I am often asked the question, “what do you think about this diet or particular exercise program?” You have probably heard me say it before, but my reply…..”Can you do it for the rest of your life?” If not then no, it will not work. To be fit, we must develop healthy eating and exercise habits that can be maintained for a lifetime. Here are my fives ways to make healthy habits stick.
1. Make a priority
At some point, a decision has to be made that living healthy will be a priority. There will never be a time to do something if it is not REALLY important. Once health becomes a priority, time will be made to eat healthy and exercise for daily life.
2. Choose something that you and enjoy and works for your schedule
Who cares if everyone you know is running, swimming, biking or you fill in the blank. If you don’t like it or it honestly does not fit into your personal and work schedule, it will never be something that can be maintained. Choose something that you like or at least can tolerate and could do long term.
3. Schedule a time for exercise and meal planning
Once it becomes a priority and a time is established, scheduled it. Be specific for a time to exercise and plan meals. Put it on a calendar as an appointment with anyone else.
4. Work in your favorite food
Saying you will never eat a particular (when it is your favorite) is a recipe for failure. Learning to enjoy an occasional healthy portion of a favorite food will help overcome the feeling of deprivation and lead to more consistency in making healthier choices.
5. Always wait 10 minutes before getting a second helping
Many times, a second helping is being made while chewing the last bite. It takes food 10-20 minutes to digest and signal a signal that you are full. Allowing 10 minutes gives an opportunity to observe hunger level and determine if it is really important enough to eat.
Instead of staying on the on again/off again eating and exercise program, establish a few healthy habits and learn to make them stick. You will be in control of your body and health for a lifetime.