The end of January is approaching, so it is slowly time to take stock: have we kept our New Year’s resolutions? Have we indeed started to exercise more, eat healthier and how dry is your dry January really? With the right attitude you often come a long way, but how do you keep it?
A healthy lifestyle is not only about how much you eat and exercise, but also about your attitude. Your thoughts and emotions have an important influence on what you do. When you are comfortable in your own skin, it is often easier to live a healthier life. At the same time, a healthy lifestyle can also help you feel better about yourself.
What is your motivation?
Healthy eating and exercise is important for everyone, but a clear motive makes it easier to maintain your new eating and exercise pattern. Do you want to gain more confidence? Do you want to get fitter so that you can play better with your (grand)children? Whatever your reason, remembering why you started can help you through tough times. Make your reason specific, write it down and possibly stick it somewhere you see it often.
Many people use (unhealthy) food as comfort. For example to deal with stress or sadness, but also out of boredom, loneliness or even happiness. You do not eat because you are hungry, but because eating seems to make you happy at that moment. After this, you may feel guilty.
Some tips to get rid of emotional eating:
Think and recognize why you eat: are you tired, are you stressed, are you sad, are you bored or are you fed up with the lockdown? Write down the reason, so you can recognize it next time.
Then find another way to deal with this: go outside, call a friend, or exercise.
Recognize which foods you are ‘sensitive’ to during a binge and keep them at home as little as possible. Have healthy snacks ready so you can have them when you get hungry.
Not being able to resist temptation is a known problem of people who want to lose weight. That’s not surprising either: we make about 200 unconscious eating choices every day. We are easily tempted by unhealthy choices by smelling or seeing food, as well as by offers and advertisements. Nearly half of dieters cite such temptations as the main reason their diets fail.
Some tips to resist temptation:
Make sure you always have healthy snacks on hand and teach yourself to eat one of these snacks when you are hungry.
Don’t go shopping when you’re hungry.
Make it easy on yourself: good preparation is half the battle. When you’re tired, it’s often tempting to quickly reach for something unhealthy. Make sure you have a healthy meal at home (in the freezer) for these moments. A weekly schedule can also help with this.
Are you really in the mood for something tasty? Take a small portion. One cookie or a small piece of cake instead of a whole pack or a large piece.
Do you eat with others and don’t want to overeat? Then tell them so they don’t tempt you to eat more anyway.
Healthy habits play an important role in a healthy lifestyle. Your habits determine an important part of your daily life. The advantage and disadvantage of habits is that you often do not think about it. With good habits (such as brushing your teeth) this is an advantage, with bad habits (eating chips while watching TV) this is a disadvantage.
Healthy habits make a healthy lifestyle a lot easier. If you are used to exercising every week on Wednesday evening, you will not easily skip this. If you don’t have a fixed sports moment, it is much easier to linger on the couch in the evening. This also works with (un)healthy snacks. You can teach yourself to eat a piece of fruit or vegetable in between. Once you’re used to this, at some point you’ll do this without thinking about it and you’ll be much less likely to reach for chips, candy, or biscuits at that time.