Setting out to regain your health & overall wellness can be extremely frustrating. There’s so much conflicting information to try to navigate through. There are so many diets, diet programs, & exercise regimens. It’s endless!
We get it! We get it because we’ve been there. To be very honest with you, eventually, we just gave up.
It took many years before we finally realized we had to not only do something about our health but that we had to try a different approach. In 2006, instead of embarking on yet another diet, we decided we were going to establish a healthier lifestyle. Our focus was no longer about weight loss but on creating & maintaining healthier habits.
As a result, we identified 8 key lifestyle factors that helped us and we hope these tips will also help you start living a healthier & more active lifestyle.
1. Stop Dieting: Diets have ending dates. In other words, diets are temporary. Truth is, we have to stop applying temporary solutions (diet) & expecting long term results (sustainable weight loss.) As cliche as it sounds, this is truly a lifestyle change.
2. Think Lifestyle: This has to be a lifestyle change. Remember, it is your lifestyle habits that directly affect your overall health & wellness. The things you do on a consistent basis matters.
3. Nutritional Balance: Balance is the key to life. Too much of anything and not enough of the RIGHT things are both bad for you. Creating a healthier lifestyle is not about deprivation or banning things from your life forever. It’s about creating a nutritional balance & still enjoying life’s “treats.”
4. You MUST Get Active: As much as many of us would love to not exercise and still lose/maintain weight loss, realistically, we will live on Mars before that happens. You have to get active. Instead of seeing daily activity as a chore, think of it as a way you get to love yourself & your heart better. Staying active is a life commitment. It becomes an essential part of your healthier lifestyle.
5. This is NOT a weight loss journey: As ironic as this may sound, you are not on a weight loss journey. This journey is about creating a healthier lifestyle that encompasses healthier habits, daily or increased activity, and balanced nutrition. Weight loss becomes a side effect that you gain & maintain as a result of your new, healthier lifestyle.
6. Home=Control: We were the king & queen of eating out! We had spots everywhere! From our hometown NOLA to our travels out of town, we knew where to eat. We can tell you, as much as we love food, we could not create a healthier lifestyle by continuing to eat out every day/every night. Home=control. You have to begin preparing healthier meals at home. This allows you control your daily consumption. It puts you in a better position to win.
7. Be patient. Be realistic: We all want to lose weight overnight. Here’s the truth. You did not gain the weight overnight. You are not going to lose it overnight. Many times, your motivation suffers and discouragement sets in because you are not seeing the results as quickly as you would like. You must be patient. It’s a process. You have to be realistic. Your weight loss goal is something you WILL attain. There are no time parameters to that. Instead, focus on implementing your 3C’s. Remember, this is a LIFEstyle.
8. Do it together: We encourage families to get healthy together. Whether it’s you and your spouse/partner or the entire family, it is imperative that everyone moves on one accord. It makes the process very challenging if one person in the house is trying to commit to living healthier and everyone else is doing the same ol’ same ol’. Teamwork makes a dream work. By being each others accountability partner, you keep each other focused, challenged, and motivated.
As always, thank you for time, love & support. We hope what we have shared has helped you. Feel free to share your thoughts with us. Be sure to share this info with family & friends.
Eric and Maleka Beal are health coaches and co-founders of BetterChoices, a health & wellness company and social community focused on educating, advocating, and promoting better health and wellness through lifestyle, nutrition, and fitness education.