10 Motivational Tips to Keep You Healthy
Experts explain how small steps can help you stay on track to meet your diet and exercise goals.
Find yourself losing interest in exercising and eating a healthy diet? Maybe you were gung ho for a few weeks and then
your get-in-shape determination quickly faded -- and you went back to your old,
bad health habits.
What if instead of making mega-changes with the all-or-nothing approach to
weight loss and good health, you resolve to tackle a few simple changes at a
time? Studies show that the health and weight loss habits that have the best chance of lasting
are the ones that call for minor, doable changes.
According to Penny Kris-Etherton, PhD, a nutrition professor at Penn State
University, the key is to take small, positive steps and move ahead
consistently. "People need to be realistic about the changes they can
Consider the following ten motivational tips to help you make small,
positive steps each day.
1. Feel Good About Yourself Today
Be sure the people around you make you feel good about you -- no
matter what your size or health condition. In addition, if close friends
encourage you to smoke, overeat, or drink too much, find some new friends who
have good health habits and also want a healthier you.
Elaine Magee, MPH, Rd, author of more than 20 books, says don't get hung up
on pounds or what size dress you are wearing.
"Instead, focus on being healthy from the inside out," Magee says.
"Eat well, and exercise regularly. And remember that you can be sexy and
look and feel fabulous and not be thin."
2. Rethink Your Role Model
Barbie's still the first role model many young girls are drawn to. But let's
be honest. For most of us to look like Barbie, we'd have to be nearly 6 feet
tall, shrink our waist size by 8 inches, move the excess inches up to our
chests, and then pose in the "suck in the gut/high heel" position all
the time. Come on! There's a better way to live our lives than pretending.
Select positive role models. Choose role models that help you feel good
about who you are, rather than ones who make you feel bad. Find a female role
model who is strong, healthy -- and real!
3. Know What Makes You Overeat
The key to staying motivated is to know where your problem areas are and
have a plan for dealing with them. Do you use food to cope with disappointment,
rejection, boredom, or even personal success?
Brainstorm some healthier ways to cope with mood swings that do not involve
food. In addition, control your environment to avoid bingeing on high-calorie
foods when you do feel disappointed, rejected, or bored. Keep your kitchen
stocked with lots of healthy options such as chunks of fruits and veggies,
low-fat yogurts, flavored waters, and sugar-free gum.