Do you ever think, I’m never going to get out of this rut of a poor eating routine and minimal exercise?! Or I’d really like to take a new approach at what I’m eating and how I go about exercise – maybe there is something out there that would work better for me.
Even for someone like me who has a degree in Kinesiology and is a certified personal trainer, all of the information available on the numerous social media platforms is overwhelming at times.
Finding a place to start is always the hard part. Sorting through all of the information out there to even get a baseline is frustrating and confusing if you don’t know a lot about healthy eating and exercise.
I’m glad you’ve come across this blog post, because I’m hoping I can help you find a simple way, and place to start, and simplify the basics for making behavior changes with both exercise and your diet so that you can reach your goals.
“diet” as in the foods you consume, not “a diet” as in restricting foods.
Unfortunately, as simple as it is to grab a workout program and prewritten out meal plan or put “restrictions” on the foods you eat, these things just won’t last. Have you tried any of these and end up back at square one looking for another way to lose weight or eat healthy and exercise?
They don’t work because they aren’t specific for YOU and don’t focus on behavior changes.
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If you are really serious about healthy eating and exercise to better your lifestyle, there are 4 places for you to start making behavior changes.
Foundational Behavior Changes to Achieve Healthy Eating and Exercise
- you have to make it part of your daily/weekly schedule. Determine when you can make it happen and put it in your schedule.
- you have to commit to at least 4 times a week for 30 minutes
For healthy eating,
- you have to plan. Know what you are going to eat for Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner/2 snacks and make sure you have the things you need on hand
- for healthy eating, you have to do prep.
Let me share a little more about each of these.
Putting exercise in your schedule makes it happen. When you make a doctor’s appointment or hair appointment, you don’t miss them right? You dedicate that time to that appointment. The same things are true with exercise. I actually prefer to exercise every day because it’s so much part of my daily routine that when I skip a day it’s hard for me to put it back in, so I just don’t take it out!
You have to determine what works best for you and what your goals are when it comes to frequency. I strongly recommend 4 times a week for 30 minutes at minimum to get healthy results.
Honestly, unless you are looking for very specific results, you can do whatever type of physical activity you want for the most part, as long as you are moving and getting your heart rate up. As you begin to look for more specific results such as losing weight, building muscle, increasing your endurance, etc. you will want to specify your activity. Great news, I can help you with that!
Having a plan takes the mindfulness out of what you are going to eat. It makes eating healthy foods easier too.
If you react to “I’m hungry” and don’t know what you are going to eat, you’ll likely reach for something on hand that may not be very good for you, or you may take a while to decide what you are going to eat and then by this time you are so hungry you over eat! Both are a recipe for disaster when you are trying to improve you eating habits.
Having a routine of eating 5 meals a day spaced out about 3 hour helps you keep from becoming so hungry that you over eat.
When you make a plan you also see what you are going to eat when you aren’t hungry which makes it easier to make healthier decisions. You can then prep those food items to ensure that you have healthy food ready to eat. Ex: celery – cut it into sticks, chicken – boil it to throw in meals, portion out snacks so that they are ready to grab and go.
When you have a foundation like this put in place, you then start to see and find ways to transition less nutrient dense foods for healthier nutrient dense foods. And suddenly you feel and see the difference.
These 4 behaviors are staples to making behavior changes for eating healthier and exercising for a lifetime.
If you are already doing these 4 things, you are already on track for making greater improvements.
Greater improvements include what types of exercise you are doing to get even more specific results and as I mentioned above, thinking more about which foods you are choosing when you make up your meal plans by cleaning up your diet with more nutrient dense foods.
If you feel like you need more guidance on these first 4 steps, take a look at my Healthy Lifestyle Guide.
Not only do I outline in detail with templates, the process to help you set up your personal healthy eating plan and exercise schedule, but I also provide 10+ healthy recipes, 3 workout routine recommendations, 3 workouts and a complete ab routine!
Starting with the basics is such an important part of making the decision for a healthy life and I just hate to see people struggle with it – especially since you’ve made it here! Send me an email or make a comment below if you have any questions! I’d love to help you.