Let March be the month you set your Lifestyle Resolution. Release any New Year’s resolutions you may have set for yourself and focus on the positive steps you can begin to make. The premise behind the Lifestyle Resolution is deciding to make a conscious decision to improve your health and vitality for the long term through a gradual transition and overall lifestyle change. Below are some simple techniques that will guide you through this exciting journey of transformation!
1) Set reasonable goals and timelines. Be patient. Your body and health did not get this way over night and no matter what you read or see advertised on TV, there is no such thing as a quick fix or miracle pill. Diet programs that promise instant results are impossible to sustain in the long-term and are usually not health promoting. An easy way to start is by increasing the amount of fresh fruits and veggies you eat daily, while reducing your intake of processed and fast foods.
2) Crowd out, don’t just eliminate foods. Gradually, transition your eating habits by making sure to add new healthy alternatives for any non-ideal foods you would like to stop eating. This way, you will not end up feeling deprived and frustrated with minimal or tasteless meal options. For example, if you want to stop eating dairy, try the different varieties of nut, rice and coconut milks available. During the hot summer months, I love to try the array of coconut and nut-based ice creams you can find in most grocery stores by brands such as, Coconut Bliss and Organic Nectars.
3) Keep your body hydrated. It is important to realize that the human brain is about 85% water and even with mild dehydration you will develop feelings of fatigue. Drinking an adequate amount of water also aids in weight loss by suppressing your appetite and reducing excess sodium. Therefore, let water be the first thing you put in your body each morning and allow yourself to start the day off fresh and clear headed. My trick is to keep a full glass of water by my bed at night, so when I wake up in the morning it is there waiting for me.
4) Stay wise to health food gimmicks. Don’t allow yourself to be fooled by the no fat, low sugar, zero calorie so-called healthy foods and snacks that fill the grocery shelves. These foods are packed with chemicals, artificial flavors, and hidden sugars that leave you feeling unsatisfied. The empty calories and lack of nutritional elements cause your body to crave more and you to eat an excess amount. If you are craving something sweet, eating the proper portion of the ‘real thing’ such as dark chocolate or even a cup cake is better than polishing off a box off fat free cookies with NO taste.
5) Hold space for the inner being and spirituality within you. Allow meditation to become part of your daily routine. Dedicating just five minutes a day will help improve your outlook and perspective on life. Meditating allows you to clear your mind of negative thoughts and experiences and allows your intuition to guide you. There are many free-guided meditations available on the web and iTunes. Some great ones to try are from my personal life coach, Gabrielle Bernstein as well as Marianne Williamson, Wayne Dyer, and Deepak Chopra.
So, throw away your scales and the belief that you will have to start counting calories and fat grams. The ultimate objective should be about feeling good inside and out!