It’s been proven over and over again that eating a good, nutritious diet and sticking to a daily exercise regimen is the most reliable way to lose weight and keep it off.
But committing to a healthy lifestyle is no easy feat. It’s a long journey, filled with speed bumps and occasional wrong turns.
So how do you keep up the hard work of living healthy? Here are some strategies to help you stay on track.
Lean on friends and family
Involving a few family members or friends can be crucial to finding the support you need on your journey. Find people who you trust, who you know love you and who will be non-judgmental about your new lifestyle.
Instead of eating a high-protein, low-carb dinner by yourself, invite your people over and share a dinner with them. Talk to your people about how you feel about your progress. Be willing to accept their support, and listen to what they have to say.
Bounce back from bad days
Discipline is key to a healthy lifestyle. But you will have moments of weakness, when you eat too much of something you shouldn’t or miss a few days of exercise. That’s OK.
The most important thing is to not beat yourself up about it. Just wake up the next morning and commit to eating your healthy meals and getting your exercise in. You’ll be surprised how much easier this journey is when you don’t blow your small mistakes out of proportion.
Keep a long-term perspective
On this blog, we’ve talked a lot about steering clear of “lose-weight-quick!” schemes and fad diets that promise fast results.
Here’s the truth: Losing weight and achieving your health goals will take time. Putting in the work over a period of time is the only healthy and effective way to lose weight and keep it off.
By looking at the long term, it’s easier to look past minor setbacks or seemingly slow progress. Keeping your expectations realistic means you won’t psych yourself out of a process that takes time.
Plan, plan, plan
The sad fact is it’s easy to be unhealthy. When you’re busy with work, errands and family and friends, it can be simpler just to pick up fast food and veg out on the couch. Using your time wisely and getting ahead of daily stresses and tasks can help you keep your health commitments.
One example of this is meal planning. Instead of preparing entire meals every day, use the weekends to prep meals for the week. That can mean cooking enough chicken breast, salmon and/or tofu on the weekends to last you the week, and/or chopping all your veggies and packing all your salads for the week.
And the planning shouldn’t stop there. Always think ahead to make sure that, no matter what’s going on in your life, you can eat healthy and work out. Going on a vacation? Call ahead to find out if there’s a gym you can work out in. Having a dinner out with friends? Have a look at the menu beforehand to pick the healthiest item.
Finally, stay positive and don’t dwell on negative thoughts. There will be lots of difficult moments on your health journey, but you’ll be surprised how much easier it becomes when you choose to be positive about it. You’re doing the hard work to improve your life — you have good reason to be happy with yourself.