The trouble with trying to make big changes — whether it’s with food or exercise — is that it only takes a few missed days and you’re back to your old behaviours again.
So take it easy on yourself because becoming habitually active and adopting healthier eating behaviours takes time – up to 6-12 months for consciously made changes to become a permanent unconscious habit. This is why crash diets don’t work – they are not sustainable but small and consistent changes are.
Long-term behaviour change is the result of small adjustments and daily practice – or adopting an attitude of mindfullness. Wear a step counter to learn about when you are and are not active. Weigh yourself daily using a Body analyser to help keep your goals in mind if your goal is to maintain a healthy weight. Record your food and drink intake using a food diary so that you remain conscious of your eating habits – this all helps to bring about changes in the way we behave.
Sometimes the adjustment takes the form of being more active on your less busy days. Those of us who are office-based during the week need to get up from our desks regularly and have mini activity breaks (a walk around the block) several times a day, while those who have very active work days and who just collapse onto the sofa at weekends, need to find new ways to be active on days away from work, especially with the other family members.
Sometimes a new habit means continuing to enjoy the “got to have” foods we love, but use a food diary to monitor how often we eat these and try to eat less of these or less frequently like only on special occasions for example. Reducing your alcohol intake is one of the quickest wins in the journey to reduce calories and improve health. Track how much you drink each week with our free Smartphone Food Diary (iPhone, Android and Blackberry).
Being specific in setting goals is also important. Rather than deciding to “get fit” in 2013, decide to walk a specific number of steps each and every day. Make it achievable. With food, decide on a weekly score of Good vs Bad choices using the Activ8rlives Smartphone apps and try to stick to it rather than give a vague goal of “I will lose weight.”
Doing it together, like most things is more fun than doing it by yourself – and more likely to be successful too. Form a group with friends, family or colleagues and agree to support each other in achieving a goal. Make it fun by creating a walking Adventure using this free feature within Activ8rlives. Or join one of the growing number of communities such as the Activ8rlives Support group for a lot of free advice, encouragement and support.
So make your New Year’s resolution to take it in small steps, do it one day at a time, work in a group and learn to become mindful of your food/drink intake, your activity levels and observe how this changes your body composition. That’s it. That’s all we have to do. Join us by giving it a try in 2013. We’ll work on it together.
Wishing everyone a fun, healthy and happy 2013!