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.
4. Make Simple Daily Change
Who said health-related lifestyle changes had to be all or nothing? Start
small and make a few simple weight loss and exercise changes each day. These
small changes can add up over time to give you a big health boost. Here are
- Add 5 more grams of fiber to your daily meal plan.
- Cut out refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, white rice, and
- Avoid foods with trans-fats
- Add two more servings of veggies at lunch and dinner
- Drink three more glasses of water each day
- Add 10 minutes of walking to your daily exercise regimen
- Take a break every hour at work and walk 500 steps in place (2,000 steps
burns 100 calories)
- Wake up 15 minutes earlier and walk before work
5. Find a Cheering Section
We all need a cheering section -- having to account to someone else gives
you a reason to hang in there when you can't muster determination from within.
It doesn't matter where the support comes from -- a spouse, friend, co-worker,
or online "buddy," or others.
Think of five people who might be in your cheering section. Talk to these
people about giving you support and holding you accountable as you work to
reach your weight loss or health goals. Call upon your cheering section when
you're having trouble sticking with good health habits. When you do reach small
weight loss or exercise goals, invite your support group to celebrate with
6. Forgive Yourself
If you slip up on vacation and overeat, drink too much, or fail to exercise
-- forgive yourself. Don't beat yourself up! Instead, say, "I really
enjoyed my vacation," and let it go at that.
Allowing yourself time to enjoy a few indulgences occasionally is OK. If you
start to feel guilty for having dessert on a special night out, forgive
yourself and start back on your more disciplined program the next day.
7. Never Go Hungry
Katherine Tallmadge, MA, RD, author of Diet Simple, says the biggest
cause of overeating is undereating. "People go too long without eating, and
then pig out when they are ravenously hungry."
Rigid diets don't work for anyone. Include planned snacks in
your daily diet to prevent binges. Make sure you allow for treats once a week
without feeling guilty. Have a brownie every Friday, and enjoy every bite.
8. Remember That Change Takes Time
It's easy to see thin people and think how lucky they are. But here's the
truth: If a thin person is over 30 -- or even over 20 -- chances are they are
working hard at being thin each day. Learn from them. Find out how they
stay thin. Is it through more exercise? Eating fewer snacks?
According to Kathy Kater, a LSW and psychotherapist in St. Paul, Minn., the
research on body diversity is conclusive. "Even if we all ate the same
optimal, wholesome diet and exercised to the same high degree of physical
fitness, we would still be very diverse in our shapes. Some quite thin and some
quite big, but most in the middle."
Make the commitment to change some lifestyle habits and allow yourself
plenty of time to see your goal. In addition, accept the fact that your body is
meant to be a certain size -- even if that size isn't skinny -- and feel good