If you’re looking to start over with your health, there is one concern you might have that trumps all of the others: staying motivated. Staying motivated to eat healthy and exercise, especially if you’re starting anew, can the most difficult task to overcome. You’ve made the decision to change your diet and your lifestyle, and you’ve even started going to the gym. Now what?
Actually, eating healthy is more effective than you may think. It is one of the strongest starts you can make to to improving your overall health. The reason? The healthier you eat, the better you feel. The better you feel, the more motivated you are to continue your good habits. But how can you make the start to eating healthy in the first place? Below you’ll find a few tips on getting motivated and eating healthy and how that first commitment creates motivation for the long run:
How to get started
- Mix it up: Try different foods from different food groups or countries. Many time-tested foods from other countries are chock full of nutrients and flavor, such as Indian.
- Balance it out: Eat many things from many different groups throughout the day: carbs, fruits, veggies, proteins. Bring them together to create a balanced and flavorful diet.
- Moderate: Really. This allows you to eat many different things and play it safe, especially things that can eventually cause you to gain weight, such as breads and sugary fruits.
Improving health is a series of steps and combinations
One of the biggest challenges we face when changing the way we eat and live is not allowing so many (or any) toxins to permeate our bodies. Routines are difficult to break – starting a new one is much easier. Instead of a sugary, fattening latte every morning, eat healthier by drinking a healthy smoothie everyday until it becomes a habit. Changing a routine requires consistent practice of the new habits. No need to be extreme, either. Change small things about your diet, such as swapping out that latte for a green smoothie, packing kale chips and dried fruit in your desk drawer at work instead of heading to the vending machine to grab a candy bar. These changes are realistic, which makes the idea of changing your entire lifestyle a little more reachable.
It’s important to learn that eating healthy is enjoyable. You do this by practicing the habit. If you don’t like spinach salads now, try them anyway – and regularly. Soon, you will start enjoying the salad, and experimenting with different ways to boost its flavor.
The same principle applies to the drinks we consume and the products we put on our skin. It should be no surprise that sugary drinks like soda and some fruit juices are toxic for your health. This could be the first step you take towards eating healthy – kicking your soda habit for naturally flavored water or 100% juice.
Another way to reduce toxins entering your body (and therefore, helping you to feel better and more motivated to keep going) is to use products on your body and hair made of natural botanicals. Putting the cleanest, most chemical-free products on the outside of your body will help reduce the toxins inside, giving you the ability to feel strong and energetic from the outside in (and vice versa, of course).
Don’t become content
So you’ve begun to see even small results from the healthy eating habits you’ve been making. You no longer feel tired at 11 a.m., since you’ve replaced your morning coffee with energy-boosting smoothies. You’re sleeping better since you began eating whole, clean foods for dinner instead of heavy and rich foods that weigh you down. Now what?
Let the results motivate you. Continue these new habits and continue to make newer, better ones. There are benefits you may have not seen yet, so wait for them. These benefits can include:
- Weight control
- Mood improvement
- Longevity improvement
- Disease combat
You may not be able to see yet how your body and mental health are changing, but they are. You may not even be able to feel much yet, but that’s because you are taking slow – but important – baby steps. You’re following the right path, now keep going! The better healthy habits you begin today, the better you will feel tomorrow, or even ten years from now.
You’re starting to feel great. Here is how eating healthy can transform into other healthy habits
Your new habits are starting to give you a renewed energy that can help you persevere. It is important to use this new energy to try other new habits, such as attending regular yoga classes or running every morning. Regular physical habits develop strength and endurance, both physically and mentally. Practiced exercise streamlines the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your muscle tissue, stimulating your cardiovascular system and creating more and more energy and better sleep.
It is incredibly important to keep up these habits! Don’t get complacent, bored, or frustrated. There are many ways to mix up what you are eating and how active you are. Leave the gym – get outside, take hikes and enjoy the weather. Try different types of spices or, as stated above, different types of healthy meals from other countries.
Avoid complacency by taking necessary steps to ensure success
- Baby steps; start slow and continue to add.
- Set realistic goals you can accomplish.
- Reward for achieving, don’t punish as it’s discouraging.
- Have a buddy to hold you accountable.
- Track your meals – find new recipes to avoid blandness.
Remember – once you’re able to increase your healthy eating habits, you’ll be able to add a more regular workout regimen. You don’t want to change too much too quickly, as this can get overwhelming and can also be bad for your health. Do everything slowly but habitually. Develop the right habits by replacing old routines. Practice your new lifestyle and eventually, it will be easy.
Take a look at the Mountainside Fitness recipe guide for easy ideas and healthy recipes to help you start your journey today.