It’s been 1000 days since I made the decision to put my health first – the BEST decision I made! Making the initial change and the first few months of the journey was possibly the hardest part, now that healthy eating and fitness has become part of my lifestyle, I find it easier to stay on track. But I do remember the early days of making my change and I know it was tough. So, how do you start?
- Start small – Don’t get carried away too soon and scare yourself. There’s no rush so just relax and take your time. Start with small changes such as cutting down on sugar, drinking more water, eating more veg and increasing your daily steps.
- Make simple swaps – this can really make a difference: Replace your afternoon chocolate bar for a banana or some unsalted almonds or try low sugar snack bars. Swap sugary drinks for low calorie zero sugar drinks (or even better a glass of water!), try zero calorie sweetener or flavour drops instead of sugar in your tea and coffee.
If you aim to do something healthy every day such as cutting out sugar, reaching your step goal or water intake goal, these small changes can eventually add up to big results.
- Plan ahead – Most of us are very busy these days with little time in the evening to be cooking complicated meals. Planning ahead makes it easier to stay on track – write down your meals for the week so you know what you will be having in advance and where possible try to prepare or cook in advance to save time.
- Be kind to yourself – so you’ve worked out you want to lose 30lb, great! The worst thing you can do now is criticise yourself by saying ‘I need to lose 30lb because I look horrible’ or being negative by saying ‘it’s going to take so long to lose this weight’. If you use negative words you won’t get very far with making self-improvements. Surround yourself with positivity, say to yourself ‘I’m going to do this for me’ and ‘I can do this’
A huge part of weight loss is staying motivated, you need to rely a lot on yourself to stay motivated throughout the journey. Being positive and encouraging yourself will significantly improve your motivation – read my other blog Motivation:Positivity is Key for more ideas around staying motivated!
- It’s not a diet – Don’t label this as a diet. Diets make us think of a short term, low calorie plans that most of the time we give up after 2 weeks because our bodies are not getting the nutrients they need. Instead, think of this as a healthy lifestyle.
- Don’t restrict yourself – following on from the point above, the reason most diets fail is because we have it in our head that we can’t eat certain things. I like to follow the 80/20 rule. I eat clean 80% of the week and 20% I will allow a treat of something I enjoy whether it’s chocolate, cookies, pizza, burger etc (you could apply this per day too, for example sometimes I will enjoy some protein chocolate after my workout but all of my meals that day are ‘clean’).
- Experiment with exercise – If you’re worrying about exercise or you’re new to it, try a few different types of exercise until you find something you enjoy – looking forward to exercising will make it so much easier to stick to in the long run.
- Consistency is Key – Be patient! You won’t see or feel changes over night because this is a process, it takes time. The first week can be tough and you’re likely to want to give up BUT DON’T! After the first week you will start to realise that you are in control, the week then becomes a month and eventually this will be a routine and part of your lifestyle day in day out.