If you find yourself struggling to feel motivated to stick to your goal to eat healthfully, get fit, and give up unhealthy habits, it’s important to know you’re not alone. No matter how far you’ve slipped, there are ways to regain your momentum and set yourself back on the healthy path. Here are three tips to help you regain your momentum and get you back on the right path.
Keep It Simple: Introduce Healthy Foods Into Your Diet to Eat Healthfully
If your first step is to eliminate unhealthy foods, you might fall off the wagon more quickly than if you focus on eating healthy foods. Why? Because unhealthy eating habits are often hard to break. So, adopt healthy eating habits that stick — to change your lifestyle for the better, permanently. To eat healthfully, you must find ways to introduce healthy foods into your everyday diet.
Healthy eating starts with foods derived from plants: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes (beans, peas, lentils). Start by trying to eat two cups of fruits and vegetables each day. Slowly swap out processed bread and rice for whole grains and try to center more dishes around fish and lean meats. Work healthy foods into your meals whenever you can by:
- Loading up your breakfast omelet with vegetables and leafy greens.
- Piling on veggies into pasta.
- Trying a turkey burger instead of a beef patty.
- Cooking with olive oil and eating avocado.
- Snacking on heart-healthy nuts.
As you start to insert and substitute healthier foods into your everyday diet, it will become commonplace, and you won’t even think of it as “dieting”– it will just be how you eat.
Get Moving: Stimulate Your Body Every Day
Every single day of your life should include at least one activity that benefits your physical health. That doesn’t mean you need to run 10 miles a day, but you’ll find there are many activities, like yoga, that you can do every day to get the body and mind in shape.
If you are having trouble staying motivated to be active, it’s a good idea to exercise with someone else to stay motivated. This could be a personal trainer, an exercise buddy friend, or your spouse and kids. Not only will you be more motivated to exercise, but you’ll give yourself more opportunities to do stuff with the ones you love. It’s a win-win.
Of course, make sure you don’t overdo it. Pushing yourself too far can damage your muscles, which, in turn, can harm other aspects of your life. Be sure to schedule rest days when necessary, and take care of your muscles in-between workouts. For example, get a massage, or look into natural supplements like CBD oil (which, by the way, will NOT get you high) to help relieve soreness and inflammation — just make sure you do your homework to ensure you’re getting the best product for your hard-earned money. (Check your state for regulations.)
Reconnect With Your Why: Find Purpose in a Healthy Lifestyle
It’s hard to stay motivated to change if you’re faced with busy days, a high-stress job, or demanding family responsibilities. The demands of life itself are enough to lose focus on the core reason you made these goals in the first place. Are you getting healthy to help in addiction recovery? Did you have a health scare? Are you trying to set an example for your family? Whatever the reason, reaffirm this in your mind and repeat it like a mantra when times get tough. Keep this mantra in the forefront of your mind by:
- Writing it at the top of each page in a food or gratitude journal.
- Keeping it posted on your work computer or bathroom mirror.
- Setting a calendar alarm or reminder alert to remind you of it.
- Meditating for 15 to 30 minutes a day on your healthy mantra.
You’ve already done some work and been moving in a positive direction, and it’s easier to continue on now than to scrap it all just because the ball has dropped once or twice. Don’t let a setback or a motivation dearth stop you from becoming a better you. You took the time to create health goals, and you can stick to them.
Sending special thanks to Sheila from Fit Sheila for this guest post. And motivation!