How many times have you thought of changing to a better/healthier lifestyle?
I am sure, many times. We all do!
Now think, how many times have you actually changed/switched to a better healthier lifestyle?
Again many time perhaps!
Now answer, How many times have you sustained that healthier lifestyle?
Here it gets difficult, if you are stronger in will-power, you might have maintained it for six months, a year or two. But that motivation of getting fit and healthy fades aways as times passes. After a while, you bounce back to autopilot mode of habits and all those lost kilos return back with an ultra-sad, giving-up attitude. Adopting healthy habits for life long gets a little challenging. If you have been successful in doing so, you know the value of good habits. You are a rockstar!
Please say – I don’t need to lose weight, I just need better eating habits? This sentence is the beginning of a journey. The very phrase will help you to be at ease, mentally. And you won’t stress yourself. The trick is your weight with automatically dropdown if you have healthy habits. Just relax and try adapting to healthy habits. Don’t try to lose weight.
The question should be – What does it take to switch to healthy habits and most importantly keeping oneself at it.
Reading and stressing about protein-rich, low carb, exercise more blah blah blah blah certainly doesn’t help many. We might adopt it, and not enjoy life, eat boring food. But for how long can we push it, we won’t be able to maintain that regime for long. And will fall into that trap of regaining the lost weight.
If you know me, you know that I was a plump child. Yes, it’s true. I hate to confess it at times. But the truth remains the same. A Punjabi mother’s gheeful upbringing and Amritsar as a hometown can be blamed for all those extra kilos.
Today, I am in better shape and health. I must tell you, I have never ever gone on a diet. I eat absolutely everything. Today, I am a mother of two and have been able to maintain a decent number on my weighing scale. And I run a baking blog.
A healthy life, a fit body, is a life long endeavour. The very secret of making a switch to be good health, and most importantly maintaining a healthy lifestyle, is The Mindset.
A first and most important part of making a switch to a healthy life is – Don’t bring in drastic changes.
We all have different families, with different food times and different food habits. So one thing that works for me, might not work for you. I can’t really give you an exact pinpointed solution for you.
But one thing will work for everyone is …. Reduce your serving size. Cut down on the amount of food you are consuming today. Just by maintaining a portion size of your everyday food, you will find a big difference in a couple of weeks. Start with a 10% reduction and eventually increase to almost 30% of less food you are consuming today.
The important part here is gradually to reduce it and then stick to it. How is the question in your mind right now?
Avoid taking second helping when eating. If it’s your favourite food item, eat it slowly, relish every bit of it and you can keep your favourite part of dinner or lunch for the end bites. I do that all the time.
Don’t eat from a bag or a box. You won’t realise the quantity/portion size.
Another idea to reduce the amount of food is, drink water before you sit of food. It’s really helpful. I do like to add chia seeds to my water.
You can also start with salads and soups.
Eats greens to fill up your tummy. Make at least half of your plate with vegetables.
Try adding protein to every meal. And try reducing starchy foods.
Eat mindfully – It is the practice of paying full attention to what you eat without distractions, helps you notice your body’s hunger and fullness cues so that you can actually know when you’ve had enough.
Include fibre rich food. That keeps you full for longer and will decrease munching.
Mindfulness can also help you distinguish between physical hunger and emotional hunger.
When you feel hungry, ask yourself if you’re actually hungry or if you’re just wanting to eat because you’re bored or experiencing another emotion.
If you’re in the habit of eating emotionally, try some other strategies before eating, such as going for a walk, exercising, having a cup of tea or journaling.
You might not believe, but it works – Wear fitting clothes. The loose clothes, makes the mind think —— you can eat. Wearing an outfit with no more room to expand, will prevent you from taking second helping too.
Turn health and nutrition into a habit. But again if you don’t like something, don’t start it. Don’t start anything, if you can’t adapt it for long.
When I started getting conscious about my food habits, I was fairly young and had no additional information from google. This was like 20 years back then. Don’t try to guess my age. And keep reading.
I started listing to my body. Our body, the mind and the gut are very smart. You just need to listen to them. Today, we call it mindful eating. I started doing it unknowingly long ago. Even if I had Amritsari kulcha or kulfi. I started chewing my food. Started to acknowledge the flavours, the ingredients when eating. And slow eating gradually helped me reduce the amount of food I was eating. —– The pace at which you eat influences how much you eat, as well as how likely we are to gain weight.
Do you know, it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to receive these messages.
As I have mentioned earlier, I have never followed and a special diet, even today I eat everything by in moderation. I eat slow and feel full before the craving of second helping lightens up my mind.
I won’t be writing the same stuff what you can read on every health-related article/website. But I just wanted to share how you can adopt habits. That will eventually give you a healthy life.
We are talking about habits — they can and will put your willpower to autopilot. Develop good healthy habits, don’t try to lose weight. It takes almost 66 days to develop a habit. Stay committed to yourself. Changes in lifestyle and behaviour can be tough in the beginning but become effortless when you turn them into a habit.
By mastering one small habit at a time, you will set yourself up for long-term success.
Regular workouts, fewer carbs more proteins are definitely to adapt. But I suggest taking a small step. Make it into a habit and keep on it. Remember being healthy is a lifestyle, it is not an activity, you indulge in for some time.
You will see how, over a period of time, things will change and you will not find it difficult to keep at it.
I tell you a fun fact. The more packet food, with Healthy labels, you eat, the fatter you will get. This is my experience. Because, we give our brain singles that, it is ok to overindulge, as it’s healthy. Don’t fall into this trap. Eat everything, but eat less.
Don’t buy packaged food, with the healthy tags on it. You are gonna eat it more, no matter how much you try not to. When you are sad or free and due with your periods (women) you will reach out to a packet to munch. So one way to prevent emotional eating is, don’t buy. Buy seasonal fruits and vegetable.
Here is another secret of mine. I am a Punjabi and this habit of little sweet something after dinner has sustained with me. I have tried and failed many times to quit eating sugar as the last part of the meal. hahaha … so I don’t try any more. I do satisfy my sweet tooth craving but in smart ways.
Few Ideas: End your meal with a new kind of sweet treats.
If you keep a grapes/pineapple/strawberries in the freezer and treat yourself with a few frozen grapes after dinner, you will be happy+satisfied. Trust me, you have no idea, how sweet grapes can be if you eat it mindfully.
A date or a fig after dinner is wonderful.
Fruit yoghurt is fantastic.
And here are few recipes for you, but be mindful of portion size and eat slow.
Don’t conclude by saying, you can’t. Don’t tell yourself that you love your food and can’t enjoy when served less.
Remember it is a mindset. ask yourself, How can I? How can I reduce the size of my food serving?
How can I bring in changes, considering the life statues I am at today?
The moment you say, I can’t, the mind gets powerful and makes you weak in decision making.
And I am not telling you to cut down on food drastically, just reduce some part of your everyday food. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Just 10 % and keep at it, till you feel comfortable to reduce a little more.