This could be as little as a 10 minute walk every night after dinner. Remember small, attainable steps. You don’t need to jump into a 3 hour workout every other day. Be mindful to move each day, you will start to feel better and crave more movement with time. Develop the habit first.
Consistency in creating a healthy mindset is so important and often overlooked. You may find journaling, reading, yoga, or daily meditation to be helpful in creating a sense of balance and control within your healthy lifestyle. Whatever helps you to find peace in your day, stick with it! Rest when you need to rest and allow yourself to recharge.
Having consistency in creating these healthy habits gives you flexibility. You don’t need to punish yourself for missing a workout or not eating veggies with dinner. Instead of doing a three hour workout or skipping a meal to make up for yesterday, just pick up where you left off and carry on. Missteps are not mistakes, it is all part of your health journey. Sometimes the road is bumpy, but when you turn around and see how far you’ve come, the bumps just get smaller and smaller until you only see who you are today.
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