I thought about giving this blog a title of "get back on track" but for many of you, you may feel as if the holiday was the "occasional" time to enjoy yourself with some treats and change in routine and come Monday you will be back to feeling good with your daily habits of living a quality, balanced lifestyle. For others, there's no reason to beat yourself up for eating a bit more than normal and taking advantage of some extra R&R over the Thanksgiving long-weekend. Even if you struggled with balanced eating and a consistent exercise routine prior to the holiday, there's no point wasting energy on complaining about the past.
I recently wrote an article for my monthly column on Ironman.com in regard to eating plant-strong all year long. I find that many people struggle with craving and enjoying fruits and veggies in the winter months so I came up with a few tips on how you can bulk up the diet with more nutrient-dense foods.
But it's one thing to know what to do. The hard part is putting ideas into actions.
After reading the following tips (below), here's an article I wrote earlier this month on building a better body image - an article designed for the individual who struggles with creating a healthy relationship with food and the body but has goals related to fitness, body composition and nutrition.
-Don't expect to change everything in one day. Aim for progress as some progress is better than no progress. Give yourself 5 days to work your way back to a "routine" and more structure with your daily eating and exercise routine. Your goal is not to be perfect or strict but rather reflecting every day to see how you can make a better tomorrow.
-Lighten-up the diet. No need to commit to a juice fast or eat unfilling salads. Simply focus on foods that make you feel light and clean and be sure your food options make you feel satisfied and better after you eat, than before.
-Aim for one-hour of activity every day this week. Think small. Plan to walk 1 hour a day and if you are feeling energetic, make it a run or do an aerobic class at the gym. Break it up into 3 x 20 min sessions if you want to make the workout more intense or if you are pressed for time.
-Set goals for yourself. If you are stuck on a quick-fix or tend to be extreme when it comes to change, it's time to sit down with yourself and think about a few short and long term goals. Give yourself 2-3 goals in the areas of diet, exercise and lifestyle that will help you stay motivated to work toward short and long term goals. A year from now imagine saying to yourself that "I'm glad I did", instead of saying "I wish I would have".
-Don't multi-task when it comes to changing habits. Direct your attention on one or two small changes every 3-4 days in order to create long lasting habits. Avoid trying to perfect but instead, work on a good, better, best system. Whatever makes you feel good, now - work on it to feel better and eventually find the best option to help you meet your fitness and health goals.