A Successful Mindset: Make Healthy Living Your JOB!
Many people start the New Year with a great, big goal: a healthier lifestyle. Whether this means getting in shape, having a better nutrition plan, losing fat or the like, you are certainly not alone if you have decided to look after yourself a little more this year. For many, getting started is easy, but it is the keeping going that gets tough. In this first TC Health Challenge weekly tip, we will start by giving you a mindset that you must maintain for the next 12 weeks (and beyond!) to keep you on track to a new and healthier you. What is this magic mental space, you ask? You have to make fitness and good nutrition your job.
Some days you do not feel like going to work, right? You are tired, there is a lot going on at home, you are feeling a little bored on the job — whatever your reasons, they are experienced by many. Somehow, you always make it to work despite everything else because you feel obligated to do so and additionally, you get paid! Also, there is usually someone that you are accountable to. Unfortunately, many people do not view their health in the same way. You must realize that your body needs healthy food every single day and exercise, ideally, six times per week. Understand the fact that your body and your health are worth a lot more than the money you make — make yourself a priority.
Just like your job, find someone that you can be accountable to. Whether you get a training partner, join a fitness group or enlist a personal trainer, usually having someone else there to encourage and motivate you will keep you on track. This person will be your second “boss.” You may not get paid money for working out, but you will absolutely enjoy a healthier, happier life and you cannot put a price on that.
— Pacific Institutefor Sport Excellence
Planning and preparation
Planning and preparation are good ways to ensure that you reach your goals in life, and nutrition is certainly no exception.
Try these simple steps to improve your nutrition:
First, write down the meals and snacks you would like to have for the week. From this, derive a list of the items you need to purchase at the grocery store. Having all the ingredients in your house will help you stick to your meal selections, rather than detour to the drive thru on your way home. And, going to the grocery store with a list will improve efficiency and deter any unwanted items (i.e. cheesecake or pastries) from appearing in your cart. Meal planning will also help to bring awareness to food choices and ensure that the majority of meals and snacks are well balanced. You don't need to be “perfect” — just aim to do it right most of the time or focus on doing better than you did yesterday.
When you are back from shopping, wash some of the vegetables and fruit you will use for snacks so they are ready to go. When possible, cut your vegetables into snack-friendly sizes and portion them into storage containers and refrigerate. Divide up some snacks that include protein, for example nuts or yogurt, into containers. It’s a good idea to measure your snacks to ensure the portion sizes are appropriate.
If you are likely to be dining out, it’s important to consider what your food options are and whether they are amenable to your nutrition goals. If they are not, plan to have a light snack before you hit the restaurant so you don’t overindulge on something that is less healthy. Many restaurants post their nutrition information online and this can assist you in choosing a healthier option when eating out.
Like most things in life, you will get out of nutrition what you put into it. While you might feel that you don’t have time to plan, you don’t have time not to plan.
— Pure Nutrition and Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence
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