You’ve made the big changes… now it’s time to make the small ones.
When you’re on the path to a healthier life there are many changes involved. Some are obvious and are easy to make - things like skipping dessert, increasing exercise, eating more salad and vegetables and so on.
But there are many more subtle changes that you may not have made, and while these changes were not needed at first, the closer you get to your goal, the stricter you need to be. As we all know, those last five kilos are the hardest to move.
So, while you may not have needed to make the small changes at the start, by not making them now, you are delaying your progress.
Here are a few ideas on how you can ensure you aren’t sabotaging your journey to that well-earned end goal.
You still have a pantry full of treat food
You don’t buy it for you – you buy it for the other people in the house. That’s all well and good in theory, but who can resist a chip or two when the bag is lying there open? Who can walk past an unwrapped block of chocolate without a little sample?
These little samples probably didn’t affect you too much at the start, as the major changes you made had enough impact. But as you edge closer and closer to your end goal, the little samples make a big difference. If you can’t stay away from these foods, then you need to keep them out of the house.
I know it can feel a little mean to stop buying items like chips, chocolates and ice cream when your family loves them. But really, do they need them? Everyone is going to benefit from eliminating these items. And believe me, I have found my family still manages to get hold of the goodies in one way or another, so they won’t really miss out.
You let yourself get too hungry
We all have times when we are rushing around, busy and distracted, and snacks or even whole meals get skipped. Then suddenly, when the busy stops, you are starving. This is a dangerous place to be. Most likely, once you get to eat, you will grab anything you can without thinking. This could be from your pantry, fridge, a café, or a restaurant, and before you know it, you've haven't made a good choice or you've eaten too much.
Simple solution: don’t let yourself get that hungry. Always carry a healthy snack with you during the day.
This rule applies when heading out for dinner. It’s so common to wait to eat because you want to make the most of going out. But once again, if you go into the restaurant “starving”, you’re far more likely to make bad choices, or simply overeat.
I’m a big fan of eating something super healthy, such as a salad, late afternoon before heading to a restaurant. It’s like having your entrée at home. Then you’ll choose a healthy, probably smaller dinner, and not undo all your hard work.
You go too far to avoid waste
Wasting food feels terrible. We all try to limit how much we throw away, and at times we have all eaten something just so it doesn’t get wasted.
I am not just referring to cleaning out the fridge. I think one of the biggest traps is eating what our kids have left behind. I’m certainly guilty of it. A piece of fruit, a small bite of sandwich, a spoonful of yogurt, a piece of meat from dinner or even the crust off the toast (one of my personal weaknesses). While all are small, they all add up, especially when you have already eaten a full meal of your own.
Don’t be the family compost bin – if it can’t be saved for another meal, throw it in the actual bin.
You’re still drinking lattes… with sugar
In the immortal words of Dr Phil, “That’s just a hot milkshake”.
Avoiding milkshakes seems like an obvious change, but what about your coffee ritual? Lattes, flat whites, cappuccinos and all the other milky options are extra calories that often don’t get counted because it’s a drink.
Moving to coffees that have a dash of milk, or none at all, will ensure your coffee is just a drink and not an extra snack, especially if you cut the sugar.
You are only exercising once a day
Don’t get me wrong, exercising once a day is brilliant. It’s what most of us do, but I’m talking about that little extra to get you to your goal.
Increasing your exercise to two, dare I say three, times a day will have your body burning up those calories so fast. It doesn’t have to be much either – just a 10 minute burst at some point during the day is all it takes. Any kind of movement boosts your metabolism and your brain function, so you’ll feel energised and alert. Win / Win.
Give it a try. You will be surprised how good you feel and how much of an impact it makes.
Making change is never easy, but when you have come this far, and you can almost touch that goal, what’s a couple more little ones?! And just like all changes, once you have made them, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.