Thinking about making a change by implementing a new, healthy diet or being more active? Perhaps making small changes is harder than one anticipated. After all, old habits die hard. Changing bad habits doesn’t happen overnight. Roadblocks will come up, but it’s all about how one handles them moving forward. In the Body Reboot book, we talk about how to implement positive habits moving forward and stick to a healthy lifestyle. Adopting new practices protects a person from disease, obesity, and can help a person feel more energetic. After sticking to these changes, over time, they should become a lifetime habit. To start implementing change today, try applying these tips. It all starts with baby steps!
Engage in structured activities
Sometimes all you need is some structure, as Thorne says below. Create a daily routine, and you’ll be more likely to follow through. The more consistent you are, the less likely you’ll deviate from your new and improved schedule.
The more exercise becomes part of your daily routine, the easier it will be to get it done. If you have time, exercise first thing in the morning before you have time to come up with excuses not to do it. Laying out your exercise clothes the night before can be a very helpful morning motivation.
Go on the ketogenic diet to lose weight
After you find a diet that works well for you, such as the ketogenic diet, Everyday Health says that following through with your health goals will be a lot more doable. The keto diet encourages a high fat, low carb diet. Since a body burns fewer carbs, it burns fat instead, which in turn leads to weight loss and overall feeling healthier and better.
But the No. 1 reason people adopt the keto diet nowadays? Weight loss.
Initially, the weight loss comes from loss of water because you cut down on carbs in your diet and your body uses up the carbohydrates stored in the liver, which hold onto water. The diet results in further weight loss because it encourages you to load up on whole, high-fat foods, Nisevich Bede says.
By cutting carbs, you’ll also cut sugar and simple, refined carbohydrates, which means a steadier supply of energy. (No more sugar highs and crashes!) Once their bodies are used to the diet, “The first thing people report is, ‘Oh my gosh, I have this steady energy and I don’t have the need to snack at 3 p.m. because my energy is waning,’” Nisevich Bede says. Research published in January 2015 in the journal Obesity Review showed that the keto diet may lead to fewer hunger pangs and a lower desire to eat.
You lose weight temporarily because “if you’re not hungry every five minutes and can work on your willpower,” you won’t eat as much, Nisevich Bede says. But while some research is promising — one study published in October 2013 in the British Journal of Nutrition found that the keto diet led to greater weight loss than a low-fat diet, for example — there is a lack of long-term research (greater than two years) that suggests a highly restrictive diet like keto is superior for weight loss than others, and it’s certainly not right for everyone.
Track your progress
Another way to stay on track is to keep track of your progress. As NIH says, if you track your progress, you’ll learn more about your strengths and weaknesses. There’s always room for improvement, and monitoring your progress will help you see if you’re on the right track.
Tracking your progress helps you spot your strengths, find areas where you can improve, and stay on course. Record not only what you did, but how you felt while doing it—your feelings can play a role in making your new habits stick.
Recording your progress may help you stay focused and catch setbacks in meeting your goals. Remember that a setback does not mean you have failed. All of us experience setbacks. The key is to get back on track as soon as you can.
You can track your progress with online tools such as the NIH Body Weight Planner. The NIH Body Weight Planner lets you tailor your calorie and physical activity plans to reach your personal goals within a specific time period.
Slowly adopt new habits
Implementing new habits won’t happen overnight, which is why Thorne says it’s okay to implement new habits over time. If you try to bombard yourself with too many patterns all at once, it'll be a lot harder to follow through and make them permanent habits.
For instance, if you know you can't give up your morning latte, then try having it with non-fat milk and no flavoring. It might seem boring at first but in a few weeks, the old flavored latte would probably taste way too sweet. Once your taste buds get used to not having artificial sweeteners, naturally sweet foods will taste even sweeter.
Practice mindful eating
If you’re struggling with food, Self suggests practicing mindful eating techniques. Paired with the keto diet, which can reduce your appetite, mindfully eating is possible.
The “reasons you need to slow your roll when eating” list is about as long as your arm, Langer explains. Wolfing down food can lead to bloating because of the extra air you’re swallowing, that way-too-full feeling because you don’t give your body a chance to process satiety before you clean your plate, and completely missing out on how delicious the food actually is.
When everything is all said and done, Harvard Health Publishing reminds us just how important it is to stay committed. Don’t give up or give in; otherwise, you’ll have to start all over again.
Make a written or verbal promise to yourself and one or two supporters you don't want to let down: your partner or child, a teacher, doctor, boss, or friends. That will encourage you to slog through tough spots. Be explicit about the change you've chosen and why it matters to you. If it's a step toward a bigger goal, include that, too. I'm making a commitment to my health by planning to take a mindful walk, two days a week. This is my first step to a bigger goal: doing a stress-reducing activity every day (and it helps me meet another goal: getting a half-hour of exercise every day). I want to do this because I sleep better, my mood improves, and I'm more patient with family and friends when I ease the stress in my life.
Exercise more frequently
Another way to pave the way to a healthier future is by exercising more regularly. Self elaborates on this more below:
Sitting all day isn’t good for your butt or your heart. Physical activity is extremely important for your longevity, and it all adds up, women’s health expert Jennifer Wider, M.D., tells SELF. Sometimes it can feel impossible to fit in a ton of exercise when you’re not used to it, but peppering movement throughout your day is much more doable.
For example, if you follow this rule while sitting for eight hours a day, you’ll wind up walking for 40 minutes, putting a commendable dent in the minimum recommendation of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week.
Gaiam also tells us that exercise is good for you not only because it’s a positive habit, but it can help with anti-aging and provide other health benefits.
Did you know that daily exercise can reduce all of the biomarkers of aging? This includes improving eyesight, normalizing blood pressure, improving lean muscle, lowering cholesterol, and improving bone density. If you want to live well and live longer, you must exercise! Studies show that even ten minutes of exercise makes a difference — so do something! Crank the stereo and dance in your living room. Sign up for swing dancing or ballroom dancing lessons. Walk to the park with your kids or a neighbor you’d like to catch up with. Jump rope or play hopscotch. Spin a hula hoop. Play water volleyball. Bike to work. Jump on a trampoline. Go for a hike.
After sticking with your newfound habits, NIH recommends rewarding yourself. The hard work it takes to achieve your goals will be worth it in the end!
After reaching a goal or milestone, allow for a nonfood reward such as new workout gear or a new workout device. Also consider posting a message on social media to share your success with friends and family.
Choose rewards carefully. Although you should be proud of your progress, keep in mind that a high-calorie treat or a day off from your activity routine are not the best rewards to keep you healthy.
Pat yourself on the back. When negative thoughts creep in, remind yourself how much good you are doing for your health by moving more and eating healthier.
Choose food over supplements
While it’s easy to take a supplement if you lack in the fruit and vegetable department, Gaiam argues why it’s essential to rely on food for proper nutrients and not supplements.
Supplements are not a substitute for a good diet. Although many health experts recommend taking a multivitamin and mineral supplement that provides 100 to 200 percent of your recommended daily value, each and every supplement should be carefully evaluated for purity and safety. Specific supplements have been associated with toxicity, reactions with medications, competition with other nutrients, and even increased risk of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
Check out the Body Reboot book to learn how this high fat, low carb diet can help you create healthy habits and give rise to a healthy lifestyle. For a limited time, you can get a free copy of our book by covering shipping. Visit this page to get a free copy.
Sources: Thorne, NIH, Self, Harvard Health Publishing, Everyday Health, Gaiam
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