How do I maintain the changes I have made?

Welcome to your April edition of the woMEn TIME blog. This month sees the sun coming out and the weather warming up so going outdoors and holidays are on some ladies minds. For those who have recently got more active, lost weight or have made a conscious decision to become healthy. A question that is asked frequently is “How do I maintain the changes I have made?” It can be scary and intimidating what to do next because you don’t want to do anything that will upset your routine or slip back into old habits. By taking a pro-active approach you can maintain the changes you have made and still live a happy, healthy life without feeling like you are depriving yourself. Here are some tips on how to maintain those changes:

  1. Eat the Correct Portions sizes

One of the biggest mistakes people make is eating larger portions of food than they need. Portion control plays a crucial role in maintaining your figure and a healthy lifestyle. Do not feel like you need to cut out food groups or deprive yourself of what you want most. Make sure you always reward yourself with at least one treat night a week, but stick to exactly what you said you would have. If you said 3 biscuits and you eat the whole pack you will not only make yourself feel ill, but this could also have a detrimental effect on your will power and self-belief. By treating and sticking to exactly what you said you would have, you do not miss out and feel like you have achieved what you said you would do.

You can also use the eat well plate to make sure your meals are balanced. This shows how much of each food type you should have for a healthy balanced meal.

  1. Incorporate Exercise Into Your Daily Routine

This doesn’t have to be hard or time consuming. If you plan ahead and take opportunities when they arise you will find it is easier than you think to fit in activity into your daily routine. Such as these examples below

  • Sitting could be replaced simply with standing. An example is when you create some form of standing desk in your office and work space.
  • Some light physical activity, such as walking and moving around the office or home. Having your waste bin on the other side of the room will create this kind of movement or taking regular drink breaks to fill up your water bottle. You could even stretch to making the whole office a tea instead of just yourself. This will not only get you up for longer, but make your colleagues happy too.
  • Instead of watching TV record you program and reallocate this time to light activities, such as house work or gardening. Even substituting one seated activity with another might help break up long periods in front of the TV.
  • If you have to use the car commute to work or public transport. These will allow opportunities for more activity. Park further away or get off a stop early and walk. And if you have a lift once you get to work instead take the stairs

The key is to integrate exercise as part of your daily routine and without really noticing you will be moving more.

  1. Know Your Weaknesses

Be honest with yourself, we all have certain weaknesses. If you struggle with binge or emotional eating, it is important to understand the reasons why you do this. I am no expert, but there are a lot more people out there than you think who have the same desire to eat and eat. This may be due to stress or low self-esteem, but once you know the reasons behind this it can arm you with a ton of power. Such as, If you are just having a day where all you can think about is chocolate, then having a little is not going to hurt you, but be aware! If you know you are having a bad day due to boredom or emotions you may want to re-think the reasoning behind wanting what you are craving. It is important to treat yourself, but you don’t want to start using that as an excuse every time you feel bored or unhappy. If you can realise and figure out your weaknesses before they actually hit you can better prepare to yourself to handle them.

  1. Eat Breakfast

Eating breakfast really does set the tone for the rest of the day. It kick starts you metabolism and the earlier you have it the more beneficial it is. This help you to wake up and this is turn helps you to burn more energy. It means you will feel better and be able to concentrate and get more done with your day. If you skip it, or eat a really high sugar breakfast you are basically setting yourself up for a day of bad eating habits and a sugar crash before you day has even began. Make sure your breakfast is nourishing, filling to start your day right and you won’t feel as though you have let yourself down.

  1. Don’t Quit

At some point everyone feels like falling off the bandwagon once in a while, but this is what separates those that maintain a healthy lifestyle to those that don’t? If you have had a setback such as an injury or just a lack of motivation – you must not let this get you down! The worst feeling in the world is that you let yourself down. Take a few days to get back on track mentally and/or physically and start again where you left off. Remember one unhealthy meal or one missed gym session will not ruin all your hard work. The best way to feel new inspiration is to create new goals and keep it fresh. As humans we thrive on change! Do not stop trying new things it will help to keep you on track and motivated.

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