Creating healthy habits that last long term is one of the biggest struggles my clients face. When the holidays creep in, summer arrives, celebrations, dinners out, weddings or the festive period comes around healthy habits that have been part of a routine are now lost and put aside until life returns to normal.
Does this sound familiar?
When we try to make healthy changes to daily habits we approach things with an all or nothing approach because we want to see results as quick as possible. If we work hard for 8 weeks, change habits and deny ourselves some of things we love just so we can get results we can then say - yes we did it. But what we haven't done is allow these habits to be part of a realistic lifestyle that we live everyday after the 8 weeks are over.
The best way to create healthy habits that last.....
Is to take things slowly
You are someone who drinks 5-6 coffees a day. You suffer from excess stress, you have digestive complaints and you feel tired all the time. You know what you need to do so you just cut out all of the coffee for 1 month.....that's the best approach you think!
This may work for some people but for most our brain reacts like a young child that has been told they can't play with their favourite toy. You want it even more, but have to convince yourself to just get through the month and everything will be back to normal. This battle pursues throughout the month.
What we need to do instead is take things slowly. So instead of cutting your coffee completely for one month why not try cutting back to 4 cups for a week. Then the following week cut down to 3 and so on until you are only having 1 cup (of the best quality) per day that you can enjoy and that can be part of your healthy daily habits.
Now that sounds more like it!
You can continue this approach with other habits that you would like to incorporate into your healthier lifestyle plan. Perhaps you want to drink more water, or you want to exercise more, you would like to spend more time with your kids, you would like to start painting again or going for a walk daily. When we train our bodies to do things slowly we are able to create lasting results that promote health and wellness without the frustrations, denial and unhappiness that goes along with the 'all or nothing' approach.
3) Deep breathe 5 times per day - this is not only beneficial to relaxation and calming the body, but may also help to support your digestive health and the breakdown and absorption of nutrients.
4) Go outside barefoot for 5 minutes/day - earthing or grounding allows us to connect to the earth and its negative electronic charge. Because our body can end up with a lot of positive charges due to free radical damage, this technique can help balance the body and promote health. It may also help the body deal with the ever growing EMF exposure we are surrounded by daily.
5) Spend 10 minutes daily doing something you LOVE - this could be reading a book, dancing in the kitchen, singing your favourite song, drawing, painting, gardening, knitting. This is so important because it gives you that much deserved ME time which many of us forget about.
If you would like to work with a nutritionist to develop healthy lifestyle habits with the support and guidance you deserve please contact me for a chat about ways nutrition can help you improve your health today.
Debbie Vanderboom is a Nutritional Advisor, Natural Juice Therapist and foodie who loves using fresh, wholesome food to nourish the body. Educating her clients on the importance of choosing healthy foods on a daily basis is her focus. She provides her clients with recipes, resources and meal plans to help develop healthy eating habits for life.