You’ve done it before, maybe several times – you’ve cut out everything, gone on a mad healthy lifestyle craze doing lots of exercise and eating lots of healthy food, and seen the results after a few weeks of hard work, then you go on one sudden binge or something time-consuming comes up and you skip a training session – before you know it, you’re back to your old habits. And months later, you’re unfitter and fatter than ever, plus you feel guilty and angry with yourself.
To avoid reverting back to the old you, rather than making radical, unsustainable changes, here are a few tips to help you to make a permanent lifestyle change for the better:
- Cutting down, not out – reduce the amount of junk food you have and replace them with healthier varieties but do not deny yourself your guilty pleasures. Perhaps you like cupcakes. Rather than eat 3 a day, try eating just 1 or 2 a day and instead of the extra cupcake, eat an apple instead. Eventually, you won’t even enjoy the taste of cupcakes and will naturally choose the healthy option.
- Making one small change every week – rather than cut out your daily dose of 3 cupcakes, drop 1 but continue eating 2. Over the course of several months, you will find you’ve gone from unhealthy to healthy without any “suffering”.
- As you slowly change your lifestyle, you will see the positive effects, perhaps in terms of weight loss or the amount of energy you have or a clearing complexion with nicer skin. This will make you become more enthusiastic about your new life and more likely to continue.
- Introduce exercise gradually. Those High Intensity Interval Training programmes such as P90X are great fat burners but for many they are unsustainable. Can you imagine doing P90X into your 70s? Instead, start with something easy, perhaps walking for 30 minutes a day or getting off the bus a stop early. These little changes are easier to accommodate into your current lifestyle and sustain well into your retirement years than having to throw yourself around the room for an hour.
With these simple tips, you can make a permanent change for the better, ending up eating cleanly, living healthily and enjoying your new lifestyle without feeling like you’re missing out on anything.