There are three things we have to change in order to become healthier: the way we eat, the way we move and the way we think.
The Way We Eat
Changing the way we eat can be challenging not only in our choices of foods but the quantity of food we eat. You can have too much of even a good thing. We have to find out what reasonable serving portions are; this might require us to weigh and measure or food to be more accurate in what we are consuming. What we “think” is one cup in reality might be two or even only a half of a cup. A good digital food scale, a set of measuring cups and a set of measuring spoons are your friends! Don’t guess, measure! I measure my meats on the food scale to assure I am getting a serving and not a double mega serving.
The Way We Move
Learn how to make wiser substitutions for the foods you love. For example, if you love French fries, try making your own at home by using fresh potatoes, slicing them into “fries”, baking them, which eliminates most of the fat in their preparation and adding your own seasonings. Sound to simple? It is easy to make substitutions when you take time to think and plan out your meals and snacks. Having fresh fruit on hand for snacks is another good way to make better choices instead of eating a box of chocolate cake rolls or a family-sized bag of barbecued potato chips! Veggie chips with a low-fat or fat-free dip is another way of getting your crunch without all the extra fat and calories.
Learning to move more can be a tougher to accomplish. Many of us have sedentary jobs and need to find ways to add movement to our days. It is suggested for every hour you sit at a desk or computer you should get up and move around five minutes. This is not only gives you movement but helps improve your focus and concentration! A win win! I have found that doing stretches while sitting at my desk is a great way to help increase flexibility and a great stress reliever too! When shopping try to park away from the store and take a few extra steps that way. You will probably also decrease the number of times someone will slam their door into your car and add an extra ‘dimple’ to the paint job too!
The Way We Think
The toughest and most important is changing the way we think. The way we think about food, movement and ourselves all have to change for us to be successful! We must admit that we have issues with food choices and portion control. We must admit that our lack of movement is not contributing to a healthy lifestyle. We must admit that these changes will require effort and we MUST accept that we are WORTH the effort!! Old negative thoughts and self-talk must now be replaced with positive affirmations, such as: I am worth it, I love my body and must cherish it, I can make wise food choices, my body loves to move, etc.
If we are not good to ourselves, how can we expect others to be?