Changing our eating habits isn't an easy task, so it's no wonder that a lot of people give up shortly after starting. Promises we make ourselves like "eat more fruit and vegetables", "drink less alcohol", "go to the gym" are easier made than followed. So when it comes to people who do succeed in adopting a healthier lifestyle, the question then becomes, how do they do it? How do they keep going where most people fail?
The secret to that is simple. So simple in fact that it isn't even really a secret. All you have to do is to start slowly, one day at a time. Starting with small, manageable changes to your diet is a great way to avoid quitting before you get to see the results. It's like that saying goes: "Learn to walk before you can run".
If we immediately try to implement the kind of difficult routines that are generally used by people who are in much better shape than we are, it's easy to see why most of us will end up quitting. Once you start to get used to the small changes we're going to suggest here, making more and more such steps will become easier and feel more rewarding. So here's our list of little daily challenges:
1 - Instead of consuming an entire chocolate bar every day, challenge yourself to drop that down to just two squares after a meal.
You can even increase the cocoa concentration little by little. 50% cocoa chocolate is actually good for your health.
2 - Eat more fruits and vegetables.
Try to replace a portion of any unhealthy food you consume each day with a more healthy substitute. For instance, instead of french fries, try switching to baked potatoes cooked with rosemary and basil.
3 - Eat more homemade meals.
For anyone who doesn't know how to cook or just doesn't have this habit, the prospect of it can sound scary. But you really don't have to do anything too difficult or time consuming. You could start by just preparing your own breakfast each morning. After you get comfortable with that, you can move on to occasionally preparing your own lunch.
4 - Don't worry about heavily restrictive diets.
Diets that are too restrictive aren't as healthy as they claim to be. A healthy diet plan is a balanced diet plan. One that insures we get all of the nutrients we need to function properly.
5 - In your diet, try to include some foods that have fat-burning properties.
Cinnamon, pineapple, ginger, coffee, chilly and green tea are some of them. If you're interested in losing weight, you can start by including at least one of those in your daily meal.
6 - Walk more. Everybody should walk at least 3 miles a day. Walk a little bit more each day.
You can easily find any number of healthy recipes online by doing a simple search on Google. Use fitness apps to count your calorie intake and help you balance your meals each day. Our own app, Evolve, was designed to do exactly that. You can also follow a few good fitness bloggers for extra inspiration and a daily dose of motivation.
8 - Eat slower. Chew your food.
Your meal time should be a peaceful time. Eating too quickly is unhealthy for a number of different reasons. Make sure you are giving your stomach the time it needs to process its food and you can even lower your risk of gastritis.
9 - Try to relax.
Stress stimulates the organism to produce adrenaline and cortisone - two of the known hormones that contribute to obesity.