Small Changes for Big Wins
Can small changes really lead to big wins in your overall health and wellness? You betcha.
Gone are the days of highly restrictive diets and marathon workouts. Instead, it’s the small, consistent changes you make that lead to lasting results.
If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed at the thought of getting in shape, let these simple tips remove the stress and motivate you to make small changes for big wins.
Portion Things Out
Some people think they can eat whatever they want as long as they work out most days of the week. However, without portion control, you’ll find it difficult to maintain a healthy weight— especially as you age.
Think about it this way: If you suffered an injury and couldn’t work out for an extended period of time, would your eating habits cause immediate weight gain? If so, it might be time to rethink your portion sizes.
Now, this doesn’t mean you need to be ultra-restrictive or never eat your favorite foods again. It simply means you need to choose the best foods in the right proportions for your health goals.
Here are a few ways to do that:
- Incorporate a balance of protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats at every meal.
- Cut your portions by one-third or one-half.
- Use smaller bowls and plates.
- Slow down and look up in between bites.
Of course, there will be times when you’re on vacation or celebrating an important event, but most of the time, keep your portions in check for consistent weight management and overall success.
Whether you enjoy exercise or not, once you get in the habit of incorporating movement into your routine, your body will actually start to crave it.
Even the smallest of actions, such as doing squats while you brush your teeth or implementing a set of jumping jacks before lunch, can create big wins in the long run. As you purpose to get your body moving, even in short increments, you’ll find it easier to increase the amount of exercise you get and build your endurance bit by bit.
Here are more ideas for incorporating more movement into your daily routine:
- Do a set of table-top push-ups before you sit down to dinner.
- Run on the treadmill for five minutes before you watch your favorite show.
- Walk around the block during your lunch break.
- Take the stairs as your co-workers opt for the elevator.
To make exercise more of a priority, set a timer on your phone every couple of hours or consider buying a smart watch that will alert you when it’s time to stand up and get moving. Before long, you’ll be incorporating movement into your daily routine without a second thought!
Weed Out the Worst
We’ve all heard the list of things that are most harmful to our bodies such as refined sugar, simple carbohydrates, and additives. So, what if we began to weed these things out of our diets one small step at a time?
For example: If donuts are an office staple, plan and bring your own breakfast to work. This can include a protein shake, bar, or container of cinnamon oatmeal. If pasta is on the menu but leads you to overeat, why not opt for quinoa or brown rice instead? If you’re tempted by vending machine snacks such as chips and cookies, bring snack-sized portions of nuts and fruit.
Try keeping a food diary for a week to help you determine what foods are causing you to stumble. It might open your eyes to mindless snacking or reveal food choices that lead to adverse side effects.
Weeding out the worst of your food choices and habits will give you the jump-start you need toward better health and wellness.
One of the biggest wins you can achieve in your health and wellness goals is to find a measure of peace right where you are. Sure, you might not be at your goal weight, but it doesn’t have to rob you of a life of joy and contentment.
Here are a few suggestions for finding more peace today:
- Think of one good choice you made this week.
- Do something rewarding that isn’t food related.
- Get some fresh air and sunshine.
- Talk to a friend about your health goals and listen as they cheer you on.
While it’s easy to feel overwhelmed about your health, making small, consistent changes over time CAN lead to big wins. The hardest part is taking the first small step toward success.
So, which of these tips will you implement today?