The Formula for a Healthy Lifestyle Change
You’ve decided that you want to make a lifestyle change. Yay! We’re excited for you!
Now, what does that lifestyle change look like?
Your approach might be too much, too soon
Did you say that you’ll eat veggies every day, drink enough water, and work out five times a week?
So, what happens when you can’t get to the gym? Whether it’s because you’re sick, life got unexpectedly busy, or any other reason. What’s your game plan for those days?
Or what about when you choose to drink margaritas over more water on Taco Tuesday?
Typically at KJO Coaching, we hear new clients say they feel guilty, indulge further, the “what the hell” effect ensues, and eventually, they give up. They feel like they don’t have enough discipline to succeed, and they say things like:
“I can never stick to it.”
“I always do this.”
“I’m just not the type of person for this stuff.”
The actual problem
Your problem isn’t that you aren’t cut out for making lifestyle changes. The problem is that you’re focusing on the wrong things.
We’re led to believe that #HEALTHANDFITNESS is all about exercise and eating.
OF COURSE, these things are very important.
Your exercise and eating behaviors can quite literally determine the length and quality of your life.
But when it comes to adopting a healthier lifestyle (p.s. that means things you do every day), it’s so much more than laying out the perfect workout plan and shopping the perimeters of the grocery store.
It’s time to shift your mindset
First and foremost, do you ACTUALLY believe you can change your lifestyle?
What about your habits? You might need to replace them with something else if you want to make a change (this can be tough, but it’s totally possible). If you haven’t already, you should check out our FREE Habit Formula and read this post on breaking bad habits to help you get your mindset right for change.
You also need to consider how you define healthy, consistency, and success.
This may seem like a vague question, but it’s an important one: Why do you value healthy behaviors? (spoiler alert: “to fit into my bridesmaid dress” ain’t gonna cut it.) Think more about how your life will actually improve and the long-term benefits of making healthy choices and adopting good habits.
Are you aware of what triggers precede your current habits and behaviors? If you don’t know what’s causing you to initiate your bad habits, you can’t change them. (See step three of how to break bad habits where I discuss tracking your behaviors in more depth).
How often do you take the time to be fully present in your life? If you find yourself going through each day on autopilot and all of the days blend together, you aren’t fully present.
If you’re trying to make a lifestyle change, you need to be present in your life. Being present will not only help you make healthier choices (and help end those automatic habits), but it will also make your life more enjoyable and fulfilling.
Once you’ve looked at your mindset and figured out which habits you need to drop and which ones you need to adopt, you need to assess your lifestyle.
I hate to break it to you, but that one-hour workout makes the smallest impact on your daily caloric burn.
To be honest, if that one hour of exercise is the only time you’re not sitting and lounging, that’s not a healthy lifestyle... that’s a break from your unhealthy lifestyle.
Movement throughout your day, whether it’s walking, playing, dancing, or gardening, is MASSIVELY important for both your physical and mental health.
If you’re serious about making healthy lifestyle changes, you need to incorporate more movement throughout your day. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy. We aren’t asking you to run 10K on your lunch break every day, but go for a walk during your break or after work. Wake up a few minutes early to do some yoga, or join your kids when they’re playing at the park rather than watching from the bench.
You get health bonus points for time spent outdoors soaking up that Vitamin D.
Focus on adding movement throughout your day and spending less time sitting on your butt staring at a screen. It won’t take long before you notice a difference in how you feel physically and mentally.
Your mindset, habits, and daily movement are huge parts of creating a healthy lifestyle change, but you can’t forget about your nutrition and exercise.
Hone in on nutrition by focusing on getting more protein, lots of greens, healthy fats, and occasional treats. A sustainable diet that focuses on whole, nutrient-dense foods but doesn’t restrict any food groups is necessary for long-term success.
And formal exercise such as strength training with supplementary cardio is necessary too. Just because your workout is the smallest amount of your total daily energy expenditure does not mean you should skip it!
You need to keep up with the strength training to keep your body strong and mobile, not just for right now but for many years to come.
Not to mention, research shows that people who exercise consistently are FAR more likely to keep weight off once they lose it.
Making it a lifestyle
All of these aspects are crucial, and there’s even more to a healthy lifestyle than what’s in this post, but I’d encourage you to first consider the base & build up from there.
Create a base of good habits, a growth mindset, and regular daily movement. Once you have a strong foundation, the rest will not only be more enjoyable but easier to stick with.
Once you’ve got your solid base, hone in on your nutrition and make sure you’re exercising regularly, preferably by focusing on strength training.
THAT is how to create a healthy lifestyle.
If you want to work 1:1 with a stellar coach who will help you create a healthy and sustainable lifestyle, apply for coaching here.
Check out the original post HERE.
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